There are times when I’m sitting up complaining with my friend about how ghetto full time-work is and my boyfriend makes sure to remind me that it’s “time to take the college titty out my mouth”. I have to remind myself of this at least once a week. He’s not wrong. I’ve become comfortable with being in a school setting. I’ve become comfortable with the race to the end of the semester, just to indulge in at least a month of relaxation.
No one said this full-time work life would be easy but DAMNNN…. can I get a little breaky break. Just a little one. My job is so high demanding, I mean I work with youth in criminal defense, what did I expect? My caseload increases daily. By the middle of the week, I’m nearly burnt out and have to drag myself through the rest of the week. My weekends are filled with running errands I didn’t have time to complete during the week. And every time I look up, BOOM, another bill needs to be paid.
Now, I know I’m preaching to the choir. This is apart of life. It is apart of being an adult. But man, I don’t think they really prepare you for life post-grad school. At times, I find myself thinking “what if we had off days on Wednesday? That would be amazing”. But that’s just wishful thinking. My clients will need me, there will be no break in the middle of the week, and bills will need to be paid. Those things won’t change. But what I can change is the way I react and internalize all the adult things going on in my life. First, it is so comforting to know I’m not alone. Secondly, I don’t need to complain about it. There’s no time for tantrums, I just gotta suck it up. And third, the biggest lesson are learned in the last 3 months is that I do not need to be a social worker 24/7. I can turn it off.
I had got into a bad habit of taking work home and it was really stressing me and is likely the main reason why I’d become completely exhausted by Wednesday. I think when I first started working, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be the perfect social worker. I would do so much. I think I wanted to prove to my boss I was worth hiring. I quickly learned they were more concerned about losing me, due to the heavy caseload. It wasn’t a question of being fired, a fear I had concocted in my own head. It was a question of burnout and unhappiness in the workplace.
This realization made me look at things differently. I told myself I would do my best during my work hours to knock everything off my to do list. What I could not complete, I would save it for the next day. I would no longer be working from home once the workday was over. I would practice turning it off. It’s been working well so far, on days when it’s really bad, I have to physically take off my imaginary social work hat.
I’m not completely settled into this adulting life. But who is? I am still figuring it out. But I think I can finally let go of the college titty. Because honestly, despite the struggle, I am not looking forward to going back to school for a while. So I’m going to enjoy this adulting life.
Ashley Williams is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.