2016 was a year of great change for me. I applied to seven PT schools, was rejected from six, went through the motions of applying and interviewing for various jobs that I wasn’t interested in or qualified for, was accepted to PT school, graduated college, quit my awful nurses aide job, moved to a new college, and started school. The last five months especially have been a whirlwind-from meeting a new roommate and 50 other new peers, to adjusting to the non-stop schedule of a doctoral student and the rigor and difficulty of a DPT program.
Learning to balance 8-hour school days, study time, workout time, and me-time was definitely a process of trial and error. It took some time to get used to waking up at 6:00 AM to squeeze in a workout before getting dressed up for class all day, so that I have time after class to get all of my studying done before dinner time. Starting around two weeks before finals, I spent about 6 hours daily in the library. We had seven finals over the course of four days: Neuroscience lecture and lab, PT Assessments & Procedures lecture and competency, Anatomy lecture and lab, and finally, Pathology.
For 2017, I have decided to forego a resolution. Instead, I vow to continue to better myself in all aspects of my life throughout the year. We don’t need one day a year to start over; every morning is the start of a new opportunity to be better, and I choose to seize each and every one of those opportunities. I will put more effort into my studies, I will not snooze my alarm and sleep through my early-morning gym sessions,and most importantly, I will be a friend to all and lend a helping hand whenever I am able. Another new goal I have for 2017 is to learn sign language-this is something that is very prevalent in pediatric therapy so I think it would be advantageous to be fairly proficient in the language.
Having survived my first semester of PT school, I had myself a relaxing but eventful break. I spent a weekend at my grandparents’ house in Canonsburg, PA with my dad’s side of the family. We celebrated an early Christmas complete with dinner at the Grand Concourse in Pittsburgh and a visit to the theater to see A Musical Christmas Carol! I went home to Warren for the week leading up to Christmas until New Year’s Eve. We celebrated Christmas Eve with my stepdad Rick’s brothers at our house and Christmas Day with my three stepbrothers: Gregg, Gary, and Derrick. The guys even took me out shooting at our cabin the day after Christmas!
In between all of the holiday festivities, Rick arranged for me to volunteer in the PT department at Warren General Hospital. I shadowed there before applying to PT school two summers ago and really liked it. The clinic has outpatient, inpatient, and home health in one facility. I’m enjoying being able to see a lot of the pathologies and treatments that I’ve learned in the past 5 months come to life in the clinic!
I spent New Year’s weekend in Pittsburgh and got to see almost all of my friends from home. I spent a few days back in Warren volunteering before I visited Ally and some of our other PSU friends in Philadelphia. After that I spent a week in Illinois to visit my Dad and stepmom.
During my visit, I spent some time with my nephews and stepsisters. We took a trip into Chicago and I had a major nerd moment when we toured the International Museum of Surgical Sciences. We viewed exhibits on X-Rays, pathologies, medicine in countries outside of the U.S, along with many other displays of medical history. Shown below are a few exhibits I found particularly interesting:
Once I got back from Illinois, I volunteered for a few more days and relaxed at home before heading back to The Rock for the spring semester.
Check back soon for updates on the first few weeks of the spring semester! We’re only three days in and have already hit the ground running!