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Journal #5: Thoughts From One MSW Student During COVID-19

While I cannot speak for all MSW students, and I recognize how blessed I am during this time, I am hoping that my experiences can help others feel not alone.

The hardest part is staying focused and motivated. Where I am at, there has been rain and gloom, which doesn’t help. What would have previously taken me one hour to do, will take me several hours (or days) to start and several hours to do. Many of my friends have shared this same experience, so I hope anyone reading this can know that this is okay.

It has helped a lot to see those posts online that say: “We are not working from home. We are working through a pandemic. It is not the same.” We are adapting and adjusting. Just try your best.

Where I Am With Internship

You may know that I am a 2nd-year MSW student. March 13th is the last day I was able to step foot into my field placement. Since then, I have been lucky enough to continue sessions with clients via video call or phone call. However, I do need to supplement my 20 hours/week with trainings and making resource lists.

Luckily, my clients are mostly doing fine. It is very hard not seeing them. I have tried to help them get access to resources as needed and talk them through all these changes. Though, some clients (mainly middle schoolers) don’t quite want to talk. It’s understandable, and I try not to push them.

Where I am With School

I have not stepped foot on my campus since March 11th. Thankfully, most of my professors are being flexible with us. They have changed assignments to make it easier for us.

I notice two main professor mentalities (and a combo of the two): (1) these students are under stress, let’s make it as easy as possible and (2) these students are about to graduate, I need to help them absorb this material so they can succeed.

While both mentalities are good-natured, it seems hard to please all students. However, from each unique student’s perspective, that is understandable, too.

My graduation date is now TBD... That was hard to accept, and I hope I still get to celebrate it. My heart goes out to all other 2020 graduates, especially 1st-generation students and high school students who have not gotten to experience any graduation.

Where I am at Home

I live in a city where the spread of COVID-19 was early and has gotten large, and I do not live in a very safe area. So, I am lucky that my parents opened their doors for me in a much safer city. Still, I miss my apartment, and I definitely do not love paying rent for a place I am not staying in. 

I cannot see my grandparents or family members who are possibly exposed to the virus due to their work… but everyone is currently healthy.

This is a time where relationships are also stressed. I have certainly had some unhappy conversations fueled by outside (COVID-19) stressors.

The Good

I have seen friends rally together. Friends and acquaintances are sharing resources. Mental health professionals are making online groups or giving out free resources or trainings to help each other out.

On that same note, friends and coworkers have extended invitations to connect virtually and offer each other support. In some ways, alot of us are more vulnerable and honest with each other than ever before.

My family is still rallying together where we can. Whether it’s Zoom, online Facebook groups, shipping someone needed supplies, or arranging a driving parade to show love to my grandparents.

Communities have rallied to help vulnerable populations and support local businesses.

Final Thoughts

I think most people are doing their best, and I do think that good can still overpower bad. I am trying to give myself some grace, and I hope anyone reading this does the same. So, to me and to you:

Try your best, you’re doing great.

Self care is still important. Take a breath and think of just your next step.

It’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling, but for your own health, take a moment to note things to be grateful for.

To anyone going through a hard time or in the front lines, you are awesome. My thoughts and prayers (if you want them) are with you.

Please let me know what kind of articles you’d like to see in the future!

Check me out on Instagram @eagersocialworker for post updates!

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