The Road to Graduation: Inside the Elon DPT



I can’t believe I’m actually back at Elon, writing this again. In some ways, it feels 100 percent normal and natural to be back on campus. We have settled right back in to our busy school schedules, but yet I have so much that I have learned and experienced that makes me different than when I was last here. I see these changes in my classmates as well.

I hear stories of patients, of CI’s, of struggles and triumphs, and I know that we are not the students we once were. We have rounded out our clinical experience with time in each type of setting and we’ve had to find ourselves in and through these different types of settings. Some of us have excelled in orthopedics back in January, some in inpatient/SNF/acute, and some have yet to find their niche. However, I do know that each of us has learned something about ourselves and about the PTs we want/don’t want to become. There is a new and sound sense of confidence in my classmates that is very refreshing to see.

I have been back in the U.S. for just over a week and my time has been filled to its maximum with moving, catching up with friends, adjusting from jet lag, getting right back into intramurals, and teaching my mind and body to sit back in class once again. I would like to think that things will settle down soon but I’m not so sure this will be the case. We have the rest of this week before enjoying a Thanksgiving break with family/friends, then we’ll be back in class for just under three weeks, and then we will have Christmas break for two and a half weeks. The ebb and flow of PT school always keeps us guessing, but I do believe it teaches us the importance of adaptation and change, as this is one constant in PT.

I will be sad to see the third years graduate in just a few weeks but I look forward to catching up with them as they return for one final week. As they slowly file back in, I have been hearing their thoughts of “quicker than we thought” and “it’s hard to believe we’re here.” There is a sense of anticipation for the future, a sadness to leave the world that they have known for three years, and gratefulness for the experience that this has been.

They will surely be missed.

When we return back in January, we will be joined not only by a new class of PT students, but also the first PA students that Elon has seen, while our current first year class will be spreading out on their first clinical. I cannot believe we are already here. These past two years have truly flown by. You always hear it from others, those that have already been through it, but it is hard to comprehend that all of those hours of studying bring you, somehow, to your third year. Time flies.

Italy: I have yet to process a lot of the experience but I am fully aware that I have learned a lot about myself through the process. I am still working through the similarities and differences between Italian and American cultures and PT, but I’m not sure I will even know the extent to what I have learned until I return back to the clinic. I would definitely not trade the experience but it’s hard to believe that it’s actually all over. It was an experience of a lifetime, to be sure.

On a side note, the School of Health Sciences is sponsoring another blood drive on November 28. If you’re in the area and are willing and eligible to donate, we would love your help! Sign up for an appointment here.

Happy Thanksgiving!