Why I Study Social Work

Hello everyone!

HAPPY EASTER! I hope everyone’s had a safe and happy holiday with their loved ones. I managed to go home and have a great Easter dinner with my family; it was absolutely perfect and I enjoyed everyone second of the weekend. Now, I’m back at school with two weeks left – LEGGO!

I can make it!

Anyways – another day, another social media poll to ask what people want to read about this week. This week, people have decided that they want to know why I study social work and all that! So, let’s get into it shall we.

Social work – perhaps one of the most emotionally charged fields to ever study or work in. I can’t begin to tell you the number of stories we’ve shared in class, stories from our peers that tug at our heartstrings. You realize quickly that we’re all in this major for a reason – something in our lives, whether it’s something we’ve experienced or something we’ve witnessed, has influenced our decision to study something that’ll ultimately make a difference. That is our ultimate goal; to make a difference in this world one step at a time. I thank my professors for their wisdom and for sharing their own experiences. I thank them for being “real” with us and being tough. Even though there’s times where I’m like; “What the (insert bad word here)?”, I know they have our best interests at heart. They do my head in, but I love them.

Not even going to lie; Social work was never my first choice when I was in high school and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after graduation. I obviously knew I wanted to go to college, but what to study was the question that constantly plagued my mind. I know I wanted to study journalism at first but I don’t remember why I changed my mind, and I don’t even really remember what initially led me to social work. All I remember is that I decided to do community college for a couple years and whilst doing so, I had the plan to major in social work when I transferred to a four-year university.

Over the course of the two years I attended community college, I also worked at Subway and sometimes, there were customers that would come in that would tug at my heart strings, customers I wanted to help when they looked to be in trouble. When I finally did transfer to a four-year university, my decision to study social work became – I’m not sure how to put this – maybe more set-in stone. There would be things I would hear in the news and that we would talk about in class that would connect and resonate with me, and I found myself being drawn to wanting to make a change somehow in this world. I would try to analyze everything; for example, if I went to the shop and saw someone that looked a bit lost and alone, I would find myself wanting to go over and ask if they were okay. If I heard anything on the news about welfare fraud or heard stories of other people whom were obviously taking advantage of the welfare program, I began to want to advocate for changes to the welfare system so that everyone would be treated fairly. I just ultimately wanted to make a change in this world somehow, but still, I had no idea whether I what I wanted to do exactly.

Over the course of the next year, struggles amongst friends began leading me in a new direction – mental health. I believe that mental health is a topic that is shied away from quite often in communities; people see mental illness as a “weakness” than an actual problem. I thought about working with mental illness and advocating for changes; educating people of all backgrounds and ages about mental health and why it is important and should not be ignored. I still think about that now and I still feel like it is something I’ll be going into.

I also study social work because I dream of helping those who are less fortunate. Let me explain – this major was starting to give me a headache slightly until I started my internship at the food pantry back in January. For the last two and a half months, every week, I go to the food pantry and I interact with a variety of individuals. Some days, when watching client interviews and hearing some of the stories shared by clients, I questioned myself constantly and wondered if I was strong enough to handle reality when real life came and I was actually on my own, working for social services, etc. I would just ask myself; “Am I strong enough to handle this when I want to cry at this story right now?”

Truthfully though – it was about three weeks ago that I started totally dreading going to my internship. I was tired of going every week to the same old song – it got very boring. However, 2 weeks ago, I got a new opportunity. Instead of sitting in on interviews, I got to actually help hand out food to clients this time. The stories and laughs and smiles I received from the people I was able to help warm my heart. A few clients who came through were ones whom I had helped interview; now I was serving food to them and helping to brighten their day. I’ve started feeling excited about my internship again, even though I have 2 weeks left. It’s been wonderful! Next school term, I’ll be at the department of social services – well that’s the plan anyway. I’m excited at the new challenges, excited to meet new clients and try my best to help them and learn about them. This is the most rewarding thing about this field; making a difference in the lives of people.

One other thing I’ve always said about doing this is that it’s helped me to become humble and understand that some people are not as fortunate as I am to have access to simple things like medical care or food or even a decent roof over their heads. Things I take for granted are the very things that people I work with may not have, and that makes me appreciate everything I have. One thing I will continue to do is strive to do better and strive to make the difference. I will continue to do the best I can do in my studies to gain all the necessary tools to make a difference in the lives of many. I dream of one day opening a shelter for those who are homeless; a shelter that offers a warm place to stay with a bed, hot meals, and job training skills as well as counseling to help people. If I can make a difference in one person’s life that’ll be great; I’ve saved somebody, haven’t I?

I plan on saving the world – just watch me!

That is all!

-Me xo

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