In just a few short weeks I will officially be a Social Worker. I will have that "BSW" behind my name. I will no longer be a social worker in training, the title will finally be mine.
When I decided 4 years ago that I wanted to study social work, I didn't get the best response. People always asked "why" in a snarky tone and had all the opinions in the world about my future career. "You're not going to make any money" "You're going to deal with some really crazy people" "You're going to burn out quickly"... the list goes on and on. At first I believed them. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I didn't know what the heck I was doing, but I had to have a major and I couldn't see myself doing anything else.
And then I started classes and every semester I started feeling more and more like a social worker. I knew the career that I had chosen was exactly the right fit for me despite all of the opinions everyone else had for my career choice.
As I become a social worker, I now understand that my job is not like any other job. My job requires attention to people's lives at all times. My job is to comfort, to empathize, and to serve. That is not like any other normal job.
As I become a social worker, I'm starting to get nervous but I'm also excited at the same time. I mean after all, there's a lot of pressure that comes with it. I will deal with people and their lives every day. Their mental health, futures, and children could be affected by me. What I say, what I do, and how I react could affect their progress.
As I become a social worker, I could be the gateway into a new life for every person I serve. My job is to listen, support, and advocate for people who don't have much of a voice. My job is to give hope into the lives of people who don't have much hope left.
As I become a social worker, I have realized that it's not about me anymore. I have realized that these people rely on me. For advice, for encouragement, and for positivity.
Being a social worker isn't easy. There are probably going to be times when I want to give up, when I lose hope, when it doesn't seem like it's worth it. But that "BSW" behind my name isn't for nothing.
Being a social worker means that sometimes people aren't going to comply with you, sometimes you're going to work so hard for a client for them to just relapse, sometimes you're going to make a child cry because you're taking them away from their abusive parents, sometimes you're going to watch people mourn horrible losses and you'll have to try to come up with the best words to soothe them, sometimes you're going to hear how a client was raped, assaulted, and beat almost to death, and sometimes the conversations are going to be hard. But I am a social worker. And being a social worker isn't easy.
But those stories, those hard times, those moments when it may not seem like you can do it. You can. Because those people are relying on you to believe them, to support them, to stand by their side when everyone else has given up.
As I become a social worker, I understand that "I'm not going to make a lot of money" "I'm going to be dealing with some really interesting people" and sometimes "I may feel like I'm burning out" but it's all worth it because I get to help people become a better version of themselves every day. I get to see people grow, develop, and recover. I get to see people make a decision to better themselves, to get help, and to go from rock bottom to happier than ever.
As I become a social worker, I get to help the helpless. That's what it's all about.
"The only thing worth doing is what we do for others" - Alice in Wonderland