OS/OT Student Blog
As I get back into the swing of things with my classes and being at school each day, it is easy to lose sight of the things that mean most to us - our occupations! While being a student certainly is a meaningful activity for me, it is not the only one! It already is proving to be a challenge for me to continue to engage in my favorite occupations such as hiking, baking, playing with my dogs, hanging out with friends, watching movies, and exercising. Our occupations can have an impact on our health and well-being in our daily lives as well as how we feel physically, emotionally, or socially. Therefore, it is very important to be able to self-reflect on what makes us happy or satisfied each day. I know that if I do not take time to spend with my dogs each day, I feel unsatisfied with my day, that is why each morning before I leave for school and each evening we go for long walks; this is not optional for me, it is something of importance that keeps me going, so I have learned to prioritize my time, and it kills two birds with one stone - spending time with my dogs and exercising! Time is a balancing act, we never feel as if we have enough time, although really it is all about how we perceive our time and how well we use our time. Time management as a student is extremely important. I have learned this over the years, and while I feel I manage my time well, I never understood the importance of continuing to engage in occupations until I started the OT program last summer. It pays to pay attention in school, don’t just sit by and learn about how we can help others engage in their occupations, help yourself! Do not let yourself forget what means most to you! Yes being a student is important, but taking care of yourself is necessary as well. I encourage you all to make it a point this week to engage in activities that are meaningful to you!
Classes just started back up this week and it is a very interesting transition from being at our fieldwork sites full-time to now being back in the classroom ready to learn about another field area of occupational therapy. It was exciting to come back to school and hear about everyone’s experience over the summer, no two sites are identical therefore everyone had exciting stories to share! It’s been fun to hear about the different types of treatment everyone provided, what types of things they created, and how they handled some of their most challenging moments. For some, fieldwork was a time to learn even more about an area of OT they are passionate in, or for others it was about exploring an area that they didn’t know much about. That’s the great thing about Level II Fieldwork; we are required to do them in two different practice areas, which really expands our knowledge and interests within Occupational Therapy. I had the opportunity to be in a community mental health setting at a wellness center. My background is in community health education, so I was very excited to pursue occupational therapy in a wellness setting. It was a great learning experience and allowed me to expand my view of occupational therapy and really think outside the box. I had some challenges along the way, but was provided with great learning opportunities. It’s amazing to me the change you experience over your 12 weeks of fieldwork. You begin not entirely sure of what you will do, and by the end I felt confident in my skills as an occupational therapist. Which makes it interesting to head back to class and learn even more about occupational therapy! I look forward to another great year and can’t wait to keep you all updated on what goes on as I enter into my second year as an occupational therapy student here at USC.
As I begin my first level II fieldwork, I slowly make the transition from a “first year” to a “second year”—you’re kidding right?!? As you may know, the program here at USC is just over two years, in which we spend our first summer in a intensive kick start to grad school, fall and spring in two immersions, second summer in our first level II fieldwork, followed by our last immersion in the fall, a spring semester full of electives, and then our last summer level II fieldwork. Not too shabby! (Follow this link for an in-depth description: http://ot.usc.edu/academics/two-year-masters/course-sequence). I just cannot believe that I have already finished up my first year here! Let me tell you, time flies when you’re having fun, especially in occupational therapy! The “second years” always seemed so knowledgeable, and always knew what was going on in the world of OT; I was in awe of them when I started the program and asked a million questions! Now I realize I will be the one getting the questions and providing answers. Am I ready to pass on the knowledge I have learned in the program from my courses, from my professors, from my fieldwork experiences, from student organizations? I think so!