Friday, December 2, 2011

Can I Handle This?

My professor made a comment last week in my Sociology of Religion class that really resonated with me. We were discussing the Central American Peace Movement, and what social factors contributed to creating and making this movement successful. My professor made a comment about how personal reflections and accounts from Central American refugees "humanized the problem" for many Americans. This comment stuck in my head for the rest of the day. I thought about it while I was waiting for the bus, while I was eating my PB&J sandwich, and even while I was supposed to be paying attention in my Gender Studies class. The wheels in my head kept on turning, thinking of how often times, a personal connection to an issue is what makes the problem seem real and pressing.

In many ways, my internship has humanized a lot of problems for me. Problems of drug addiction and substance use, problems of mental health and domestic violence. When I took on this internship, I was drawn by my passion for social change and contribution. After years of watching Law and Order, and all the Criminal Justice classes I had under my belt, I felt that I was more than prepared to handle anything that came my way. After all, I did read almost every Nancy Drew book (Spoiler Alert: the later books kind of lost substance for the narratives, so I made a decision to stop with the series), what couldn’t I handle?

Well, apparently Nancy Drew had some thick skin, and some serious emotional disengagement skills. As the weeks progress, I find myself becoming more and more emotionally overwhelmed with my internship. Turns out although classes can prepare you for the situations you may face, actually experiencing the situation is a lot different. It’s easy to strategize and see a clear solution from a textbook, but seeing a problem in front of your face changes your perspective completely. I have become extremely invested in the clients Centerstone helps—and leaving these emotions at my internship has been difficult. These emotions are having me question whether or not I can handle a career in the mental health and counseling field. Although I am passionate about the subject, and passionate about helping others, I’m worried the stress may become overwhelming…

Will these emotions subside with prolonged experience, or will I continue to feel emotionally overwhelmed?

Posted by Anne

Crunch Time

Thanksgiving break was a really nice time to spend with my family and friends. I really enjoyed seeing some of my best friends, and I was excited to see them for the first time since school had started. We had so much to catch up on, and it felt just like old times even though we had been away at school for months. My parents and I enjoyed some time together spent outside enjoying the nice weather we had one day, and indoors watching movies and Christmas shopping the rest of the time, when it was rainy and cold outside.

I realized when I was home that as much as I love being there, it is just a little too quiet for me and I really feel like Bloomington is my new home, where I am surrounded by so many of my friends all the time and always have somebody to study with or play guitar with; it’s never lonely here.

Coming back from break, however, was a transition back into the “real world,” which includes tons of homework and projects to finish out the semester. I am questioning whether I have enough hours in the day to finish all the projects, homework and studying I need to have done by Monday alone. I am getting a little worried, but I know that no matter what it takes I will get everything done, even if it means having a few late nights at the library.

In the midst of everything, I am beginning sorority rush this weekend and I’m really excited, although it puts a huge dent in my studying time! I definitely think it will be worth it though- I will just challenge myself to manage my time so I can finish everything I need to by Monday. I will check back in a week, see you then!

Posted by Rachel