First off, let me formally introduce you to the Texas State DPT class of 2019:
While you form your own words about the people in the above photo, I think I, and probably many of my classmates, have one word that sums up PT school: exhausting.
First, note that in our case “exhausting” doesn’t mean bad or terrible. It’s the good kind. However, we live the truest meaning of the word. Personally, I have never sleep so hard so consistently since I even began my undergrad days ages ago. Imagine trying to escape a tornado, but you can only run in a straight line from the direction it’s coming, and it’s moving along the exact same line. That is PT school in terms of the amount of information that has been poured into our puny little brains. Days are long, and I honestly lose sense of time on a regular basis.
I’m actually starting to settle into a routine. It isn’t perfect by far, but like my apartment it’s coming together and I’m constantly making improvements. Mornings are (supposed to be) for muscle review. I am finding though that I make exceptions when need be if it looks like I’ll get less than 6 hours of sleep.
The first two weeks have felt both slow and fast. Again, the days are so long; they don’t end when class ends at 4:00-5:00. There’s still the evening study session. Additionally, many of us have to factor in gym time (and no; it’s not really negotiable, it’s a must). And even there I take my flashcards. There’s no escaping the learning.
We’ve had two quizzes so far, and our first test is this week in Anatomy. We had our first taste of being in a wheelchair, sort of a warm up for the 24-hour test that are starting this week for us. We wheeled around Texas State’s Campus (which, by the way, has an annoying amount of stairs and not enough ramps), and simulated car transfers. My wheelchair-bound day isn’t until July 7th, so I’ve got a little time to mentally prepare for it.
I’m discovering that one of the keys to surviving these weeks – because every week you have to tell yourself “Just power through this week…” – is to give myself small things to anticipate or look forward to. Sleeping goes without saying, but also other things like trail running or playing sand volleyball, or going to a movie on Friday evenings, or Sundays when I let myself go to Austin and study. Changing the scenery once a week does WONDERS for the mind. Sometimes you even accidentally go to the same coffee shop in Austin as one of your classmates. In addition to the learning, we cannot escape each other even when we try #loveyoudanielle.
Also, I’m realizing just how much you need your classmates with you on this endeavor. This is not something to go alone. I think we all are able to take comfort in the fact that this is challenging for us all. It’s crazy that after just two weeks no one feels like a stranger anymore…idk maybe the fact that after just one week we all had to go shirtless for palpation lab contributes to that thought a little…