Thursday, April 30, 2020: Today, I turned in my final assignment for my MSW and finished my last class. I’m sitting now, no plan for this journal article, just writing whatever comes to mind.
I’ve been going nonstop for the past few days and I was feeling overwhelmed. So when I turned in my final assignment, the first thing I felt was relief. That, I know for sure. Here’s the thing though: Hours later, this feels… weird in so many ways.
As a clinical social worker, part of my job is to help others identify their emotions. So, imagine my discomfort when I don’t quite know how to describe what I’m feeling.
Here’s my best guesses:
Relief, grief, shock, worry, uncertainty, gratitude, tired, calm, proud, and maybe even some loneliness due to being physically away from classmates who are experiencing similar feelings
Overall, if I had to choose, I’m feeling mostly shock. No one expected to graduate during a global pandemic when we applied for our degrees. Certainly, no one expected the changes. No one knows how our job search will be. But also, grad school has been my life for two years. Pandemic aside, this is new and weird.
Parade of Thoughts
I accept that I am not feeling one thing, and I am not feeling either good or bad. I’m just feeling what I’m feeling. So, if I accept and make peace with that, then as a therapist, my next question is: what am I thinking?
I wish I knew where I will work, and I wish I knew when I can expect a steady paycheck. I’m thinking about some tasks that I have to do (registrations, applying for certain credentials, edit my resume). I wish I could celebrate with my friends and family.
Maybe most worrisome, I worry about messing up as a social worker.
For right now, these are my thoughts, and they’re very real for me. To be perfectly honest, I think shock is preventing me just a bit from totally processing my thoughts. Perhaps I will write another journal soon.
Full transparency: writing this article made me curious to look at the emotion chart I use with clients. It led me to an emotion that I never considered. Maybe it explains everything in a way I never considered. For all my fellow graduates, everything you’re feeling is valid, but in closing, I’m going to claim this feeling: