Sunday, 2 July 2017

The first year of my MA

In 4 days, the first year of my MA will be over, which includes the end of a 15 week placement. In that time, I have completely neglected my blog, been completely exhausted 24/7 and become extremely negative/cynical. However, I'm leaving my placement with a distinction so perhaps it's been worth it.

It's been a really long 15 weeks and I haven't always enjoyed what I've been doing. I've become frustrated with the system, questioned my values and reflected on myself more times than I ever dreamed I'd be doing. I've worked with children desperate for help and support, I've offered tissues to the strongest of people and I've been there when people have asked for help and no one else answered.

I feel privileged to be in a position where I am there when people are at crisis point. I felt more grateful with my own life, family and friendships than I ever have in my entire life. I've used my personal experiences to help me guide those who are in far worse situations. I've felt ashamed of my white, middle class, straight privilege and I appreciate the family I've grown up in because I have been given a life full of opportunity.

I've become re-addicted to coffee and I'm pretty sure I've gained a few pounds. I've learnt how to drive properly on the motorway and can confidently drive around Britain's second city. I've felt fearful to be working in a city and I'm grateful I live in what I believe is a very safe neighbourhood. I've gained dark, heavy under eye bags but I've also gained wonderful friends who have been on this journey with me. I've discussed topics such as FGM, child sexual exploitation, domestic violence and substance misuse on a daily basis, and I've learnt that acting in someone's best interests may not actually be just that.

I've laughed and to be honest, I'd have cried too but I'm too exhausted to produce tears. I've learnt to value the importance of work/life balance and I've successfully maintained that balance. I've learnt that no matter how successful you are, everyday is a school day and there is always room for improvement. There is always room to grow, discover new things and it's always worth seeing something from the other person's point of view.

And although it's been hard, I am more determined, now more than ever, to continue down my social work road.

1 comment

Unknown said...

Congratulations! I work in a very similar field to you, and those topics are very familiar to me.
It's such worthwhile work, even though it's challenging at times.

Lucy x

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