11 Things No One Tells You About Being A Social Work Major
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11 Things No One Tells You About Being A Social Work Major

Get ready to eat, sleep, and breathe the Code of Ethics.

11 Things No One Tells You About Being A Social Work Major
Katie Bogle

Like many other naive college students, I did not know what I was wanting to do with the rest of life when I began as a freshman. I toyed with the idea of being a psychology major, then an education major, and ended up as a social work major.

Once I settled in the pre-social work program, I could tell it was the right fit for me, but I did not really know what I was getting myself into. I will be graduating in December and I'm still not quite sure what I am doing with my life. What I do know is that I am in one of the greatest programs my school has to offer. There are some things that my advisor and older classmates did not tell me, but I would have liked to know when I entered the program.

1. You will find that most of your classmates share similar personality traits.

Social workers tend to be outgoing, organized, emotional, and sometimes downright crazy. Because of this, come of the students in your cohort will become your greatest friends. They will understand and be open to hearing your viewpoints and opinions on social problems and personal dilemmas. You will begin to want your classmates' opinions about everything!

2. The thoughts you had about the world will be challenged in more ways than you thought possible.

Not everything in your sophomore history textbook was completely accurate information. In many cases, the information in textbooks and media is one-sided. Only a small part of the presented information is what happened.

3. There are not many exams.

Get ready to write! Most assessments are in the form of a paper (in APA!!!) or a presentation. Almost everything is research based so get familiar with databases that search for scholarly journals and articles. Don’t be afraid to go to the library, either. While there are great journals online, some of the best information still comes from a handy dandy book in the nonfiction section.

4. Group work will make up a majority of your classes.

Research presentations and service projects are almost always done in pairs or groups. Just like all group work, this can be a blessing and this can be a curse. You are most likely to enjoy your project more if you are able to choose your groups, but not getting to choose isn't the end of the world. Maybe you will find a new friend in your unchosen group member.

5. You will start thinking with your “social work brain” while not in class.

And your non-social work friends won’t understand your viewpoints.You will view most situations that come up with an open mind and may even begin to assess what is going on and apply it to theories you have learned in class. This is not a bad thing! This means you are passionate about your field and are understanding what your classes are about. Later in life, you will lean to differentiate your work life and your home life so that your work does not follow you everywhere.

6. No matter how many times you tell your friends and family that social work isn’t all about taking kids from their parents, this is what they will think.

No matter how many times you explain to the people close to you what a social worker does, they will have the pop culture stereotype in their mind. (I’m hopeful that this will change once I have my degree and am working in the field.)

7. The social work degree is very versatile.

Yes, you can work for Child Protective Service and remove kids from unsafe homes, and yes, you can work in a foster placement program of these children. These are only a few of the many things you can do with your social work degree. You can work with kids, young adults, or the elderly. You can be a caseworker, therapist, or probation officer.

8. Most BSW jobs are casework based.

Most, but not all, jobs for bachelor’s level social work graduates are casework oriented. This does not mean these jobs are meaningless. Caseworkers are in important part of the social work field. Some tasks caseworkers complete are conducting initial intakes for information and helping clients find resources that fit their needs

9. You won’t always feel comfortable.

Social work classes tackle the tough subjects. Talking about subjects like pedophilia, suicide, and the sexually active elderly won’t always be fun and easy, but it is necessary. When you get out of your comfort zone, you may discover you have a passion for one of these tough areas.

10. You may cry.

You may cry when you watch a documentary in class on poverty. You may cry when you discuss the prevalence of child sexual assault.

Crying is a side effect of passion. You cry when these things happen because you are passionate about what you are/aren’t doing, what needs to be brought to the world’s attention, and what laws need to be changed.

11. You will have a blast.

College will be some of the best years of your life. This is not only a cliche saying, but true. The fun comes once you find belonging in your major. While sitting in my very first social work class, I realized that social work is where I belonged. I felt at home. I have been at home in the bachelor’s of social work program for almost three years and have had fun the entire time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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