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Journal #2: Feeling Overwhelmed with Purpose

This week I finished my last first week of graduate school. I'm just a few months away from graduating and getting my first job as an MSW. I chose to pursue an MSW because it would give me the flexibility to do anything I want. It's just that now there are SO MANY THINGS I WANT. I have been thinking about all the different paths I can take as a social worker and all the goals I want to achieve. I can't even organize it all in my head.

I keep thinking about what brought me to social work and all the populations that need help.

I keep reading about all the roles social workers take on.

I keep thinking about all my passions that exist outside of social work (ie fitness, nutrition).

I feel pulled in so many different directions, and I'm also simply worried that I won't find a job quickly after graduating. So, to take care of myself, I am going to make a plan to calm all the crazy in my head:

  1. Remember that I cannot save the world all by myself, but my role matters so long as I make even a tiny difference. Every time I make a client feel heard, every time I stand up for what is right, every time I show someone I care, it will matter.

  2. Remember that complex problems require complex solutions. If I can help in a small way and others help in their small ways, it all adds up. Creating change requires creativity: Several smaller, interrelated solutions rather than one huge solution.

  3. Remember that my career will be long and always changing. I work with children in a clinic now, I may be working in a totally different niche later. Some career changes will come my way unexpectedly and others I will choose. I just need to be open, eager, and true to myself.

  4. Remember that I will burn myself out caring about everything. As social workers, we do our best to try to be informed about social problems. It's not that I can't show care about any given social problem, but I can't worry myself too much trying to fix every single one. What are the few problems that I care about most? There are other people better suited to help fix the ones I cannot, and I will gladly support them as they do.

  5. Remember that I don't have to figure it all out on my own. I can write down all my ideas as they come to me so that I can make sense of them, but I have people who support me. I have good family, good friends, a good boyfriend, good colleagues, and good supervisors. It will be okay.

I wanted to write this journal because I am sure I am not alone in this. All I can really do right now is be in the now. I am still a student and intern. For now, I just have to do my best in those roles.


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