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Journey of a DPT Student

When Life Happens During PT School

Published April 30, 2013 1:32 PM by Lauren Rosso

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.

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Great advice, Eric!  It's hard to keep everything in perspective, so I appreciate your insight.  Glad it all worked out for you, and I'll continue to hope it does the same for me.  Thanks!

Lauren Rosso June 7, 2013 11:52 PM

I also felt that PT school was pretty rough our first year compared to the others.  At firts I was bogged down with an immense amount of work and school.  Eventually I couldn't handle studying hours on end and never really feeling like I had time to do anything else.  So I decided that school wasn't EVERYTHING, and that I had to enjoy time with friends and loved ones while I still could.  I needed to set time for school and also make time for myself and others as well.  Before PT school, I had decided to wait to be married until after school.  While in school, I ended up changing my mind and was married during my 3rd year.  It was the best decision I have ever made!  My grades didn't suffer, and I feel I actually excelled in school because I had to get all my priorities straight.  I agree to always make time for yourself while in school and try to live life the best you can (while also being committed to studies of course)!

Eric Bourgeois May 1, 2013 4:57 PM

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