8p Sausages

Abbie Stebbing is a full-time MA Social Work student at the University of Sussex. She blogs about her becoming a social worker and what means both personally and professionally. In this second of Abbie’s reflective posts she writes about leaving full-time work behind to become a student again.

While I was romantically swept of my feet by the potential career I was about to embark on, my loved ones were slightly more aware of the practical aspects and potential issues of no longer working. 8p sausages would be my mealtime fate, new clothes would be on a strategically planned Christmas wish list. I was committed to the material sacrifices it would entail!

In the summer prior to the course starting, I worked with them to change my habits, no longer “seeing and buying” those commodities. A major case of reeling in. I also prepared an office space, reminding myself of academic life. Collected books from the local library and attempting to read them.

The Induction Week came and I had just finished my last day of full time work (for now). I thought I would suddenly feel like a social work student. But it was not yet here. So raring to go, to validate my plans, so very impatient. In the end, I did enjoy the week of just being- not an employee, not a social work student, yet. And when I was, I felt it!

Indeed, week one did come, and so did the work, but so did the friendly tutors and peers. There was a shared enthusiasm. We all had a shared goal. As the work built up swiftly I got to know my peers. We shared the stresses and insecurities. I was so eager to validate being on the course.

Throughout the weeks there were small pauses, a time to slow my brain down.  I was absorbing information at the speed of light and hoping that I retained it. The reading week and first assignment instilled some confidence again. I was able to go over theories we had covered, but also notice areas that I found interesting. It was different to my undergraduate course. The areas of learning in this course felt useful, I would one day (soon on placement even) be able to apply them.

The term acted like a “general service”. Acknowledging my strengths, identifying areas of improvement, noticing what I find difficult to deal with. In the end, I need to be ready to work with people and the issues that bring them to my intervention.

Now I’ve upgraded to frozen sausages…


December 6, 2016. Social work education, Social work practice. Leave a comment.