Home > Learning, Life, passion, School, social work > I wasn’t expecting this.

I wasn’t expecting this.

Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) sends its students about sixteen billion emails a day. It’s hard to focus in on the ones that actually pertain to me. Late this afternoon, I was about to give yet another email the brush off when I realized the message was telling me that I’d been awarded an SP2  endowment.  I did not apply for this scholarship. I thought it must be some kind of joke. One of those “Hi, I’m a Nigerian Prince and I’m going to scam you with the promise of imaginary money” sort of things. The message said that this particular scholarship goes to a full-time MSW student who is in good academic standing and demonstrates involvement and interest  in SP2. Wait, you’re talking about me?

There are a bunch of these scholarships and fellowships divvied out by SP2, so I expect a number of my classmate have received/will received a similar email. Now, I don’t know many students in the other SP2 degree programs, but I do know that my cohort consists of some of the most intelligent, driven, and compassionate individuals I’ve had the privilege to meet. I respect and admire the hell out of them. Many individuals in the program have genuinely inspired me.  When I made the decision to become more involved in school, their good example served as a motivating factor.

Most of the time, I’m feel as though I’m just methodically plugging away, winning and losing little battles that I imagine only matter to me. That’s a part of why I love the  social work field–it forces me to care about something greater than myself. It makes me try identify what I have that is can be useful to humanity as a whole.  I’m really trying hard to become a good practitioner. Sometimes, I have to make little sacrifices that make me question what I’m doing. Last night, for example, I skipped judo even though I knew my old buddy, Kristin, was making a rare appearance. I knew I needed to re-focus my energy on school and stop going to practice four or five times a week.  School is important to me. My career is extremely important to me. I just didn’t realize anyone noticed.

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