When Life Happens During PT School
I've been fortunate over the past two years to have very few life-related interruptions in my attempts to excel at this whole "PT" thing. However last weekend, right before the start of finals week, I received news that my grandfather passed away. The last week has been a complete whirlwind, and obviously final exams and presentations took a back seat to spending time with family.
I'm not the only one who has gone through this. Many of my classmates have lost loved ones since we started two years ago, and others' "school" lives have been interrupted by more joyous things -- engagements, weddings and even babies. For the record, joyous events can be equally distracting, but that goes without saying for my friends who have managed to raise children during the program. A few good friends of mine have managed to plan weddings, despite some resistance from our advisors. It's definitely possible, but I don't envy them at all.
It's funny how narrow our focus can become when we're caught up in studying, clinical rotations and career decisions as we make our way through physical therapy school. For a while there, I didn't have any interruptions, particularly sad ones. If all of this had happened last year, I don't know how well I'd have handled it. The first year of my program is incredibly intense compared to the second, and I didn't see my extended family (including my grandparents) for months on end.
Thankfully I had more time this year to get back to a normal life. In light of everything that's happened, thinking about what little time I spent with my grandfather last year makes me sad. So I guess my advice is this for anyone in the thick of their program -- just remember that life will continue to move on, no matter how focused you are on physical therapy school.