Round 2, Here We Go // Updates on PT School and... Life!

Hello there, friends! It's a beautiful day to share lots of new updates with you all, so... here it goes.

If you're familiar with my PT school journey thus far, then you probably already know that I encountered a few bumps in the road in my first year. If you need to catch up, you can read all about that here. So... make sure you do that so you've got the timeline straight. Anywho, over the summer I finished my Medical Physiology course through the University of New England (online) to help me get back to where I am now. I ended up finishing the course with an A; but more importantly, I have a thorough understanding of the concepts that "got me" in histology and was more prepared than ever to tackle this semester! The course was very dense and fast-moving. However, the great thing about it was that the first half covered much of what is taught in my first semester of DPT school histology (the fall semester I just finished) and the second half covered much of what is taught in my second semester of DPT school histology (which I have yet to take in the spring of 2019). So, not only did I show histology who's the boss this semester, but I will also be super prepared and ahead of the game once spring semester histology comes around.

This fall, I only took three courses - which were Histophysiological Aspects of Movement, Gross Human Anatomy I, and Examination and Intervention. I maintained the credits in all other courses I already completed. Next semester, everything will be "back to normal" and I will have a full course load/be fully integrated with my new class. Since I was not in a few other classes that the rest of my class was in this semester, I was really really concerned about the integration aspect, feeling left out of certain things, and being "that girl that failed a class." However, that was totally not the case! My classmates are AMAZING and went above and beyond to make me feel as included as possible. As a cohort, we are all super close, always there for each other, and have already become one big family. I’m so lucky to have them (and love them so much I decided they needed to be the thumbnail image for this post lol). Because I did really well in all of my other classes besides histology the first time around, my classmates never hesitated to reach out to when they needed help with a class, or even just when they needed a few words of motivation to remind them why they are here and what they are working towards when times got tough. I’ve been very open with them about my story so they too can learn from my mistakes and hopefully not ever have to experience a setback similar to mine.

I have a newfound appreciation for and connection with my professors. Every single one of them (even the ones I don’t know very well yet because I don’t have my first class with them until next semester or later) made efforts throughout the semester to reach out to me and make sure I was doing okay. I knew Shenandoah PT was a place I could call home from the day I had my interview, but the love shown for me after coming back from such a hardship proved that everyone in this program cares so deeply about one another and that the professors are truly invested in their students’ success and happiness.

I found my groove for studying, know what works best for me in each class, and have become less of a procrastinator. Since I didn't have a full course load, I worked a few days a week as a high school and NCAA volleyball official. I actually stayed very busy with officiating this fall and did a lot of traveling on the weekends for college matches. So even though I only had three classes, time management, organization, and prioritization played a huge role in contributing to my success. Although this is my “job,” this counts towards my “me time” because I love it and just have so much fun with each and every match. So, it was my nice little break from school work and studying.

I really really really don't want to throw the overly cliche "everything happens for a reason" line in here, but gosh, honestly... it couldn't be more fitting. Reflecting on my dismissal experience, there's definitely some things that I wish I would have done differently to prevent that outcome. But you know what? So many beautiful things have happened in the mean time that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Here's some of those things:

  • I got to go on a road trip to not only visit my best friend that I hadn't seen in over a year, but also be a part of the 25th anniversary/vow renewal of her parents - which was totally a huge deal because her mom had just recently made a miraculous post-stroke recovery!

  • I got to travel to California to be a part of my cousin's wedding and reconnect with family that I hadn't seen in over 10 years!

  • I got to spend tons of time at home with my family and help them move into their new home!

  • I am a volleyball official - so, I got to branch out, travel a ton, work lots of fun new USA (club) tournaments, and achieve my Junior National certification at the Girls' Junior National Championships *huge deal*!! That achievement opened up so many new doors for me in this fall's collegiate officiating season and I'm now working for five new NCAA DI conferences! Woop woop!

  • I got my sh*t together and lost 26 pounds (and counting). I still have lots of work to do - I have my fair share of off days and my eating/exercising got pretty inconsistent as the semester got busier, but I feel comfortable in my own body again and bettered my health in so many ways!

  • I rediscovered myself and have never felt more fulfilled or happier in all of my life! I can confidently say that where I am right now in life is EXACTLY where I want to and am meant to be (ughhhhh I know I know another cliche, but it's true... so sorry not sorry)

Okay… now I bet you want to know how I did in the class I actually failed, huh? Well, I totally rocked it out! I’m not gonna lie… it’s still a hard class and there a fair share of tougher concepts to thoroughly understand. But, with the help of the class I took in my “off semester,” being a harder working and more dedicated student, and not letting external factors affect my performance as a student, success has been my only option!

One of the biggest differences I have noticed in my studying and comprehension of material is that after the exam, I still know and fully understand the material. I was guilty of procrastinating and cramming. I studied with the mindset that I needed to do well on exams, opposed to studying with the mindset that I need to make sure I actually confidently understand the material so I can apply it in a clinical setting one day. So long story short, I optimize my studying much better now and have become a far more efficient and purposeful learner.

So, all in all, things are going really, really well! All of the different components of my life are vibing perfectly with each other now and I just couldn’t be happier with where I am not only in PT school, but in life as a whole. PT school is not easy people - throw in a bunch of stressful, personal extremes and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. But when things get tough, remember that you are not alone and someone, somewhere out there is probably experiencing or has experienced similar circumstances. I experienced some major bumps in the road in the start of my journey, but I worked relentlessly to overcome them and am more resilient now than I ever was before.

What’s in store for next semester? A full 18-credit course load that includes my first clinical rotation in outpatient ortho, as well as Histophysiological Aspects of Movement II, Gross Human Anatomy II, Musculoskeletal System I, Introduction to Therapeutic Intervention, Functional Neuroanatomy, Psychosocial Aspects of PT Practice I, and Medical Fundamentals.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Peace and blessings, friends. Peace and blessings.