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Everything posted by doctormelody

  1. Hey, sorry for the late response, but this is so interesting! We got a survey from the university but not from the SSW specifically. Have there been any updates since then? I know a lot of schools are changing their strategies now that things are looking so bleak. 😕
  2. How much debt are you considering taking out for this degree? I don't know much about medical social work but if you're already working in the field and don't want to do something specific like therapy which absolutely requires another degree and professional licensure, I would question the wisdom of attending, for sure. I'm sorry to hear about the local program screwing you over.
  3. Hi all! Sorry, I didn't see this thread before posting mine. I'm in the second year of my MSW program at Pitt and we haven't heard anything from the school of social work regarding fall in two months. I'm gearing up to send an email to the program director today but I wanted to get a sense of what other schools of social work are doing/how people are feeling about the situation before I do so, if possible.`
  4. Hi all. I'm just wondering how other schools of social work are handling the coronavirus situation. I am currently a second year student in Pitt's MSW program. I gave them a lot of grace in the spring because the situation was so unprecedented but at this point I haven't heard anything directly from the SSW in TWO MONTHS and according to the general Pitt schedule our classes are supposed to begin August 19th. More importantly, no one knows what is going on with internships. I still don't have a placement which is partially my own fault but it seems like Pitt is just leaving it up to individual field sites to be remote or not which feels kind of... insane? I personally am VERY skeptical that I will be able to get useful experience out of a remote field placement, especially seeing as it's my concentration year and I will be interning at this site for 720 hours. I don't want to pay $30,000 for a sub-par experience so I am thinking about taking a year off and trying to get a job working from home. I'm really curious to hear from other second year students but also those who are just starting their first year. If I take a year off and Covid is still a thing I feel like I might apply to transfer, too? If my degree is gonna be all online anyway, I might as well get it for much cheaper. Any thoughts?
  5. Thank you so much for your reply. I'm sorry it took me so long to respond; life has been crazy lately. If you don't mind me asking, what were your doubts and what did your professor say to change your mind, if you can recall it with any specificity? I don't really have anyone I can talk to about this besides my friends and my partner. My one professor that I really like and trust sits on the committee for a fellowship that I am applying to, so I can't really let her know how unsure I feel about everything. I haven't even told my friends in the program how I'm feeling because I'm too ashamed. If I don't get the fellowship, though (which at this point seems likely), maybe I'll see if she has time to meet with me. Your point about there being many other avenues in this field that I could pursue besides therapy is a good one. I guess I am scared that if I go the macro route I will be less employable because I feel there is nothing inherently special about me that would make me stand out to an employer, whereas it seems that more traditional social work jobs are usually pretty high in demand. I also hear your point about how having finished a degree looks better than dropping out halfway through in our elitist society. At this point I am really just doing a cost-benefit analysis as to whether having those three letters after my name is worth an additional 20,000 to 35,000 in debt, especially if I don't plan on following a career path where it would be required (for instance, if I was planning on getting my LCSW). It's a lot to consider but as I said before I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to leave such a thoughtful and helpful response to a somewhat incoherent post made in the throes of desperation. Thank you. Oh, also, for what it's worth, no one is making me feel shitty about my life choices but me, but I appreciate the encouragement! Perhaps I should dump negative me.
  6. Firstly, I just want to say thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful, nuanced, and quite frankly beautiful reply. I am so sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but I want you to know that not only did I find this very comforting to read, I think you make a lot of sense. I know that I have a tendency to view things in black-and-white, and yet, no matter how many times I think I have eradicated that particular unfortunate habit, it keeps popping up in new and different ways. So thank you so much for that insight; it is very well-taken. I like your point about anxiety being a bad fortune-teller. You're absolutely right that I do want some assurance that everything will be okay if I continue with social work - that I'll be happy and fulfilled and make decent money or at least be able to get by. And it is very hard to separate whether I have a genuine dislike for the work or whether it is my self-doubt and anxiety that is making me feel like I'll always feel miserable and incapable and that I've made a terrible mistake. I will say that my internship right now is very hard on me mentally (my field placement is in a community mental health agency) and that it may not be representative of the field as a whole. That being said, I feel different from my peers in that I don't have a passion for mental health; the DSM is boring to me and I'm more concerned with what material improvements can be made to people's lives rather than the specifics of their particular disorder. It's possible I might enjoy a macro-focus more, but I'm worried that this would lead to more uncertain employment prospects, and it's probably too late to change my concentration. My boyfriend said something the other day about how social work is kind of like bailing out a boat using a thimble and it struck me as very poignant. Maybe this is just my depressed brain talking and I certainly don't intend to be discouraging, but if my experience thus far in the field has taught me anything it's that the people I am trying to help would benefit far, far more from big structural changes in the way our society functions than from any support I might able to provide. I've always been a big picture, can't see the trees for the forest type of person, and I think I'm struggling to conceptualize dedicating my life to helping one person at a time with their individual problems, as noble and necessary as a pursuit that undoubtedly is. All that being said - you've helped me tremendously, and I appreciate it more than I can say. You seem like you're very good at this already, and whatever MSW program you choose (or have already chosen) will certainly be lucky to have you. Thank you.
  7. So, long story short, I’m almost halfway finished with my first year in an MSW program and I’m having serious doubts about whether this field is for me. Ever since I started thinking about pursuing this path I wanted to become a therapist, but I’m not even sure I believe in therapy anymore. I know there are many other possible career paths in the field, but tbh, I’m not sure I want to be involved with mental health at all anymore. It’s not my passion; it never has been. I pursued this because I thought it was practical (hilarious, I know, but my other idea for my life was to become an academic) and because I thought I might be good at it. I know it’s too soon to tell whether I’m capable, but I don’t know if I’m interested enough to find out. It feels like a bad sign that I already feel this much trepidation when it seems like everyone I know in the field is burned out, underpaid, and sad. I don’t really have another ideas for what I would do besides some half-baked dreams of becoming a journalist. I know I wouldn’t make any money in that field either if I was lucky enough to “make it” in some small way, and I’m not sure whether I possess the work ethic, talent, or intelligence to succeed in that industry. I have around 80k in student loan debt currently and it will be at the very minimum 100k by the time I am done with this program. I know it must seem like I’m obsessed with money, but I’ve never made more than 12,000 in a year and I am so tired of being poor. I would like to make at least 50k a year SOMEDAY and ideally more so that I can pay off my student loans and possibly even help my dad with the PLUS loans he took out for my undergrad in the sweet, misguided hope that I would amount to something in life. I would also like to not be a fucking albatross around my boyfriend’s neck for the rest of my life. I have tried to explore these feelings in therapy and it does not help. All my therapist does is say “wow, you’re really hard on yourself.” Last week she recommended a mental health IOP where some of my peers work. This is part of why I’m losing confidence in therapy, but it’s not just her; I haven’t made any significant progress in that arena in years. It seems all my therapists do is listen to me vent and collect a check. I have had a couple wonderful ones; but they have been few and far between, and I am starting to believe I am simply too broken to be helped. Which, of course, makes the idea of idea of me thing to help anyone else laughable at best and unethical at worst. I apologize if this doesn’t fit here, but I am desperate and grad cafe has helped me in the past. I know I am depressed and possibly not seeing things clearly, but it also seems evident that I have made quite the mess of my life. If anyone has any insight or has been through something similar and come out the other side ok and is willing to share that with me, I would be eternally grateful.
  8. I would recommend looking into some cheaper schools if an online program is your only option. I did extensive research on this back in January-February of this year and the cheapest ones I found were Boise State University, University of Central Florida, West Virginia University, and Louisiana State University. But you should do your own research, too. The info is sometimes hard to find but if you sign up to receive more information from certain schools they will try and set up an appointment to call you and sell you on their school, and you can use that phone call to ask them about the tuition per credit hour as well as any other questions you may have.
  9. What is your end goal and what are your other options? If you’re sure you want to be a social worker in the NYC area, it may be worth it. But you are doing the online program, correct? My understanding is that that would lead to fewer networking opportunities. Full disclosure, I turned down Columbia because of the debt, but I also only received 11,000 per year in scholarship funding.
  10. I have no choice but thanks for the warning. I’m very aware of the risks.
  11. I don't have any advice on whether it is possible to work full time while doing an MSW, never having done it, but as for the "paying rent somehow" - a lot of people take out loans to cover rent and other living expenses. This is probably what I'm gonna end up doing, in addition to working part time. It's not ideal, but I want this degree, lol.
  12. I don’t have any answers but I am also curious about the answer to this question!
  13. I completely agree with this. It's pretty normal to feel insecure and worn out after completing your undergrad - I certainly did. Personally, I found asking for recommendations to be the most challenging part of the process for me. The personal statement wasn't fun but I'm a strong writer so I think that helped. Everyone has their strengths, and it sounds like one of yours is definitely your extensive volunteer and leadership experience. I agree with @harpert1 that taking two years off to work and volunteer in the field could be beneficial, but I also recognize that that's easier said than done. In the end you just have to do what's right for you, but I definitely recommend applying to more than one program just in case. There are several good ones in the Chicago area if that's where you wanna be. Good luck to you! You got this.
  14. Seconded. I understand the anxiety, believe me, I do, but one year isn't gonna make a huge difference in the grand scheme of your life.
  15. This is just my two cents but if you're considering staying in VA at all I think you should go to VCU. I've heard from multiple people that VA has some of the strictest licensing requirements in the country (also heard that about NY and California, but it was corroborated by fewer people) which makes it very difficult to practice in VA if you didn't get your license in the state. My old therapist, for example, had to take I think two or three additional classes at VCU after being licensed for ten years in Maryland in order to practice in VA. You may already know this, but I just wanted to make sure you were aware. As @ML878 said, it really just depends on where you want to end up. You should think about where you see yourself living and working long-term and make a choice based on that. Both schools have good reputations in their respective areas so it just depends on where you wanna be. It's a tough choice! Best of luck.
  16. Has anyone registered for classes yet? I almost did it last week but then I remembered reading something about how you need to live in PA for 12 months before registering as a student in order to get in state tuition and I got worried. I found the web page again, but it seems like they take other factors into account as well? http://payments.pitt.edu/pa-tuition-rate-eligibility/ Can anyone help me figure this out? I have no idea how to figure out what they're going to charge me and I'm scared to call them in case it makes them realize they've made a mistake and I should be charged out of state tuition. I really don't think I should be considering I've lived in PA since last August and I'm registered to vote here and everything, but I'm still anxious about it and any help would be greatly appreciated!
  17. Yeah, that's crazy. I applied last year on the 15th and was accepted on April 16th, but they also took upwards of three months to get back to some people who submitted in November/December, so I was just grateful they only took two months to get back to me. It definitely seems like their admissions process could use some fine-tuning. Wishing you all the best!
  18. Thank you! Yeah, I was in a similar position. I was offered a scholarship at Columbia as well, but it was only 11,000 a year and of course the cost is astronomical. Congratulations to you as well and best of luck with everything!
  19. I decided to wait another year and this cycle I only applied to the University of Pittsburgh. I was accepted and I will be matriculating this fall, barring any other major life changes. I don't know that I have any special insight other than that I really wanted to go and it seems like an excellent program! I love New Orleans so much, it may be my favorite city on Earth, and certainly in the US. One thing I would say is make sure to check whether your scholarship is for one year or two - it was my understanding that they only offer scholarships for the first year, which you probably know, but if you didn't, that would be a nasty surprise!
  20. Jealous! I was admitted to Tulane last year with a scholarship also but due to limited job opportunities for my partner in the area, I chose not to attend. The money factor was also daunting considering they only offered the scholarship for one year. Congratulations!
  21. When did you apply? Just asking because I applied on the 2/15 deadline last year and didn't hear back until April 16th (I was accepted, but chose not to go because they only offered me 11,000 in aid). It is definitely very frustrating but I don't think calling them and demanding a decision is the best thing to do if you actually want to go.
  22. Huh, that’s weird, I got something about setting up my email and about field placement today. Did you not get those emails?
  23. This is a good option if you can swing it.
  24. Gotcha, I mean that makes sense since it's a for-profit school. I would never consider attending a program at a school that didn't have an established reputation as well as a brick-and-mortar campus. Thanks for replying!
  25. This is fascinating, would you mind specifying which online schools you are talking about that employers won’t consider? I feel like as long as it’s an accredited program, it shouldn’t matter, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
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