When I think about grad school, I remember long hours in the library. I remember doing some tough self-reflection and stretching myself thin trying to balance internships and research. I remember sleepless nights thinking about client situations that made me feel helpless and eating toast for dinner while I survived on a stipend. It was challenging. Once you finish something like that, you’re always glad you did it. Now I have that degree, and I always will. But that’s not the only reason I’m glad I did it.
Reflecting on that season of life, I think about conversations and experiences shared with friends that encouraged me along the way. My colleagues from the program are scattered far and wide now living out their callings in a wide variety of ways. We listened to each others frustrations—empathizing, validating, blowing off steam together. The commiserating was crucial. It was the passionate, intelligent fellow future social workers I studied alongside that made my grad school experience so rich and memorable. I’m thankful for them and the work they’re doing now to make the world a better place.