Yesterday was my last (official) day of class of PT school, we still have a few things on our agenda next week but after that, it’s a wrap! On to clinicals, then boards, then graduation! Time really flew by over the last two and a half years. As my last day of class passes, I want to reminisce on the first day of PT school and how much has changed. SO let’s take a trip back to May of 2015, shall we.
May 15th, 2015: Meet & Greet Happy Hour
Since I was accepted so close to the first week of school, I missed out on rooming with classmates in the beginning so I was very eager to meet my fellow classmates! The first opportunity that arose was a happy hour at Monty’s, a popular UM bar on the water with delicious frozen rum runners and greasy french fries. We have a class Facebook page and everyone was commenting on a post about meeting up for Happy Hour the Friday before classes, I was game! I had driven down to Miami that morning with my clothes and an air mattress, my family was coming Saturday with the rest of my things. I was so excited but my social anxiety peaked… I was headed to a big event with two girls I had just met to meet even more people I had never met! Ahh! I had done some social media creeping so I was hoping at least some faces would look familiar enough that I didn’t look completely lost showing up. The first two guys I talked to by the bar were Nikhil and Steven, still two of my closest friends in the program. I found out they lived in the same apartment as me and awkwardly asked if they would walk to the metro station with me so I didn’t get lost headed to the med campus for anatomy…and there a beautiful friendship began! Some other highlights of the night included ordering the most GIANT brick, yes brick, of french fries with a group of girls and barely even making a dent in it. We pawned it off to some of the boys! Oh and how could I forget the group of girls who all agreed to wear sandals to orientation on Monday, we weren’t sure how professional we had to dress and we figured there was strength in numbers! Funny thing is, for the majority of my time in PT school following that I wore gym clothes to class. I left Monty’s that night feeling much more at ease about the first day of school, everyone else was just as awkward and nervous as me and I was extremely relieved knowing that.
May 18th, 2015: Orientation
Here we are, orientation for PT school… at my dream school! I went with sandals, a bright green top and black pants (kind of nice looking but not too professional, just what we were going for haha). I had practiced the drive to my building the night before, twice… I’m awful with directions. Somehow Miami traffic was even worse than the time I allotted for, I parked (in a place I later learned I wasn’t allowed to park in) and rushed upstairs! After checking in, getting my name tag, and having some free breakfast I sat in the back corner and introduced myself to two very sweet girls, Zaida and Jessica, who are both still my friends as well. I also tried my best to befriend a fun looking girl in a Miami Heat shirt, Janessie.. she later ended up stuck with me, I knew how to pick em early! The orientation was a blur of trying to digest all of the information being given to us and remembering the names of all of the faculty introducing themselves. Then it came down to our introductions, I gave my name and undergrad education and my fun fact was about football, of course. I told everyone I was the girl at FIU who always got comments for wearing UM gear on campus, and I was proud to do so! After orientation we took a field trip to the anatomy lab which required us all to take the metro downtown. This was my first time on public transportation in Miami and I’m so glad I gave it a dry fun before the first day of school! After finding the cadaver lab, I checked out my “bone box” AKA a giant black suitcase filled with plastic bones to study for anatomy. I lugged this box all the way back to the metro and then back home, not knowing this box would be my new best friend. And then I napped…I did a lot of napping this first week!
May 19th, 2015: First day of classes
Here we were, first day of class and diving right into our first lectures. I sat with Nicole, we are also still great friends and this friendship was born over my fun fact about loving football and our shared love for Dwyane Wade and the Heat! Our first lecture was in Med Path I, a class filled with guest lectures from all kinds of health care professionals on a variety of topics. Our professor did a syllabus overview and little intro lecture of what to expect. I remember him asking for an example of a syndrome, my hand went up and I answered “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome,” he looked a bit surprised that this was my choice and asked something that made me answer “my sister has it, it’s kind of the reason I’m here.” I’ll remember that forever, in that moment reality truly hit me. I was sitting in a classroom full of future physical therapists at my dream school, on my way to be the best pediatric therapist I can be to help kiddos like my sister. Yup, that all hit me in the middle of syllabus day. Later that night I had an anatomy book coloring session with Nicole and Alex, we spent the night talking about how nervous we were for anatomy and in the blink of an eye it was time to go to bed.
May 20th, 2015: First day in the cadaver lab
A day to remember, with a scent to remember! The first day of lab I put on my scrubs and headed to the metro with my new friends. I felt so cool on the metro in my scrubs, like everyone on there knew I was there for my first day in the cadaver lab. We started with an intro lecture and then headed into the lab. I was so excited to find out that Nikhil was in my lab group! Another one of my close PT school buddies, Cal was also in my lab group. These two quickly became my support system for school complaining and all of my stories about trying to meet a nice guy in Miami. We had hilarious conversations over our cadaver, and it started from day one, we just clicked! I was a little nervous to start cutting, we began with the bodies face down and started at the back so it wasn’t very hard on the eyes but it was still all new! The boys took over and starting cutting, after a few minutes I decided to give it a try and to my surprise, I didn’t faint, cry, or vomit! I was proud of myself for that alone. Quickly I realized how much there already was to learn, a whole list of actions, origins, insertions, and innervationsfor muscles I had never even heard of! It was the beginning of my very own nightmare (spoiler alert, I survived!) After lab, I dragged my exhausted body home on the metro, took a nap (I’m telling you, PT school turned me into a nap queen), then hit the books until bed. This was my new ritual… for the rest of the summer!
There were many many many more “firsts” and I hope to continue to have even more “firsts” throughout my PT school career but these four dates will always be memorable. I love looking back to the beginning and seeing how much growth I’ve made over the past couple of years. I’m excited to be sealing these memories up in my blog because years down the road who knows if I’ll remember the little details!
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