I just woke up from the most solid night of sleep I’ve had since the journey began. You know school is literally all you think about when you dream of saying muscles or taking a practical #truestories. Is it a problem? Clinically, probably not. Is it annoying? When you’d rather be dreaming about the boys you never meet, or the nice meals you never get to cook anymore, yes, it is extreeeeemmmeely annoying.
I changed my rule about no alcohol for the first year to just the summer #whatever. All I wanted the second I walked out of my anatomy final was a beer and sleep. As each of us finished, I and the rest of my class trickled in to Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub at the square to say congrats to each other before we go hibernate for two weeks.
To my friends and family (and those of my classmates) no, we cannot fix your muscle pains. We cannot manipulate your joints. We only finished one semester. We learned a lot of stuff, some of it will be lost over the next two weeks. But I can guarantee a short list of knowledge that won’t be lost: muscles, the five protein-making organelles, the most abundant connective tissue cell, and using your “big house.” Too bad none of those are great ice breakers.
Hard to believe we are already one semester down. I know that eight more seems like a lot, but this went by at the speed of light. Not to mention that only 5 of those are book work, the others being our clinical rotations. Yes, the mental energy tank will be taken to its limits repeatedly, and I’m anticipating on having to pull a second wind of “I can” out of my ass on numerous occasions. The first semester was a big learning curve for a lot of us. Besides studying like there’s no tomorrow, I’ve learned a few survival tips that kept me afloat:
- Sleep: get enough of it.
- Naps: those PT tables aren’t good for just PROM and bed mobility.
- Coffee: never enough
- Move: I understand that going to the gym or on a run takes a small chunk of study time out, but part of getting through this program is staying active, if anything to relieve some of the mental tension. I rotate between the gym, running on the trails, and sand volleyball.
- Eat WELL: as stress levels go up, immune system integrity goes down. No further comment here.
- Have a confidante or two: We’re all going through the same hell. We all get along with everyone. It helps to be just a little closer with a couple of those people you see every day…because the tears and cursing are real.
- Accessories to make you forget you’re in PT school: Different colored pens, a bright laptop case, lunchbox with a fun print (mine is glittery red and black animal stripes), a pet maybe, etc.
- Study methods: establish what works for you and run with it. Don’t flounder too long.
I am very ready to the break, as limited as it is. Congrats again everyone!