6 Lessons from Social Work

7:00 AM


In August, I started my first semester of graduate school. It's been nothing like I expected, but that may be because every major and every program are different. One thing that I didn't expect was just how certain yet confused I would be about social work, my future career, and even my personal life. I could share theories or studies with you, but really the best lessons that I've learned so far have been different things my professors and guest speakers have said. They're applicable to everyone, and you never know when you'll need to remember these lessons.

Everything has a price. If you don't know what that price is, you eventually will. Just like we sometimes have to do with money, sometimes we have to see what different things "cost" and figure out what we can "afford."

We are the only experts of our own lives. While this is empowering, it's also a lot of responsibility! This means that people can only help you by using what you've shared with them. It also means that no one can tell you what you can or can't do.

Find your compassion. We are so quick to judge others, and it truly isn't fair. If the cashier screams at a customer who did nothing wrong, there may be a reason. If a mother gives her kid the iPad so she can have 10 minutes to herself for a hot shower, let her have her moment of peace. If someone has a drinking problem, see what you can do to support them. Just feel for them and accept them without judgment.


Create your own mindfulness. Mindfulness doesn't just have to be meditation and silence. It can be coloring, practicing mindful eating, taking in your surroundings at a coffee shop, or simply redirecting yourself when your mind wanders. I personally love sitting somewhere and using each of my senses, one by one, to take in my surroundings. I try different methods when I can, but they can all be very helpful for you.

We are all doing the best we can with what we have and what we know. Our best is constantly changing, and hopefully always improving. We don't all have the same resources, knowledge, or skills, but we do all have the ability to be our best selves in our current situations.

Find the "why." Figure out why you're doing something or not doing something, and change it if you can. This could be figuring out why your diets never work or figuring out why exactly you love blogging. It can be a positive, negative, complex, or simple process, but it's likely worthwhile.

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