Stepping into the world of Social Work
If this were a month ago, I’d do something to keep up the suspense, but I’ve started this blog a bit late for that. It has been a suspenseful couple of months for me, though, since turning the applications in (mid-to-late January). I’ve also had a group interview at CSUN and a flurry of requests for documents from USC’s financial aid office.
It appears my hard work paid off, and I have been accepted at USC! I’m really excited about the wonderful opportunity that will bring. I got that letter on April 9th.
The next week, I got an e-mail directing me to the UCLA website, where I learned I had been turned down. I’m certainly glad the two events happened in that order, or I’d have been a little hurt. I knew I was not likely to get into UCLA, and with an acceptance under my belt it didn’t seem like a particularly big deal.
I have yet to hear from CSUN, though I expect to over the next week. They’ve been back from spring break for some time, and they indicated they wanted to have the decisions made by the end of April in order to get everyone situated with field assignments over the summer and all.
My husband and others tell me that with an acceptance to a top 10 program, it should be all over but the shouting, and I shouldn’t care about CSUN because I should turn them down anyway. To be honest, though, I think I am craving the validation of a second acceptance just for my own self-esteem. And if CSUN has something good to offer in terms of financial aid, perhaps it won’t be such an automatic decision after all.
The program I was accepted to at USC was the three-year program (two years part-time, the third full-time or nearly so), with my first year or two at the Skirball Center. So I should be able to have a regular business hours full-time job for the next year, as the classes are in the evening. Next year I’ll have to find some way to accommodate a part-time field assignment, but there’s time to work that out later.
Hubby and I went to the USC campus last week to visit and soak up the atmosphere. We walked around a bit, found lunch and watched people. I enjoyed that, and it helped me get myself a bit more excited.
The new worry, of course, is how to fund this wonderful opportunity?
A bit of background about me first.
I’m a 40 something married woman in Los Angeles, with more than my share of ups and downs in my career. Mostly, I’ve worked with developmentally disabled adults in their jobs or in what is called a “community based day program.” I’ve also worked as a substitute and regular teacher and with a couple of Internet companies during the first dotcom bubble.
I have been toying with going back to graduate school for some time. I looked into School Psychology a couple of years back, but due to deadlines I was only able to apply to one program. Unfortunately, I was not admitted. The rejection hurt, so I postponed trying again for a while.
As I recovered from losing my job in November of ’10, I realized that this was the time for me to make one last effort at grad school. The school psychology program didn’t seem like an option before – perhaps they were telling me it wasn’t the right direction for me? – so after looking at a number of options I decided on the MSW, Master of Social Work. It connected well with my personal background as well as a strong connection with what I had been doing for 10 years.
I applied to three schools – USC, UCLA, and CSUN (Cal State Northridge). All of them have good programs, the first two being nationally ranked and the third being very very local and the least expensive. It was a lot of work, but I got the applications in!
So follow me…. 🙂