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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Take a Break

IF I COULD PASS ALONG ONE THING that has really helped me during this graduate school experience, it might be the importance of taking a break. And I don't mean Spring, Fall, Winter or Summer breaks. I am referring to regular short breaks when you are cramming for an exam or writing a midterm paper (two things I am doing right now), or, just taking a break from reading during the course of the semester.

After two years of hitting it really hard, I am still giving it my all, and I am allowing myself to take a night off each week after my field practicum to visit with friends over coffee or to relax on the couch watching reruns of Seinfeld (or whatever).

The world will not stop turning if you take a few hours off. And, chances are, you won't develop a "devil may care" attitude and stop studying altogether. On the contrary. I have found that I feel more refreshed if I take a night off. When I return to my paper, or studying, I feel refreshed and ready to dig in anew. Gone is the dread of another night isolating at home with my schoolwork.

Life is short. It's important to grab the dog's leash or the remote control once in a while. And, sometimes meeting a friend at the local coffee shop might be the best decision of the day.

~Ms. T. J.

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