Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Social Work student making sense of their discipline.

I spent the past weekend with friends and family (the last of summer before academic go time). Some of them I haven't seen in a while, others are mainstays of my social life. Interestingly enough, I am always met with varying degrees of support towards my latest degree, a master of Social Work by both friends and family. It's no surprise to anyone that I'm pursuing this masters as I have worked in social welfare for the last six years. Despite this, I'm frequently asked by friends, "why Social Work"? Sure, I have had aspirations of being a psychotherapist for many years and a master of Social Work is an avenue towards that goal but yoga has been a major driving force in my life for the last three years and I have written my law school exams with great success. So, career paths are abound. Ultimately though, I find myself always drawn back to Social Work and specifically Social Work, not psychology or other related disciplines. At first glance it's not difficult to see the connection I have to Social Work. Friends and family say I have always been a sensitive person. I'm aware and conscious about others feelings, I find myself to be empathetic, a good listener but also a critical thinker and a true advocate for the underdog. When I researched Social Work values and ethics, I knew this was the right profession for me. They literally just popped out to me, I had that lightbulb moment. Now, this was more than three years ago so the pathway has come somewhat cluttered but finally, I'm here!

The first week of class has been interesting, I struggled with some feelings of impostor syndrome (not really a syndrome.. at least the folks who publish the DSM don't recognize it) as I felt I received admission out of pure luck and not my own merit. However, now that I'm surrounded by my fellow students I feel like I belong in the faculty and that I'm in the exact place in the universe that I should be. A little cheesy, I know but it feels good. My classmates possess values very similar to mine, they're all passionate about many different social justice and equality issues; some of which admittedly, I wasn't aware of. These are bright and exciting people with ideas and a lot of conviction to help people. Yes, to genuinely help people. These are my people, I have come to the right place. :)


  1. If it were up to me, I'd put Imposter Syndrome in the next DSM. As an MSW student, and also a BSW practitioner, I have constantly felt like I am faking it, like someone at some point is going to discover that there was a mistake and I do not really belong here.

    However, like you said, I too feel like I am in the exact place in the universe where I should be. I really like the way you put it, and I wish you the best in your studies!

  2. Thanks for the comment, your kind words and sharing your experience. Keep rocking that macro Social Work practice! :)