The changing seasons can mean different things to different people - rain, allergies, vacations, stress - but to us college seniors it only means one thing, graduation! As the end of the semester approaches, we are finishing up our assignments, picking up our gowns, decorating our caps, and getting ready to enter our desired fields.
While graduation parties may have been a bigger deal for high school graduation, I doubt any college graduate will turn down a gift or two this May, and as a social worker, we have a specific set of needs regarding our work lives and our personal lives. Here's a list of 10 gifts every social worker will want and need this May.
Because we are just like any other poor graduate with a mountain of debt to answer to.
Keeping a planner is not just for students. Countless meetings, home visits, appointments, with clients and any other office activities will likely be forgotten if you don't keep a detailed calendar of your work and maybe your personal life, as a social worker.
Let's be real, we preach self-care but we run on caffeine and three hours of sleep.
Nothing is worse than caring a purse and a work bag or having a work bag that is uncomfortable to carry. A quality bag can really make the difference here in the short and long term.
5. A New Laptop
Like any other normal college student, we are probably still rocking the laptop that got 4-6 years ago when they started this journey. Or even one from high school, either way, it is probably time for a new one and it will definitely be important now that we won't be at the school library 24/7.
Social workers are all about self-care so while we'd like to pack super healthy prepared lunches we don't always practice what we preach and lunches are usually quick or taken while simultaneously working. Having gift cards to something quick and cheap like Taco Bell or something on the healthier side like Panera.
7. Anything Having To Do With Their Hobbies
Okay so this probably sounds strange and vague, but going back to the self-care concept, as a social worker it can be really difficult to take care of yourself when you are trying to take care of everyone else. Making sure we take time for ourselves and our own interests is so important to combat burnout, so if the social work grad you know is into gardening or photography or sports or whatever, a gift that promotes them spending time on those hobbies will be much appreciated!
Part of having good self-care is knowing when your stress is appropriately handled with a bubble bath, a healthy meal, or a drink. A good bottle of wine will definitely come in handy in the upcoming weeks of job hunting or when beginning a new job.
Social workers have to do quite a bit of traveling, even if they aren't community-based. Meetings, home visits, and special events make it so most social work jobs require a license and vehicle. A lot of time you can be reimbursed for this mileage, but having gift cards on hand for gas will still be helpful.
The NASW is the National Association of Social Workers. To be a member you have to be a social worker or a social work student. Perks can range from being included on the email listing for different social engagements to social justice topics and training seminars and confrences. A membership like this is very valuable in the field as a means for networking and gaining continued education as required in our profession.
11. Your Time
Giving someone items you know they like will always make someone feel great, but as social workers, we really value the interactions and connections we have with other people, especially our loved ones. Setting aside time to spend whether it's going to dinner and drink or staying in for a night of relaxing we will appreciate the thought and bonding time.
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