Student Ambassador Blog | Caroline
Finding (and falling in love with) OT!
I really enjoy studying occupational therapy at USC, and am so excited to share my experiences with you this year. For my first blog post, however, I want to share a little bit about how I got here, starting with how I learned about occupational therapy (OT).
In the eighth grade, I was assigned a big, scary research project, appropriately named the “Eighth Grade Project.” I was to choose any topic, conduct research on it, and write a paper on what I learned. I chose to research Autism. While learning all about Autism, I stumbled upon occupational therapy as a profession that could help individuals with autism. My research described occupational therapy and how it could help individuals with autism with social skills, sensory processing, development, and so much more! My eighth-grade self thought that was super cool, and decided right then and there that’s what I wanted to do in the future. Believe it or not, I never changed my mind!
Through high school and college, I learned more and more about occupational therapy as a profession. In high school, I conducted my “Senior Project” (also quite appropriately named) shadowing an OT at a pediatric clinic, seeing what I had read about for so long. In college, I observed OT in a nursing home and at an outpatient clinic for adults. Throughout my observation experiences, I was amazed by both the breadth and depth of the profession, and knew that OT was for me. I also liked that it was a helping profession, would allow me to work with people, and that every day at work could look different.
I could write a novel about what I love about OT, and I hope you’ll see a lot of that come through in my blogs this year. One thing that stands out to me, though, is that after a year of studying OT, I haven’t yet learned about a practice setting, diagnosis, or subset of OT that I can’t envision myself working in or with. All of the studying, projects, and presentations don’t feel like a chore, because I genuinely enjoy what I’m learning, the professors I’m learning from, and the experiences I’m having in the program. I love learning about OT, and, in particular, I love learning about OT at USC. I’m so happy to finally become the OT that my eighth-grade self dreamed of, and I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and my love for OT with you over the next year! Thanks for reading!