This week I have officially completed my graduate studies in social work. This means that I may now add the MSW letters next to my name :)
It is both an exciting time and a sad time...I am thrilled because I have succeeded in learning and fulfilling all the requirements to become a social worker. Furthermore, both field experiences that I have had (the women's health clinic last year and the outpatient mental health clinic this year) only reinforced and confirmed my deep interest to become a clinical social worker.
At the same time, I am feeling sad that school is over...I will miss my professors and classmates. Due to the nature of the studies and topics covered, you develop rather close relationships and it is hard to leave all of that behind in addition to the relationships you had to leave behind at your internships.
And then on the other hand, as Tevye in the Fiddler on the Roof would say, there is the excitement (and a little bit of fear) of the unknown - I can't wait to start working as a clinical social worker but when/where will that be...
One of the main items on my "to do" list will be to study for the LMSW licensing exam. Based upon what I have heard from my peers who graduated back in May and/or seen from posted social work ads, it is a prerequisite for most of the positions out there.
In addition, I will be engaging in some self-care and taking some time off before tackling own job search. This may seem counter-intuitive in today's competitive environment but I feel that I need to recharge my batteries, so as to offer my best to my potential clients.
Lastly, below are a few verses of one of Dr. Seuss' wonderful poems that capture some of my thoughts and emotions vis a vis this milestone that I hope you'll enjoy.
Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go...
OH! THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
is not easily done...
But on you will gothough the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak...
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)...
What thoughts/comments does this post bring to your mind? What do you remember about your graduation? What do you like (or dislike) about Dr. Seuss' poem?
You May Also Enjoy:
I Graduated! (Almost)
Reflections About Termination in Therapy
Facing the Past as You Help Others Heal
Healing Yourself as You Heal Others
Career Advice from Editor of The New Social Worker
Career Advice from a Dean of a Graduate School of Social Work