As I mentioned in my last post, my parents were out here for my graduation from Boston College. Cade’s parents were also able to make it out here to join the fun. The weekend with everyone was a bit hectic, as I had planned quite a bit for us to attempt to show everyone a good bit of the city. After a couple days of sightseeing, eating out, and going on tours, everyone was pretty tired. So, come Sunday night, we all called it a night a bit earlier to rest up for the big day happening on Monday. The good news was that we all seemed to enjoy ourselves, the family got to see lots of Boston, and Cade and I got to finally take a Duck Tour!
Graduation day started with a very early morning of prepping and getting myself down to BC on the public transit. With my ever-present worry of missing out, I decided to do both the whole-college graduation in the morning, followed by the social work ceremony in the afternoon. We lucked out and it ended up being a gorgeous day full of sunshine. The only downside was that the sun was quite intense in the morning, and both ceremonies were held outside. I lucked out in the morning and was in the shade for the first half, but I learned later that my family, sitting in the stands of Alumni Stadium, were in the direct sunlight the whole time. The morning ceremony turned out to not be that interesting, and my family was quiet overheated, but they were troopers nonetheless.
After a quick break to transition over to another part of campus, the social work ceremony started. This one was more interesting, in that it was more specific to my major and experience during grad school. My family also got to see me walk across the stage to get my diploma at this ceremony.
Reflecting back on the past couple of years, it truly amazes me how much a person is capable of changing when faced with situations that challenge both the limits of the capabilities you believed you had and the way you thought of the world and yourself. This was also intensified by my decision to re-enter therapy and restart a yoga practice during my studies. Having gone through two years of growth from every aspect of my being – mental, emotional, physical – I completely left BC a transformed person. I find it quite the coincidence that the school motto for the Graduate School of Social Work is “Where Transformation Happens.”
Another piece that I have spent quite a bit of time reflecting on is the fact that I can now call myself a social worker, counselor, therapist, whichever word you prefer. This is especially true now that I have completed the requirements for the licensure and can now sign my name with an LCSW at the end. I can easily remember being back at Wabash Valley, working as a case manager and looking to the therapists with this determination of “I’m going to be that someday.” Heck, it’s not even hard to look all the way back to my time at Purdue and even my senior year in high school when I had a crisis of not knowing what I wanted to be and then taking a psychology course and falling in love with the field. Looking back, that psychology course was the pivotal moment when I began the path to where I am now. Had it not been for that course, had it not been for the things I experienced throughout my teen years leading me to want to help people that had been through similar experiences, had I not met other social workers, I could have very easily not ended up on this path. But, here I am, having reached the goal that was set off at the age of 17 while sitting in the school counselor’s office thinking “I want to help people who have been through traumatic events. What I went through wasn’t right and no one should have to endure this, especially alone.” It’s both a mind blowing and scary event. I always become anxious shortly after goals are met, because it leaves me with a feeling of what’s next, but I seem to have come to a place where I’ve discovered that I’m going to be a lifelong learner. I’m already fulfilling that role by beginning a yoga teacher training program just three months after graduating (more to come on this..).
It’s hard to describe this experience and my emotions into words, but it’s quite amazing where life has taken me so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.