The End of the Road
There is no simple way to sum up my life since college. Unlike a lot of physical therapy students, I didn't take the traditional path. In fact it may have been the least efficient way to achieve a DPT degree. But looking back, as cliché as it may sound, I would not change a single aspect of this incredible journey that has resulted in a deep love for my career and pure excitement for the future.
We were doing a lot of reflecting this weekend. I started the program three years ago and couldn't tell you a single origin or insertion for the entire musculoskeletal system. I thought I was by far the least prepared to become a physical therapist, and I honestly questioned whether or not it was the right move. For those of you starting your programs, I hope you find comfort in the fact that despite my initial feelings, I have succeeded and excelled in my program. I traveled abroad for a clinical rotation that I will never forget. I passed my boards early. I earned the respect of my clinical instructors and faculty. Don't lost hope -- it gets so much better. My professional growth has been the direct result of the confidence I've gained by allowing myself to be challenged throughout my education. It has been an incredible ride.
Despite an amazing education, I recognize that my most important accomplishment lies in the relationships I've formed at the University of Pittsburgh. I have friends that will last a lifetime and colleagues I can contact for their expertise. There were a lot of tears this weekend as we recognized that departures are looming in the near future. If you had asked me three years ago if I thought I'd create an entirely new social circle who I care for deeply, I would have said you were crazy. It remains that the capacity to build relationships is at its best when you are challenged within that group -- during the worst finals weeks, long clinical rotations, and endless group projects. There is a bond here that can't be broken and I'm so grateful for that.
So here I am, at the end of the long and bumpy road. As with all endings, it feels bittersweet. I can't express my excitement for the future, but a small part of me will always yearn for the days when I was surrounded by some of the best friends and faculty you could ask for. I know I'm not alone in my feelings, as I'm sure many of you who are graduating (or have graduated) have felt the same.
To everyone who has read this blog over the past few years, thank you for your input, encouragement and support. I wish you all the absolute best in your career endeavors and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to chronicle my experiences as a physical therapy student. Let my journey as a new clinician begin!