A day in the life of a social work student
Do you want to empower people to better their lives, promote social change, and improve communities? Studying social work may be the right path for you. But was does that really involve?
We asked Bachelor of Social Work student Tully Jocumsen to describe her average day.
“Who doesn’t love being woken up by an alarm, when all you want to do is sleep? Me! However, I guess that as a fourth-year student, I should be pretty used to it by now. I start my day by grabbing some breakfast, and by 8am I’m out the door and in the car heading to campus.”
“I meet up with some friends; there is a group of us who have become particularly close throughout the degree. It’s nice to have friends that are all going through the same things. It helps when one of us has questions or needs help with an assignment. Before class, I also drop into the Student Association Office, being an active committee member, I love popping in and catching up on what’s been happening on campus.”
9 – 11am
“My first class of the day starts. Bachelor of Social Work class sizes rarely hit over 35 people, so it’s a nice small group. I always find that it’s a bit of information overload in class, but the lecturers are really supportive and happy to go over something again if we didn’t understand it the first time. Two hours is a long time for one class, so the lecturer let’s us break for 10 minutes halfway through. That’s my time to run to the campus café and grab some snacks to keep me going through the second half. By the time class finishes, I have a couple of readings to work through for homework and plenty of notes to revise.”
11am – 12pm
“After our first class, it’s lunchtime. The café on campus is really good; it always has a large range of options that cater to pretty much every mood. I usually go for the chicken schnitzel, or one of the daily curries that are cooked fresh. Today, I go for the roast beef and salad sandwich since I’m not overly hungry. Then I sit in the quad with a group of friends and we enjoy our food together.”
12 – 1pm
“I still have an hour before my second class of the day starts so I head over to the library to get a head start on my readings. It’s pretty quiet so it’s easy for me to find a spot. The hour flies by and I manage to finish all but one of my readings.”
1 – 3pm
“My second class of the day is a two-hour class as well, but it feels like it goes by way quicker than that. We do a lot of group work in this lesson, which is a nice way to break up the afternoon.”
3 – 3.30pm
“Class finishes early, so I head to the library for half an hour to finish off my readings. I always try to get most of my study done while I’m on campus; otherwise I tend to lose a lot of motivation.”
3.30 – 4pm
“After my readings are done I make my way home, stopping off to grab food for dinner on my way. I’m pretty tired, and I know I have a big day of classes again tomorrow, so I plan an easy meal as I drive.”
4 – 6pm
“I got all of my readings done today, so I don’t have much to work on tonight. But I do have an assignment due in two weeks, so when I arrive home I grab a quick snack and then power out a couple hundred words before dinner. I try to be productive and remain focused, but one-by-one my family arrive home from school and work, and I get slightly distracted.”
6 – 7.30pm
“I leave my assignment and take time to help my Mum cook dinner. I love spending time with her in the kitchen, it’s always a nice way to end a long day. As we cook and catch up on our days – I tell her about class and the things I learned. She’s always happy to hear about how uni is going. Her and I were the first of my family to attend uni so it’s something we share. Dinner flies by, and as usual the food disappears quickly. I slink off to my room once we’ve all cleared the dishes away.”
7.30 – 9pm
“I check my emails, replying to most of them, and create a checklist of things I need to get done over the next couple of days. I then spend the next hour or so organising my calendar."
9 – 9.30pm
“It’s usually by this time of night that my motivation starts to seriously slow down, so I take a quick shower and try to de-stress from the day by listening to some music. As a social work student, I’ve learnt the importance of self-care, so I try and take some time out every day.”
9.30 – 11pm
“Before climbing into bed, I make sure my bag is packed for class tomorrow, that my laptop is charged and that my readings are all up to date. I pack lunch, seeing as I brought food today – and then decide to relax by watching some Netflix or YouTube videos. I’ve got a later start tomorrow morning, but it’s still a long day – so I fall asleep early, ready to start again tomorrow.
The thing I have enjoyed most about my course is the people. Every day I get the opportunity to sit in class and connect with like-minded and passionate people who have similar if not the same goals as me. This something that really motivates me and inspires me to keep doing the best I can in my studies.”
Want a study experience like Tully’s? Explore social work at ACU.