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Worried/Freaking Out/Confused


roxyshoe

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Hi ya'll...so the title of this post is kind of summing up my thoughts right now.

I am "freaking out" for two major reasons:

1) I am really concerned about the field work position. I am going to be at Michigan, which does not have great public transit, and now my field work advisor is making it seem like it will be impossible for me to get a field work position in Ann Arbor (I cannot drive). Honestly the way she has been emailing me about makes it seem like my application is hopeless and there's no way I'd get into anywhere competitive...I guess a lot of the Ann Arbor positions have only one slot, and being that I don't have any prior social work/clinical experience I suppose it's just really unlikely.

- On that note, it is seeming more likely that I will end up getting a field work position not much in line with my interests. Has this happened to any of you/do you think it will decrease my chance of getting a position more related in my second year?

2) Well, I am basically worried that I made the wrong decision. Not only with grad school, but also with what I chose to major in in undergrad and everything. I have tons of interests, and back in October I was still struggling with what to do in life. I decided on social work because it was practical and involves my psychology interests, plus it is hands-on. But now I am suddenely worried it's not for me...like I won't fit in, won't enjoy my courses, etc. I feel like this is somewhat normal in general...but I also feel like going to grad school (and paying lots of money for it) means you should KNOW you're taking on something you love. Maybe I should have taken a year off... I guess I don't want to go and then drop out because I hate it...or worse go through all two years, have all that debt, then move my career into another direction.

I really hope all this is paranoia and I end up loving social work. Does anyone have life advice or thoughts or anything?

Thanks and sorry for the rant :)

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I think a little bit of freaking out before a big change is pretty common but, some of the things you mentioned are big like not being able to drive if you need to. Most schools I applied to mentioned it was a requirement to have a car because they can´t promise a placement close to the school. Would you be able to purchase a cheaper used car? Also, freaking out about whether or not you really want to be in social work is something to take some time to consider. It is a lot of money to spend for a career that you might not want down the road. Your emotions could just be all over the place because of the struggles of moving and getting going in this direction or they could mean more. Take time before school starts to really think about it.

About the fieldwork placement. All placements have to meet certain requirements so it is hard to imagine that they wouldn´t be good placements. Some are of course better than others. Maybe what they are telling you is that to get a good placement you may have to commute to it.

Edited by allyba
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No experience with social work, but I'm from the area. What about Ypsilanti? Michigan in general has terrible public transit, but the AATA buses pretty much all have Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti routes, and it's a high-need area.

Edited by TypeA
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From what I can tell, your first year field placement might be very different from the second year. Most field sites prefer or even require second year students because they have more experience. It's also very likely you might be placed somewhere that is not in line with your interests your first year. Schools try to get you to try something new and branch outside of your comfort zone. You might end up really loving your field placement after all, or if you don't, finding out what you're not interested in is just as important. Your second year you get much more choice in what you want to do. Although there are various types of field placements that differ greatly, social work/clinical skills are always transferable.

Whether or not social work is right for you is definitely something you should think about and possibly reconsider. But keep in mind that there is such a broad range of things you can do with an msw, and I don't think that getting one could hold you back in anyway or prevent you from having an interesting career. With social work you can do therapy, you can advocate for the underserved, you can have an administrative or managerial role at a human services organization, you can write, you can research, you can go into politics... there are so many options.

I hope this helps :)

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Hi ya'll...so the title of this post is kind of summing up my thoughts right now.

I am "freaking out" for two major reasons:

1) I am really concerned about the field work position. I am going to be at Michigan, which does not have great public transit, and now my field work advisor is making it seem like it will be impossible for me to get a field work position in Ann Arbor (I cannot drive). Honestly the way she has been emailing me about makes it seem like my application is hopeless and there's no way I'd get into anywhere competitive...I guess a lot of the Ann Arbor positions have only one slot, and being that I don't have any prior social work/clinical experience I suppose it's just really unlikely.

- On that note, it is seeming more likely that I will end up getting a field work position not much in line with my interests. Has this happened to any of you/do you think it will decrease my chance of getting a position more related in my second year?

2) Well, I am basically worried that I made the wrong decision. Not only with grad school, but also with what I chose to major in in undergrad and everything. I have tons of interests, and back in October I was still struggling with what to do in life. I decided on social work because it was practical and involves my psychology interests, plus it is hands-on. But now I am suddenely worried it's not for me...like I won't fit in, won't enjoy my courses, etc. I feel like this is somewhat normal in general...but I also feel like going to grad school (and paying lots of money for it) means you should KNOW you're taking on something you love. Maybe I should have taken a year off... I guess I don't want to go and then drop out because I hate it...or worse go through all two years, have all that debt, then move my career into another direction.

I really hope all this is paranoia and I end up loving social work. Does anyone have life advice or thoughts or anything?

Thanks and sorry for the rant :)

I think it is perfectly natural to worry about whether or not your program will prove fulfilling and lead to a rewarding career path. However, an MSW is a generalist degree that can translate into hundreds of unique career opportunities. In addition to your first and second year fieldwork placements, maybe you can do a few job shaddows in different areas of social work.

Regarding your lack-of-public-transit-situation, I definitely understand your concerns. I don't know specifics about your situation, but is it possible to obtain your license this summer?

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There are plenty of agencies that serve high-needs populations and use MSW interns in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. I'm sure you will be able to find a field placement that is close to public transit. Washtenaw County has a decent bus system unlike the rest of Michigan.

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