Essay About My Experience in Social Work
Envision that it is a humid August day of 2016. On this day, I received a message from a close friend of mine asking to talk for a while. Freshman year of high school, one year before receiving this text, much of my time had been spent supporting close friends and dealing with their emotional strains and anxiety related to high school and all sorts of problems going on in their personal lives. But, at the point of receiving this message, I was entering sophomore year and it had become established that my friends know they can trust me not only with helping but also with keeping any conversation completely private. Once I opened my friends' messages, and after we talked for a while, they let me know that another student at our school had sexually assaulted them during summer break. As the conversation continued, I realized I could listen to them talk about it but was not able to do anything about it other than encourage her to tell someone who actually could. Although at that time I did not understand what social work competencies are, I was already participating in and using a myriad of them. Whether it be through conversations like the one that first made me interested in social work specifically, or through Amnesty International to advance human rights.
It is the realization made at that moment of inability to help in a productive manner that led me to want to become a part of the social work field. Specifically, the micro and mezzo levels of social work are most interesting to me because of moments like those that have led me to social work in the first place. The friend that this conversation was with went to a school Social Worker, who I also knew personally and had a bond with. The School Social Worker, who I called Mr. Levens, was a man that I saw around the halls often and had a close bond with and felt like I already related to him as our personalities also matched quite well. Due to this connection with him, I also began to start learning about the social work field from him having conversations with him about different parts of social work and what Social Workers do; I ended up learning immensely from him through these conversations. Discussions we had amplified just how much my personal values match the professional values of a Social Worker, although I had not realized they were professional values that he was talking about at that time. From that point on, I began implementing everything he talked about into my late-night talks with people who needed someone to be there for them, such as why it is important to avoid countertransference and how an emotional reaction could increase a person's fear of a given situation.
There is much more to social work, as well as my experiences, than just wanting to help people or caring about people. Social work is much more profound and intecrate than having that sort of interests. I have been lucky enough to learn a great deal about the code of ethics, case management, as well as advocacy that is required of a Social Worker through conversations with Mr. Levens. A Social Worker's values and how they are implemented to become ethics became clear to me through the conversations with him, and since then I have realized that being a Social Worker is the best way for me to effectively and efficiently generate an impact on others that I aim to accomplish. The international human rights clubs and protests I have joined throughout my life have also been a major part of becoming more aware of the world outside of my own bubble. There is plenty of learning that needs to be done before I can truly achieve that, as with anyone new to the field. Importantly, I am ready and eager to learn as much as I possibly can for not only my future but also the future of all clients and coworkers. I am glad to have had the jumpstart in my interest in the field from the Social Worker at my high school.
Consequently, these experiences throughout my educational career go to show just how ready I am to progress towards becoming a Social Worker with professionalism and who will become ready to take on responsibilities that come with the job. With further education in the field, I will become more than ready to join it as a professional. Further education in social work in conjunction with my past experiences will grant me the capability to take on the mission of social work in an effective way. Throughout my life as of yet, I have made attempts at implementing aspects of the social work field into my everyday life and how I treat people around me, especially when they come to me looking for someone to be a listening ear or for someone to help point them in a direction that feels right for them. I was focused on confidentiality and advocacy for my friends and people around me while being just an everyday High School and Middle School student, now I aim to focus on what I could do with the opportunity to become a Social Worker and make advocacy and development of the community throughout my career.