I have a confession to make. Ever since I stepped foot in the clinic, I was ready to graduate. As much as I tried to engage during class and completely dissolve myself in the content, the patient interaction and humbling application of knowledge is intoxicating. At my second clinical rotation, I remember waking up each day excited to go to the skilled nursing facility. It was the moment I knew without a doubt that I was meant to be a physical therapist. And I couldn’t wait to have the opportunity to work each and every day.
But as February begins, so does the reality that my classmates and I only have 2.5 months together as a whole. Come mid-April, we will all split up for our Selectives module. While we are thrilled for the opportunity to dive deeper into special topics, explore new research or travel abroad, the temporary environment that we have become so comfortable in is beginning to expire. Once Selectives are over, we all venture out to our final 6-month clinical placements.
Arriving at PT school, I expected to become friends with my classmates, but I never realized the lasting impact they could have on my life in 2.5 short years. We have celebrated in each others highest moments including engagements, weddings, and even the birth of a child. We have supported each other through some of life’s most challenging obstacles. We have commiserated in the lows and relished in each others successes. After spending countless hours together, we have come to know the sound of each person’s laugh and the intricacies of their guilty pleasures. These life-long friendships have such a profound respect that is intertwined with the passion for our career. It’s hard to imagine that in a year we won’t see the same 46 faces every weekday at 9am.
The more I have thought about the limited time I have left with these amazing people, the more important it has become to truly savor the moment. Instead of dreading the longer days of lecture, I look around the room and I appreciate the company around me. In these short 2+ years, my classmates have transformed into incredible clinicians, and I can’t wait to see the amount of success they achieve in their lifetime. I know I will be cheering them on throughout the way.
I have the rest of my life to be a physical therapist, but only a few months left as a DPT student. Savor every moment. It flies by faster than you know.