“Coffee is continuously running through my veins to keep me awake, my shoulders are permanently slumped to keep me gazed over pages of mundane material, my right hand is developing arthritis to deny my unyielding notes, and clouds of loneliness befit me to forever be in relation with books, notes, and the drone of the Francis Center on every night.”
If this was my existence after two months into the DPT program, it would be a bitter and dreadful road. I’m here to tell you, as a first year physical therapy student at Elon University, my expectations of this program, my classmates, the professors, and life as I know it, has been blown out of the water. I dare say that my 52 classmates would echo this. The last two months have been simply amazing.
This is exactly where I am supposed to be.
When we first entered the doors of the Francis Center on January 8, anticipation and excitement of the unknown was electrifying. The onset of our first module drove us deep into the psychosocial realm of healthcare. This course transitioned our minds from stagnation to thinking as a physical therapist. We also tackled insurance terms and wrapped our minds around the recent Health Care Reform. A few moans rose from our seats at times. These courses plus a few others were structured such to give us time to make a smooth transition into a new place with new people. I was so grateful for this!
Many of us came from out-of-state as well as areas outside the Elon community. Coming from Michigan, I was anxious about what my new North Carolina life was going consist of. I felt like I was going to a party in which I knew absolutely no one. To be honest, I was a hot mess. But after a few hours into orientation, I lost track of all my fears. And now after a few months, I feel like I’m at home with 52 great new friends. We have been able to grab dinner or coffee, have movie nights, travel to Greensboro and Chapel Hill, and of course have study groups. My class is my new family and I won’t trade them for anything.
As I transitioned from a hot mess to someone who is cool, calm and collected all the time(ha), module 2 entered my life and things got brain crazy. About a month ago we started a new module in which the course load stepped up its game. We were ready though and we are tackling it with tact. We met our teachers in anatomy. Being able to work with a human donor is such a neat experience. I am absolutely loving it. It astonishes me every lab to gaze upon the intricacies within our bodies. It really is quite something. We are being challenged with a lot of information; yet, when the material is so applicable and interesting, studying is, do I dare say, fun?
And this goes for all of our courses at the present. It really is a good time with amazing professors leading us onward. The professors I have worked with for the past two modules hold incredible intelligence, compassion, and vibrancy for life.
All in all challenges are presented daily; being stretched in thinking is constant; late nights reading and developing understanding is continuous but incredibly enlightening and applicable. You are pushed, you are pulled, but you go to bed at night being thankful and feeling that this is right where you belong. Any opening in my planner can be filled with something new. I’m having a great time volunteering at the Therapeutic Riding Center, working with a professor and a patient, playing basketball intramurals (undefeated so far!…1:1), and continuously developing relationships with my classmates.
We have so much knowledge to gain in this field over the next three years. Sometimes it seems overwhelming but when you take it day by day and remind yourself to be thankful for the opportunity to become a physical therapist, stress diminishes and the goodness of life abounds.