10 Things Social Work Majors Are Tired Of Hearing

10 Things Social Work Majors Are Tired Of Hearing

We are not baby snatchers!
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As a social work major, you most likely have a love for people and helping others! If you are not a people person, perhaps you have picked the wrong major. But, that is a different story! Social work majors are friendly, loving and put up with ALOT! Because our profession will have us working with different populations and different scenarios daily. Future social workers are prepared and ready for what the world has to throw at them. However, it is hard to grin and be happy go lucky when you constantly are being told that your future job is going to make little to no money. More than likely, if you ask a social work major why this is their chosen major, they will tell you they enjoy helping others. They might even tell you a social worker influenced their life in some way and this is their way of giving back to the help they once had.

Below is a list of things social workers are tired of hearing! Believe me, we get asked these all the time and it is getting old real quick!

1. "Clearly, you are not in the social work profession for the money. Because you know that you are going to be broke, right?"

Well, Suzy Sunshine, I actually will make a decent income for myself. Please educate yourself on the hundreds of professions I can obtain with my bachelor's degree, and then consider how much more I will make with my master's and even Ph.D For the love of all that is holy, please do not tell a social work major they are going to make no money! Even though this is a rewarding career, we still plan to make a living and make a difference!

2. "Oh, so you are going to be a baby snatcher?"

Not all social workers work in child protective services (CPS), and the term baby snatcher is offensive and incorrect. We prefer doing what is best for the child's lives rather than snatching them!

3. "What do social workers even do?"

Have you ever put your grandparent in the nursing home? Have you ever met someone that needed help with addiction? Has a loved one ever passed away in a hospital? Have you ever been to counseling? Do you have someone you know in jail? We do a lot, look around and you will most likely find a social worker everywhere you go.

4. "Good luck finding a job!"

Where there are people, there will be a need for social workers.

5. "Is there really a growing need for social workers?"

People need help every single day, so yes there is a growing need! Social workers are in high demand.

6. "What an easy major!"

Yes, it is so easy! I have a 30-page research paper, assessments to evaluate a client's needs, a 400+ hour internship where I have my own clients, and a whole bunch of ethics I follow daily. Yes, do tell us how easy you think that is and get back to me.

7. "You must be a real people person."

If I did not like people, I would most likely be in the wrong major. Seeing as social workers help people.

8. "So, you must really like working with poor people?"

Social workers work with all populations. Not everyone is poor. Middle and upper-class people might even need our help. Example: placing a loved one in a nursing home, death of a family member and individual or marriage counseling.

9 ."Why do you want to help people that who clearly cannot help themselves?"

This question makes us angry. Everyone at some point in their lives becomes vulnerable and need help. Think of that next time you need help.

10. "Oh, so you want to work with kids?"

Social workers do not just work with kids. We work with all ages!



Next time you want to ask a social work major a question, please refrain from the top 10 listed. We do so much more than "snatch babies" and if you want to Google our income, feel free because it is probably more than you thought!


Cover Image Credit: My own photo

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When People Respond to My Major With 'You Better Have a Rich Husband'

The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

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This past week I have been working at the local elementary school's art camp as an assistant teacher. I've been helping with the camp for three years, and I've worked at a preschool as well. Now I'm in college at the University of North Alabama as an Elementary Education major. More and more lately, I'm getting a sour face when I tell people that I'm an education major." Be prepared to be poor," they say. "You better get a rich husband."

But I'm here to argue against the preconceived notion that I have picked my career based solely upon the fact that I won't make as much as a doctor or engineer. Is this the mindset that you want the people who are teaching your children to have? If so, good luck to you and your family. I've been incredibly blessed by my short time spent with kids so far. Working with children has greatly improved my life and I'll tell you why.

Working with kids is not easy by any definition; I think that's something we can all agree with. But isn't that what makes it so wonderful? I've always heard that being a teacher takes a special kind of person, but I wholeheartedly believe that working with kids makes you into a special person. The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

I know you could see this one coming: kids are patience builders.

Coming from a perfectionist who began teaching with a low tolerance for anything that went wrong, I've learned a lot about patience. Children are just learning, just beginning their lives. They haven't had enough experience to shape their conscious or moral standards. In their eyes, they have two models to form their foundation upon: their parents, and those around them. So how can we expect anything less than occasionally acting out or making mistakes? Maybe we're the ones they're modeling their silly behavior after at times. Kids may get into more trouble than we prefer, but we love them all the same.

Kids are, sometimes brutally, unquestionably honest.

If your hair is frizzy and sticking up everywhere, then they'll let you know that you look like a porcupine. Or why, they'll ask with a giggle, are those red bumps all over your face? I'm so thankful that I don't even have to keep myself humble; the kids do it for me… and I don't even have to ask! They will never hesitate to point out your flaws or mistakes, even if it's something that you're trying to conceal; you can never underestimate a child's observation skills. They continue to impress me every day.

They stay optimistic.

It doesn't matter if they've never painted before; they're going to paint a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex for their dad and he's going to love it. Being an optimistic person myself, it gives me high hopes to be around children who love life and look for the good in people. I think their optimism is quite contagious. If only I could catch onto being so excited about something that early in the morning.

Also, with children comes continuous laughter and fun.

Working with them brings out the 5-year-old in me (not that I don't act like I'm five years old all the time). Whether it's bringing inanimate objects to life or imaginary friends, kids know how to have fun no matter the circumstance. You have to be creative with them, constantly making up games and characters to keep up with their imagination. You kids keep me young... or age me twice as fast. You decide.

Their innocence is refreshing.

They haven't experienced the world yet to spoil their minds, and I continuously wish that I could be so innocent minded. In the words of Patrick Rothfuss, “When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind." You took the words right out of my mouth, Rothfuss. It's nice to be around little ones so untainted.

They're always there to lift you up.

There is truly no better feeling than a child making something for you, because they used their time and their resources that they could've spent doing anything else. When I have my own classroom, I'll be eager to display all of the gifts my kids have graciously given me. They love seeing their work hanging up because they know we treasure it. But the tangible gifts are only a small portion of what truly matters, which is the sentiment that I so often receive from kids. If I'm down and out, they can tell. If they run up and give me a hug or a smile so big, it never fails to brighten my day.

Lastly and most importantly, kids are authentic.

They're completely themselves, because the cruel world hasn't given them a reason not to be. They're unashamedly bold and that's something that we should all strive for. Kids are friends with whoever they want, and they don't distinguish each other by race or beliefs, but simply see each other for who they are. It's OK to be different. As the older generation, it's our job to set an example for our kids to be themselves and to love life.

Now you understand how interacting with students has shaped me as a person, and I'm sure those who have been around kids would agree. My passion for teaching has given me so much more than I ever thought it would, and I've barely gotten started. I can't wait to see how much I've grown as a person at the end of my journey.

So next time you cringe at the life decisions one has made because of financial reasons, consider that they have a huge heart for teaching and all that it entails. Maybe they're in it for more than simply the money. Never discredit an individual's passions because of your worldly attitude.

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Ever Since College, I've Had Two Different Homes, And I Couldn't Be More Grateful

Home is where the heart is, but my heart is in two places.

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Your first steps on campus are such a remarkable feeling. You are officially a college student. You feel the flooding of emotions, from excitement to insecurities. I remember asking myself, what am I doing here at a giant school like LSU? Will I ever feel confident enough to walk around without a GPS? I was also thrilled about the future. I'm on my own, there's no dress code, how bad could this be? It is a completely fresh start, and there are no security blankets.

You are basically living on your own for the first time, dealing with the most freedom you've ever had, and starting a completely new phase in life. All these feelings at one time can feel pretty overwhelming. Now I can look back at my freshman year and laugh, after finding my place. Freshman year is a time of meeting new people, getting comfortable, and dealing with new emotions you haven't had before. The strangest feeling I encountered was learning to have two homes.

I define home as a place where you feel most comfortable, whether that is because of friends and family, certain foods, or a literal place. Home is what (or where) makes you happiest. It is where you can truly relax and be yourself with the support of those around you.

The two-home feeling slowly kicks in throughout your first year of college. First semester, you are enjoying the different places and people, just taking in the new places around you. But on the other hand, it is pretty hard. At the slightest inconvenience, you may feel like your world is falling apart. Your parents aren't there to comfort you, your lifelong friends aren't there to understand what you're going through, and you just miss being home. You are excited about the future, but still want pieces from your past. It is what you're used to. You feel independent, but you still get lonely.

Coming back to campus after a month-long Christmas break, you become a lot more grateful for being away from home. You begin to enjoy your dorm set up, you get closer to your friends at college, and you start to find your place on campus. Before you know it, the end of the year has come and it's time to move back home for the summer. Then that same feeling you faced in August comes back.

You realize that your "home" is different, and you might be more confident about your college life.

Now you are faced with the feeling of having two homes. When you are at school, a part of you misses home. When you are at home, a part of you misses being on campus. It is almost the feeling of being incomplete. You want to share experiences with both, like your family coming to visit one weekend or your friends visiting your hometown during a holiday break.

This may sound bleak, but when you think about it, what a wonderful problem to have. How lucky are you to have not one, but two places that make you feel overwhelmingly happy? Two places where you can be yourself without fearing any judgment. You have two homes where you can comfortably be yourself surrounded by people that love and support you.

Cover Image Credit:

Avery Bracken

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