Wartburg West has been one of the best decisions I’ve made during my college career; it actually played a major role in my decision to go to Wartburg for college. My name is Rachel Krug and I am a fourth year Social Work major from southeast Iowa with a minor in Leadership, as well as Intercultural Studies. As I write this, it is past the half way mark of the winter semester. I can’t believe we are at this point already; I’ve been so busy! As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” The Wartburg West experience has shown this adventurous spirit to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can while being open-minded.
The sense of community is strong at Wartburg West. Our Winter 2015 group is amazing, as well as adventurous. We are always game for something to do! I’ve eaten at some amazing restaurants, watched New Year’s Eve fireworks from a rooftop, hiked the foothills of Denver, explored LoDo and South Broadway, skied at Cooper Mountain, danced the night away at a Red Rocks concert, went ice skating at the 16th Street Mall, and been captivated by musical plays. In addition, Wartburg has a strong alumni base that is very active and genuinely want to know you. Even though I had heard the alumni were involved, I underestimated how true this was. The numerous alumni events the coordinator offers have been great. I received advice about social work grad schools and licensing, been invited to dinner, got to go to the National Western Stock Show, and fulfilled my dream to see the Winter X Games on the superpipe at Buttermilk Mountain while visiting alumni in Glenwood Springs. Expectations of having a “good” term were blown out of the water into a “great, unbelievable” term because I made it a priority to be involved and develop relationships with fellow students and alumni.
Moreover, Wartburg West has given me the sense of “livin’ in the real world,” a sense of reality what professional work life will be after graduation in May. I have had the opportunity to intern at Mountain Vista Health Center on their Rehab Unit. At first I was apprehensive about my practicum site; however, expectations were once again shattered. My day consists of working on an interdisciplinary team of social workers, nurses, therapists, dieticians, activities, finances, and admissions doing patient assessments, care conferences, and discharges. I love my internship site, duties, and co-workers; it will be very hard to say goodbye in April. I immensely like the difference between scheduled classes and being able to practice social work professionally. I have become confident in my abilities, trust my judgment, and realize I am ready for the next step. This has been a great transition for me to see how well I can adapt to living in an urban environment, working 40+ hours a week, and balancing work and life. Finally, this time has proven that I love Denver, as well as what Colorado has to offer (I’ve visited in the summer for 2 weeks for the past 10 years) and will definitely be making this my home base. Take chances and embrace new possibilities for they might leave a lasting impact.