I am currently finding it difficult in my current situation with co-workers at work as well as my fellow social workers in school. At one point towards the end of summer I had left my retail job which gave me the first friends I ever had when I first moved and my currently university, where I attended for my BSW, provided me with a few lifelong friends. Now, It seems opposite, and I’m struggling with the sense of belonging.

My retail job does not have the brightest and kindest of people there and there is one that stands out as someone who promotes negativity. Just the other day she asked me about temptations I have while my significant other is away in which I responded that I don’t have time for that and I would never do such a thing. Other people there are also younger and not as experienced in life as I am, and I find myself judging them in retrospect. I do not feel a connection of friendship with virtually anyone there and cannot see myself spending any time with them outside of work. Which hey, maybe it’s for the best?

My university cohort has also provided a lack of belonging. I do not connect with people the same way I have connected to my other friends I have met through school. I’m not sure if that is in part of a lack of experience in regards to the Social Work field or if it’s because I don’t fit in with the self-made cliques. Because of this I tend to keep to myself and no one seems to willingly sit by me in any of my classes.

At first these things haven’t bothered me, but over the past few months they have. I am finding that I am making those meaningful friendships, connections, and sense of belonging in my Clinical Social Work Practicum setting. I think it is good to feel welcomed at a place you spend so much time at in such an intimate setting, but I also have the need to belong in my school and retail job (at least for the time being). I’m also finding myself spending less time with my good friends that bring me joy, but I have found friendships that exhaust me to my very being that I have chosen to avoid while I can.

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