The second semester of my sophomore year something unexpected occurred.
I had just declared my major to Sociology the semester before and was finally on the path of pursuing the degree. However, I also decided to pursue a concentration through the Bridging Disciplines Program (BDP), which is an interdisciplinary approach to learning on a specific area (my interest was children and society).
One of the courses for the children & society BDP was the introductory course for social work. I decided to take the course as an elective and as my professor said, “there is no way you can take the intro course and not want to become a social work major,” and so I did. Now that I think on my decision, I can say that it has been one of the most fulfilling decisions of my life. Social work as a profession is something that many more people need to pursue; we need people to help others. But, most importantly, to serve as social advocates, which is my favorite part of the field.
My semesters as a social work major have been filled with learning about social issues that I deeply care about, especially in regards to children’s rights. One of the things that I have enjoyed the most is the community that exists in the social work school, especially the wonderful cohort that I have. Sure, it can be a bit much to have all your classes with the same people in the same room (it totally happened one semester), but it is truly refreshing to be surrounded by wonderful individuals that are so passionate about social change. Need I say more? I simply love having the opportunity to pursue this major. This past semester I had a neat opportunity to interview a social worker as part of one of my assignments and here is part of my experience.
As I prepare to begin my field work next semester, I am eager to learn from the experiences of social workers who are in direct practice. I had the privilege of interviewing a dedicated and willing to talk social worker, Laura E. Perkins. In between the explanation of her day-to-day work, the challenges and misconceptions of social work as a profession, and observing her handle an emergency situation while interviewing her, I was able to truly grasp an hour of “life as a social worker.” All in all, Mrs. Perkins offered some good advice for the beginning social worker. Simply put, she stated, “I am aware that I cannot save the world, but as a beginning social worker you are going to have this mentality that you will be able to save everyone, truth is you simply can’t, but there are certain things you have control over… perfect those.” Though I am very excited about my field experience, I am also anxious about what obstacles may present next semester. Nevertheless, I aspire to carry through my daily work routine with such passion and dedication as Mrs. Perkins.
Good luck to all who will be delving into the world of social work through field next semester, I am excited to hear everyone’s stories. Just in case you’re still in doubt of why social work is such a wonderful major, I leave you with this picture of the cookie cake that one of our professors bought for the class on the last day of class (that week we also got donuts, cookies, cupcakes— you name it! J ) — priceless.