This week I received confirmation that I will graduate in December as long as I pass my remaining classes. This finally feels real and I’m amazed at how fast the past two years have flown by. This semester has been especially hard as I am taking four classes while continuing to work full time. One of those classes is statistics, which is proving to be incredibly time consuming. I am making it work by sacrificing a lot of personal time but I know it will be worth it in the end.
With this confirmation I am now thinking about my next steps. I know the career I want and can envision it, but there is still a few more hurdles to cross. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching the past year and have decided I want to get a Masters in Social Work. This degree will give me the credentials I need to return to a patient centered job. While I appreciate my current job and the fact I am able to remain in the health care industry, it is nowhere near what I am passionate about. My greatest joy in my previous job was helping chronically ill patients navigate the complex web of healthcare so they could achieve better health outcomes. I also believe that health care reform is needed sooner rather than later and the best way to affect change to is to be directly working in the field.
This thought has been swirling in my mind for a few months now but the closer my graduation draws the more I realize some difficult decisions need to be made. Do I immediately start grad school in January or take a break? How do other major life events fit into this plan and what happens if they occur simultaneously? Which school do I attend? I want so badly to stay at my current school but their MSW program does not have an online option and I would need to drive about an hour away a couple times a week and that is only if my job allows me to take off early on those days. Another school that has a campus in my city has an MSW program with classes twice a week after work. While this seems like the obvious answer, I am struggling with this decision. I really feel strongly that the program at my current school is better.
I will figure out what I need to do and things will work out as they should as long as I put forth the effort. Right now I am just thankful for this confirmation that my hard work and sacrifice will pay off.