Now is the time for me to take some deep breaths and just dive head first into the remainder of this work so I can get it done. There is nothing more satisfying than checking things off of lists that I won't see back on a list ever again. Like 'Worksheet for 548'. The thought makes me want to weep tears of joy.
I'm not leaving graduate school with the perfect g.p.a. like I had hoped, and by the looks of it I'm not leaving with a full-time job, like I had hoped, either (which leaves me slightly bitter if I were forced to label that feeling). I am leaving with a degree that I stressed over, that challenged me at times, and that left me with a temporary distaste for academia-which will likely change after enough time has passed to forget the bad parts.
I'm also leaving having had a massive amount of really positive experiences and a greater love and appreciation for social workers. I was lucky to have three really strong, intelligent role models to help me through the process, encourage me, and help me stay sane. And most importantly, they taught me SO MUCH! Not just about managing contracts or child welfare but about being an advocate for myself, learning to push myself through the unpleasant stuff to get to the parts that were worth it, and figuring out my strengths. I seem to surround myself with strong women because I grew up around them. It's an important part of my growth process as well to make sure that it is what I strive to be as well. Maybe that's why I think social work is so great too. It takes the nurturing and empathy skills that are thought of as feminine traits but mixes it with the justice and advocacy pieces that are powerful.
Tangents aside, I am super grateful for making the decision to start school when I did, after I got some experience under my belt, grew a little thicker skin, learned my tolerance for many things, and met some really amazing people that helped shape me before and during grad school. It's really easy for me to look at where I am and only see what I don't have, but its time to take those deep breaths, let them out, and really open my eyes to see what I have, because it is certainly more than a few letters after my name.