I have been rolling this post around in my head trying to formulate what little bit of wisdom I could pass along to you as my first year at GCSW has now come to an end and I am already head deep into summer classes. I’m writing this while huddled over my laptop in a quiet corner on a break from a conference with my lunch perilously balanced on the arm of my chair, simultaneously writing an email, scouring Pinterest for centerpiece ideas for an upcoming event and mentally writing out no less than six assignments to be done between now and well, yesterday, I think to myself “what possible wisdom does this scene emanate?”
As I hesitantly glance over my “To Do” list for probably the 100th time this hour, I am struck by how energized I am by what I see on the list. Of course there are the “laundry, groceries, find way to add extra four hours into 24 hour day” items but there are also “research hostels in Nairobi, email S about Self-Care day at The Beacon and meet with group to discuss new goal in leadership class”. My point is not to share the mundane details of my slightly obsessive organization techniques but to express to you the very, very many opportunities GCSW provides to that offer you the opportunity to make an MSW “your own.”
During my Foundation semester I heard over and over again to remain open to different professional experiences. Do not box yourself in with rigid ideas about your professional life. After a year in the program, I whole-heartedly urge you to be passionate, that is, after all, why many of us choose to be social workers but I ask that you remain open and take advantage of the many opportunities to enrich your professional life available to you while a student.
I’ve learned throughout the school year that although my ‘to do’ lists are sometimes staggering it is because I am taking advantage of opportunities available to me. It is through these opportunities that new, unexpected and exciting doors have opened for me. A year from now, when I step out into the real world, I want to do so with conviction and passion for what I do. This will only happen for me by knowing all my options.
In short, I believe that the biggest lesson I learned during my first-year as a graduate student is to be curious. To explore. To gamble on yourself and chart your own course.
I will leave you with these ever poignant and ever relevant words…
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” –Walt Disney