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Determination and Small Goals

You may be wondering how difficult a Master’s Degree might be or what kind of things you should expect. A Master’s Degree can be burdensome but it can be accomplished if you are determined enough to finish once you start. You may feel that 18 months or 2 years is a long time. From my personal experience at OLLU, I have seen the terms and semesters fly by. That doesn’t mean my academic experience was easy. It does mean that I was focused on finishing what I started at OLLU. I knew once I started it was going to be a long road. Being in my field placement now, I have experienced first-hand busyness from work, family, and the internship as well. The busyness has helped me to stay productive and has challenged me to not quit. There have been times when I thought I would put my graduate education on hold but I never did. It has caused me to not lose track of my end goal of obtaining a Master’s degree in social work.

I would say that in order to succeed at OLLU, you need to have determination. Once you are determined, busyness will occur and challenges will come but you won’t give up on your upper education pursuit. What can help you finish your academic experience at OLLU is creating small goals along your academic journey. They don’t have to be big, but they should be reasonable and measurable. Once you have some goals set, you are able to track your progress.

I remember in one class where the professor had us create a personal education plan of what we were going to accomplish in the semester that were connected with tasks. For example, one goal was to get the weekly reading done by Monday to leave me enough time to do the discussion for Wednesday. Another example was how I would I apply the theories I was learning into my social work practice. I made the goal that on Saturdays I would review my work week on which theories learned in class would have helped in that particular situation. I couldn’t do therapy as a SSW but I would think about what I would do differently if I could practice a theory with my patients. It was a very reflective process that helped me think like a CSW before I entered into my field. Small goals help you notice that you are succeeding and progressing in the MSW program.

My advice would be to be determined to finish once you start and don’t look back at reasons to stop your education. It might be overwhelming to take on the MSW program but creating small goals will help you see your achievements in the grand scheme of the graduate level. I know determination is key since it has helped me finish my degree even with work and family responsibilities.

About the Author

Joseph De Luca

I remember taking many personality tests, and always seeing at the bottom "social worker" as a career option. I was surprised that this kept coming up. I eventually looked up what social workers do. I felt like this was my personal calling in life. I also liked that it was not just one field I had to choose from but many different possibilities that I could choose from. I am currently working as a youth mentor and supervisor to teenage boys in a group home. It has been great and challenging. I have also been a medical social worker working in an orthopedic rehab center where I learned to work with patients and their families to ensure both were taken care of. Outside of social work, I love playing early morning basketball with friends. I am married and have 2 beautiful daughters, one is 2 years old and the other will soon be 8 months.