September often feels more like the start of a new year than January does. It oozes crispness. New season. New looks. New school year. New hockey season. New colours. New harvest. New life.
This year, I’m all about the new. I’ve been living in Ottawa for just over a few weeks now and slowly finding my stride. My apartment is mostly unpacked. I’ve been welcomed with open arms by so many friendly faces. And I love my new colleagues. Highlights to note have been participating in my neighbourhood pub quiz (like I used to do in London!!), cycling to school along the canal, attending a hot air balloon festival in Gatineau and last but not least, the elegant Harvest Noir.
I have also had my first full week of classes. And whoa. The amount of reading (well over 1000 pages per week) and writing (anywhere from 5-25 pages per week) expected is overwhelming to think about. I’m not sure how I am going to manage and if there’s enough hours in the day. Don’t panic. I also am the teaching assistant for a 3rd year undergraduate social work class and have been recruited to help a few faulty members with a very exciting research project. I’m not sure how this is all going to play out and have to take it one day at a time.
I mindfully realize that I will never be here again: in the beginning stages of a PhD. I’m feeling very privileged. I get to dig deep into my subject, think critically, absorb immense amounts of information and become the best social worker I can be. I want to throw myself in with everything I’ve got and enjoy every moment as it unfolds. I never dreamed I’d be here, in Canada’s capital city, thinking of ways to impact the profession and those vulnerable individuals in which we get to serve and work with worldwide. I’m incredibly overcome with gratefulness and joy.