Alright, so we knew this post was coming. It’s time to chat about how I am feeling about finishing up my coursework in physical therapy school: with only two clinical placements, a case report and a mission trip left before I have my DPT. We’re gonna do it Thinking Out Loud style…
This one is obvious. It’s an exciting time in my life. I’ve made it this far; how can I not be excited about the next step? I’m excited to be able to utilize what I have learned the past 2.5 years in the clinic and actually be able to use my knowledge to help people. That’s an exciting thing: being able to help people. And I’m going to be a doctor. I know this is a soap box for people in the PT world – but we earned this degree, and you’re damn right people are going to know that I have a Doctorate degree. I didn’t sell my soul to my school for 3 years to not be respected for what I earned. It’s EXCITING!
I’m nervous about so many things. What if I don’t know what I’m doing? What if I mess up? What happens if I get in to clinic and just freeze? Where am I going to get a job? What type of clinic do I want to work in? What’s the real world like?! Living at home the past few years while in school has been an incredible help – but I am so nervous about being out in the real world. Obviously, I cannot wait to move out and be on my own, but its just a little nerve-racking. The nerves just build up as I get closer to starting my clinic in January. The next few months are going to be as if I am on a high speed train and can’t get off: talk about nervous.
These 34 strangers who I met two and a half years ago have become my family. They are some of my best friends in this world and it makes me so, incredibly sad to think that we only have so much time left together. A few won’t even be here this winter for clinical and I won’t see them again until we head to Costa Rica on February 21st. That makes me so sad. And to think when we all are graduating and finding jobs and moving away – I don’t even want to think about it.
Anxious is a word that I would use to describe myself on a daily basis. It could be my middle name. Add in serious life decisions and life happenings: enter panic attacks. Luckily I have been doing great ::knock on wood:: without panic and anxiety attacks lately. I’m anxious about the future. That’s generally what makes people anxiety ridden – they worry too much about the future and they don’t focus on the now. This is me. I want to know what my life will be like in a year, I want to know where I will be working, I want to know if I will pass the boards the first time, I want to know where I will be living and with who, if anyone. All of these things plus a million other things add on to my anxiety daily. I feel the need to be in control of my life at all times, but I am slowly learning that I just need to live and take life as it comes at you – I am much better at this than I was a year ago, so I accept that as a win.
I’m scared about all of the things I am anxious and nervous about. I’m scared that I will fail at something that I have worked so hard to achieve. I am scared that I won’t find the job that I want. I am scared that I will not be able to make it on my own. I am scared of the future and what it holds for me (Read: I need to be in control of my life: see above).
I did it. We did it. We made it. I am so proud of myself for getting to this point in my life: 5 months from a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I am on the edge of my dream and I will not stop now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that seemed so long just 2 short years ago. I am proud of myself for pushing through hard times over the past 2.5 years to get to this point – there were many times when I wanted to give up, to quit, to crawl in a hole and never come out. But I’m here. And I am so proud of myself and my classmates for making it. WE DID IT.
I 100% would not be here without the amazing support from my classmates, from my best friends from home, from my college teammates, from my family, and from everyone who helped me along the way. There were some rocky times in the past 2.5 years, times when I didn’t think I could keep up with schoolwork, or stress got the best of me and I just broke down. But they were always, always there to pick me up and put me back on track. Even when I didn’t realize they were there for me, they were behind me 100%. And for that I am forever grateful.
Above all of these emotions, I know that I am ready. I am ready for this next step, I am ready to move on with my career and get it started. All of these other emotions may take over every once in awhile – but if I remember this, remember that I am ready, then I can never fail. And I will not fail. I will not let myself down. I won’t let my family and friends down who have been with me along the way. I am ready.