student in blue sweatshirt, front facing

The Perks of Completing My MSW Online

Nearing the Finish Line

Here I am, just 18 short weeks away from graduation (but oh boy does it still feel like so LONG!!!). It is starting to really warm up outside, and really the only thing that I want to do is be outside walking/running with my dog, playing soccer, yard work, etc. However, instead of all those fun things, I working my full time job and completing the last little bit of my master’s degree, which is what feels like a full time job on top of my full time job.

Is it hard? YES! Is it a lot of time? YES! Will it all be worth it in the end? I am absolutely sure that it will be worth every second I have put into this degree.

As much as I know that I should be putting in my effort to my job and my field placement, I can’t help but notice I have a little bit of that senioritis going on…is that what we call it in the last little bit of our master’s program? I find myself becoming a little bit better at this procrastination game, that I thought I was already a pro, along with finding little things to distract myself. Keep in mind these are things that I’ve said I was really going to try not to do and even completely stop at some point, guess it just goes to show that old habits are hard to break.

So, what am I doing now with all this not so extra time on my hand and distractions that I’m finding myself in? Reflecting back on my last three years, from the time that I started this program to now and everything in between. With doing this, I’m reminded on why I chose to complete my masters through an online program and why I chose Our Lady of the Lake. This little trip down memory lane has been good for me and helped me to remember why I chose this path for myself and all of the great learning experiences it has provided me.

Flexibility and Convenience

It is my opinion that the best thing about the OLLU online social work program would be the flexibility and amount of freedom that I have had along the way. Along with the opportunities I have had due to this freedom and flexibility. When I started this program, I was 25 years old, living in South Korea, and teaching English to my Korean speaking students. I was in a place, mentally and emotionally, that I just wanted to do more and be more as I continued through my life. Enrolling in school was just step one to furthering my dreams and aspirations for myself. Then, I left Korea, and just was not quite ready to return home, to my small hometown in Ohio.

So….I decided I would take the next few months before my first field placement started, and I travelled. For three short months I managed to travel to 14 different countries. Learn about different cultures of so many different people, see some of the most beautiful landscapes, meet some of the most interesting/funny/kind hearted/beautiful people, eat as much food as my body would allow me to eat (and then some), and lastly take a journey that has allowed to me learn and grow in more ways than I could have ever imagined for myself.

Through OLLU’s online social work program, I was given the opportunity to continue my education in school as well as continue my education in life. I sat on boats in Thailand researching childhood poverty and ways to improve these children’s lives. I took trains across Europe as I completed my research papers on mental health disorders, education for children with mental health illnesses, and sat in Cambodia as I recorded assignment presentations.

Reflecting Back

So, as I sit here with my last 18 weeks of my online Master of Social Work program through OLLU, I become grateful, appreciative, and am reminded of just how extremely lucky I am that I have been given this opportunity. I have remembered just how far I have come, how much I have learned, and how much I have seen over these last couple years. Online education has provided me the opportunity to advance my education and see the world. It has helped me to gain the determination to truly make a change in someone’s life.

About the Author

Katie Wilson is an online MSW student at OLLU while also working full time as a counselor for children and completing her field education requirements for foster care youth.