On My Way to the Orient!

This was the sign welcoming me to the career of my dreams!
This was the sign welcoming me to the career of my dreams! (Photo Credit: Sarah S.)

…the Orient-ation, that is. 😀

Today I had my first day of orientation with all of my classmates, professors and instructors that I’ll be spending time with and getting to know for the next two years. It was a whirlwind of a morning, mostly because I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out the transportation situation in my new town and getting places on time! I’m hoping I’ll get the hang of it soon, but it’s not going very well for now.

Still, I made it into the classroom only one minute late and I’m totally going to count that as a win!

When I arrived, I felt like all of the blood, sweat and tears I poured into my graduate applications, career research and volunteering efforts for the past couple years were absolutely 100% worth it. Seeing the room full of hopeful, nervous graduate students with whom I’ll be embarking on this two-year journey almost gave me butterflies, because I know I was looking at the faces of people who are going to be making a difference in the lives of hundreds or maybe even thousands of people we have yet to meet. Whether we’ll be working with children to help them gain the skills they need to be successful in school, older adults who need driving rehabilitation to maintain their independence or hospitalized patients who are in pain and just starting on the road to recovery, I know that as occupational therapists we are going to make unique contributions to each individual’s treatment and quality of life and that the work we do is truly going to matter.

Although we spent much of the morning discussing practical and logistic aspects of the program, like Student Services, financial aid and our responsibilities as students, I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering. During my professors’ (very helpful and informative!) presentations, I found myself wondering where I would be five, ten or fifteen years after earning my degree…

Acting a clinical instructor to an occupational therapy student on a fieldwork assignment?

Advocating for the profession on Capitol Hill?

Fulfilling a role as a valuable member of a statewide or national OT organization?

Working my dream job at Walter Reed Military Medical Center?

I almost can’t wrap my head around the possibilities! There is so much that I want to do, see and experience as an occupational therapist, and the door to all of that is opening up to me right now!!! In just a couple of years, I will be a practicing occupational therapist and I will have the opportunity to interact with, learn from and impact so many other people in the world. And I am so, so ready to take this next step.

From here on out, my blog is going to from the perspective of an occupational therapy student who is attending classes, doing clinical fieldwork at a variety of sites, working, playing and trying to keep it all in balance. I hope you’ll keep reading and continue with me as I step into my first real, graduate level courses, my first fieldworks, my first struggles with concepts and classmates – all of these things that ultimately amount to being the first steps towards my dream career.

I can’t wait for the journey to begin, and I’m so thankful now that I no longer have to!

One thought on “On My Way to the Orient!

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