Yesterday, I took leave from work to go out with Cass. We talked alot more than the previous time we met – I could open up to her more this time. I asked her about Social Science (or Social Work) – what she was studying in polytechnic and shared with her about my hopes of getting a degree in that particular field, including my doubts – because I have absolutely no prior experience or knowledge on social work.
I feel she’s one of the best people I could seek advice from so far whilst considering to study in that field. I think I understand why she study Social Work, out of the many others she was eligible for, because she often writes about helping people as one of the things she want to do in those letters. While I didn’t used to mention so much about helping people as she does.
Also, getting to know someone who studies something like this in university or even polytechnic, is like finding a needle in the haystack. The probability of picking out a Business student among an array of students over here is alot higher than picking out someone who studies or have studied Social Science.
She fills me in with the modules she takes, what she learns, the type of practical tests / exams her module requires, that there’s a difference between ‘Social Science’ & ‘Social Work’ and some miscellaneous school-related stuff. But there’s alot more research to do to understand what it’s about – especially the difference with other similar terms like ‘Psychology’, ‘Sociology’, etc. Afterall, you just can’t escape Wikipedia and the dictionary to understand terms like these.
Later, she asked me why I wanted to study Social Science. I was taken aback by the question even though it was a simple one and I thought I’d have expected that coming. Is it out of a genuine desire or “passion” (the way they tell you to “study what you love“) or is it out of a no-choice situation? I don’t want to think that it’s the latter reason because I’m always asking myself whether my choice to consider my interest in a general subject like Humanities / Art, as compared to the more specialized fields like engineering, business or medicine / pharmaceutics – is it because I know I don’t have an aptitude in any of those or just an identity crisis because I just don’t know what I’m interested in…? And probably it’s just one phase of my life or something that has happened which has influenced this choice of mine.
Many times I told Mom, Dad and my Sis that I’ve wanted to study Psychology / Social Science.
Mom told me if I couldn’t understand myself, what makes me think I’d be able to understand others? I don’t have a flair in talking people into anything – wait, not even flair because the basic ability is barely there at all. She asked if I will break out in tears like I do when we argue and she thinks I can’t out talk anymore, in a scenario where I’m confronted with a situation to counsel a troubled and difficult teenager. Sis has asked me that question before as well.
Cass told me her practical tests / exams involve role plays with another party – I think it’s like one of those counselling scenarios like the one I mentioned above. She said you could get a good grade if you’re outspoken and… if you could convince the other party. It’s not like one of those formal report presentations where one has to just present the chunks of facts and the research. I guess it’s like grading a drama skit but your drama teacher knows it’s fake and you’re certainly doing it right if you’re fake because you’re just merely following the drama script. But in an empathetic situation, how do you even fake that? I know you shouldn’t fake that because it should come real from you if you want to help someone.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m the one who needs help from a professional than wanting to become a professional to help another. I read about Social Anxiety disorder, ever since my internship days actually, and the symptoms I read about are making me believe that I am inside the pit without realizing that. But it’s an assumption and further research has tried to assure me that it isn’t as severe as “disorder” sounds like, so I try to remind myself that. Over here, I came across and read about some of the bloggers who became professionals – like a counselor, even though they once needed help from professionals like themselves. It’s great to know that because all hope is not lost.
Dad’s response to me wanting to study something like that, was that he felt surprised and mocked alittle about it, but with no harm. I see he had visions of me going to the office in one of the business districts from 9-to-5 every day even though he didn’t explicitly say it. He said it’d be nice if I could be like one of those white-collar workers we see along the streets like the ones promoting the AIA and Prudential insurance – selling condominiums, or doing customer service and other business-related jobs.
My Sis has been quite accepting about it because she has appeared to be rather supportive. No mean comments from a typical sister. While I was in a dilemma, I told her about it and she went around asking people for their opinions on the prospects of getting a degree like this, then told me about it. Most of the time, she seems more like the elder sister than I am. When I was at her age, I was like a dorkhead – I know nothing of those trends, music, films and current affairs in particular. But maybe kids these days just grow up really quickly. And she’s always telling me, “Grow up, Sis!“, but I only act the way she finds me silly when I’m around her, just only around her. But my clumsiness and my blur isn’t feigned, it’s real to me.
Meanwhile, I am gonna find the time to read up on what Social Science is really about. Hopefully as time passes and by the time my last school semester ends, I’ll be able to come to an affirmation. The whole giving-time-to-yourself really works.