What’s your ‘why’? You know, the one thing that compels you to do the work you do – sometimes even against all odds. Perhaps you’re unsure or you haven’t discovered your ‘why’ yet?
Genevieve Lund, 48, from Durban can relate. Although she’s had an inkling since childhood, it’s not until recently that she’s given her innate passion a voice.
“I’ve always wanted to do social work,” she told us when we chatted to her last month. “In the past, however, my opportunities to study were restricted by unsatisfactory academic marks, limited finances and timing.”
Happily, Genevieve’s fledgling fantasy is about to become a reality. Today she’s a SACAP graduate with a three-year Bachelor of Applied Social Science Degree under her belt.
We wanted to know whether she enjoyed her SACAP experience, and what she plans to do with her brand-new qualification. So we asked her. Here’s what she has to say…
“I come from a large family; I’m one of five siblings,” Genevieve explains. “My formative years were spent in Empangeni, a small community in KwaZulu-Natal.”
She’s never lost her affection for village living, she admits. “Empangeni was a real one-horse town back then. The whole community was so connected. I loved it.”
Fast-forward a few decades and Genevieve has discovered a connected collective of a slightly different kind.
Plotting a path
“Three years ago a close friend of mine told me about SACAP,” she says. “She was signing up at the college and asked me if I would be interested in studying there, too. She encouraged me to join her.”
What felt like a very quick assessment turned out to be transformational for Genevieve: “One conversation changed the trajectory of my life!” she exclaims.
A few favourites
Genevieve studied fulltime at SACAP’s Durban Campus. Her favourite aspects? “Definitely the class size,” she asserts. “I was one of just 12 students. Developing special bonds within the small cohort changed the way I approached learning.”
“For someone who’d had little academic success in my teens and early twenties, it was such a thrill to actually enjoy my studies and grow in competence,” she continues. “Being a mature student wasn’t as daunting as I’d initially expected it would be either.”
Critical thinking was another element of the course Genevieve says she relished. “Our lecturers pushed us to think beyond our comfort zones by fostering out-the-box activities that promoted a lot of reflection. What’s more, they imparted knowledge from a South African perspective, which I believe has been invaluable.”
Ultimately, it’s SACAP’s multidisciplinary approach that scored highest on Genevieve’s highlight list. “The course gave me a good overview of psychology,” she says. “And I found the learning material extremely comprehensive and relevant.”
“I feel that studying at SACAP is very layered. The college is aware of the whole student and individual attention is offered, while autonomy is encouraged,” Genevieve adds.
“The lecturers are open and extremely supportive. Also, they inspire collaboration with a diverse group of people, which made my experience a hugely enriching one,” she concludes.
We asked Genevieve to share her definition of success, but she couldn’t give us a definitive answer. “For me it’s not one defining thing,” she explains. “I know that since completing my Bachelor of Applied Social Science Degree I’m closer to realising my success, though.”
“The self-growth that the programme nurtured has undoubtedly made me a better all-round version of myself. More than that, it’s given me a fuller and happier heart. I now appreciate how you’re never too old to make your dreams come true,” she adds.
Looking forward Genevieve says she hopes to work with children, specifically adolescents. With three daughters of her own – aged 21, 17 and 9 – she’s had personal experience with her own teens. Now, however, she has the psychological tools to help all youngsters.
“Unlike a lot of children and adolescents out there I’ve never felt lonely because I have a twin,” she explains. “But I know bullying, peer pressure and even social media can be very isolating. I want to help young people navigate their way through these teenage issues.”
Genevieve counts herself as fortunate. “SACAP has facilitated my journey of personal growth and discovery into a path I previously thought I wasn’t capable of following. My own teenage yearning to help people has come full circle,” she says.
The significance of Genevieve’s story is an important one. No matter how old you are or how young you feel, fulfilling your true calling is entirely possible.
Not sure what yours is yet? Let SACAP help you discover more about yourself – and others – so that you can unearth it. The widely respected college offers a range of accredited psychology programmes that produce sought-after and incredibly necessary critical thinkers.