I Love My Major, Here's Why

I Love My Major, Here's Why

March is National Social Work Month.

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In honor of National Social Work, I am going to be discussing just a few of the reasons that I love being a social work major.

1. The People

The people I get to work with on a daily basis at my practicum are incredible. They are some of the most resilient people that I have ever met. They try to make the best out of negative circumstances in their own way (which is sometimes not the right way), but hey, they are trying.

They are moving forward; maybe not as quickly as the social worker would like, but they are moving forward. The people (clients, peers, and colleagues) make it so worth it and they are all part of the reason as to why I love this major as much as I do.

2. The Outside The Classroom Experiences

When I first declared social work as my major, I never would have thought that there would be so many out of classroom experiences that I was going to learn from. I've been able to connect with and volunteer at organizations I probably never would have thought of if it weren't for my major.

Volunteering within the social work major is huge because it is such a broad field, so it is vital that anyone who is a social work major is engaging within the community and volunteering because how else are you going to know what you like and dislike in the field once you graduate if you haven't done it before.

I have also been fortunate enough to visit different social service agencies within my community and learn more about what they do. I have also been able to do a practicum spanned over the course of two semesters which has taught me so much about the field of social work.

I've been able to gain so much experience and knowledge because of all of the outside the classroom experiences I have had and I love that so much!

3. The Work

The work is hard, but so rewarding. Working with some of the most vulnerable people is not an easy thing to do. You hear stories that enrage you, stories that make you cry, stories that are so beyond complicated that you have no idea what to do, and stories that make you happy.

Social work is not all rainbows and sunshine, but it is so worth it. What makes it work it is when you start to see the successes of those you are working with. It is hard work, but I would not have picked anything else.

4. My Cohort 

You guys, I really got blessed with my little cohort of future social workers. I have fairly small classes which are loaded with group projects and role-plays. They are not just people who I see in class and never talk to outside of it, we are friends. We do things when we can outside of our classes.

Last year we went to brunch right before our last final of the semester as a way to celebrate. We celebrate each other's wins and highs, but we are also there for the lows. We also work really well together and nobody is afraid of reaching out for some help when it is needed. Some classes are not as fortunate as I am when it comes to being close with their cohorts. These are truly some of my favorite people and I will miss them dearly once we graduate.

5. The Professors

I've had such incredible professors over the past four years of college. They have been some of the most caring and understanding professors I have ever had. When my dad was in the hospital and having surgery on my first day of classes (which meets once a week), they assured me that there was no worry and that the hospital was exactly where I needed to be.

They have assured me, pushed me, and challenged me to think outside the box over the past four years and I could not be more grateful for everything they have poured into my life.

Getting to celebrate National Social Work month is such a fun time for me. I've been able to help plan events and celebrate my major and future career. I could not imagine writing about anything other than my love for social work during this month. I've been so fortunate to love my major the way I do, to have the people that I do, and to have the experiences I have been able to have. I love my major!

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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I'm A Completely Different Person After Freshman Year Compared To Who I Was Before College

I feel around 10 years old because college really puts a real-world perspective on things, where independence is key and no one is there to hold one's hand. It is your life and your life only. And, that just seemed so crazy. High school seemed way too long ago.

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From last year to this year, I came into Rutgers scared of the amount of change that college would bring to my life. From the first couple of weeks, when my roommate and I were trapped on the weekend bus for 2 hours because we didn't understand how it worked, being drenched by torrential pouring during freshman convocation, and missing the football game because we couldn't buy tickets, college didn't seem like it was going to turn out well. And, several times in and out, it proved that it was going to live up to that shitty expectation.

However, I am glad to say (although it took a long time) that I have finally established a really good group of friends, made some awesome memories, and cannot regret how much I did get myself involved in Rutgers through various clubs and activities. This year, I got myself involved with the supply chain club BASE (Business Analytics for Supply Chain Expertise) and found exactly what major I wanted to do. In addition, I got myself involved with the Rutgers Ballroom Dancing club and did something I never thought I would ever do. Still, I suck at ballroom dancing, but there's so much room for improvement that three more years will definitely change.

And, for anyone who is still struggling to find out what major they should do, I really suggest that you join various clubs and activities around campus. Starting off with signing up for EVERYTHING you can at the involvement fair. And, I. MEAN. EVERYTHING. Especially as a business student that didn't know what she was doing at first, it is a great opportunity to just join and go to a couple of meetings. If the club or activity is not for you, you should leave. But, don't knock it till you try it.

My general advice for those of y'all coming in or still living through college is to just go for anything that you want to do. But, keep in mind rejection might be at the doorstep. Life and the real world displayed in college that it is necessary to develop that thicker upper layer. However, know that if you fail here, it's okay, there's so much more places you are going to fail. And, so many more places you will succeed. And, if people in life didn't fail, it just makes success less valuable.

And, also, remember to designate some alone time, which is super important because college is a series of interactions and running around to class, clubs, or work. It can get hectic and even if you aren't talking to people necessarily in each setting, it is SUPPERRR nice just to lay back once in a while and be ABSOLUTELY Alone. It helps recharge and being by yourself is sometimes a luxury if one has a roommate. From worrying about making friends or fitting in, to having a group of great friends that would surprise me on my birthday (a week before finals week), is more than I could have ever asked for.

And, when I look back, I've really aged from start to finish. I feel around 10 years old because college really puts a real-world perspective on things, where independence is key and no one is there to hold one's hand. It is your life and your life only. And, that just seemed so crazy. High school seemed way too long ago. And, although there were some points in time that I wished for freshman year to be over, I appreciated everything that happened this year.

And, although some of my floormates were crazy, I'm really going to miss my weed-smelling dorm and all of its memories. But, what I won't miss is that this semester has also been the first time I failed a test in YEARS. And, I have statistics for business to thank for that.

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