I have always NEEDED to have an idea in my mind of what I wanted to be. There has never seemed to be a period in my life where I was “undecided.” There was always something needed to be put in place.
I recall wanting to be an actress at age 10 and asking my mother to get me an agent (unsuccessful) but at the same time what on earth was I thinking because I had severe stage fright. I also remember wanting to be an author. I would still love to be an author but I find it more of a hobby than a career. Throughout my Criminal Minds obsession I wanted to be an F.B.I. agent. Like, JJ, and Derek Morgan. The second I closed my eyes and actually pictured myself with a gun I immediately changed my mind. Then with my Grey’s Anatomy and HOUSE obsession I wanted to be a registered nurse. My longest career plan. 3 years of high school that was what I had told everyone I was going to do after high school. With my gpa not being where I wanted it to be, and realizing I was not good under too much pressure, or at Chemistry (or most sciences) I questioned my plan.
For years I told myself that I understood. I understood it would be hard. I was going to stick with it anyways, and I was going to prove to myself I could do it. The moment I realized I was mainly in it for the “helping” aspect I drew myself out. There are so many jobs that allow you to “help” people. Was nursing really my top choice? I eventually narrowed it down to fit in the medical field, but became interested in cardiovascular technology as an ultrasound technician. (Due to experience with heart problems) but that interest also faded away.
With my constant venting to my aunt and grandparents about my issues with my household in 2014, they were also amazed when I told them how I was handling the issues. “Haley, you should be a counselor. You are amazing with words.” Then I would make a sour face and shake my head. “Ew no. No way, I can’t deal with other people’s problems.”
I can not count the amount of times my family has suggested a counseling career for me. “Haley, you should be a guidance counselor. You know so much about colleges.” “Yes, mom but I do this for my own knowledge so I can get into college!!”
To be completely honest- I do not recall the exact moment I thought of being a social worker. I do know why-
My experience with mental health has gotten me fired up. So many of my friends have experienced depression, anxiety, bullying, self-harm. I have watched these things tear people apart, and the more stories I hear I find it frustrating to accept how much this goes on. With my anxiety experience, I know what it is like to need help, or to struggle with asking for help. I want to continue on this pathway to discovering the routes to these problems so that in the future I can do something about it!! These issues will never disappear. One person can not make a change. However, one person can help to make a difference in a small community or large. I would like to be one of those people.
My family strongly supports my plan at this point. My Papa-my best friend, who passed away almost a year ago- had always spoken with me about my future and I thoroughly enjoyed our talks. My Nana tells me often that “Papa will be very proud” at my wish to be a social worker. Maybe that is where I’m meant to be?
As much as DCF social workers are needed, or the right type of people for that job are needed..I am finding my heart leaning towards school social work. Sometimes kids need more than just a friend, family member, guardian, or teacher to guide them. From experience, your mental state can have a huge impact on school performance, and I would love to work with kids going through that!
Again, my mind changes too often. I may find different routes within time. For now, I have a plan of achieving serenity and optimism in my life. It is great to have goals. This is mine for now. We shall see what the future holds.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.