OS/OT Student Blog
Hey everyone! Can’t believe it’s officially Fall already! This means a couple things - cooler weather (hopefully,) Fall sports, (go Lakers, Dodgers, and Trojans!) and application season! For this blog, I’m dedicating it to the hopeful prospective students in the middle of their application process. The application process is a long road, requiring patience, diligence, and sheer determination. Reflecting on my own journey, I can definitely admit that I ran into my own share of challenges. Yes, it can be tedious - taking the GRE, fulfilling prerequisites, requesting letter of recommendations, etc. - at times it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself in this situation, all I can say is, remind yourself what is fueling all your efforts. I think at times, we get so caught up in the process and the end product that we forget why we are doing things in the first place. In my personal experience, I would do my best to give myself daily reminders of my dream. Some ways to do this, which worked for me, include the following:
Reading this blog: I remember meeting Ricardo, a past USC OT student ambassador at OTAC two years ago, and told him that whenever I found myself too caught up in the application process, I would visit this blog to envision what it was like to be a student. In doing so, this would remind me of what I was working towards, and the experiences I would eventually look forward to one day.
Keep immersing yourself in occupational therapy: Listen, you’ve already found your calling, which some people spend their whole lives looking for! Now that you’ve found that OT is for you, then all I can say is start living OT today! Whether that’s volunteering, reading up on research, attending conferences, advocating for OT, etc, it’s never too early to start practicing your calling in life!
Stay balanced: Balance is something we preach in OT everyday. Surround yourself in the meaningful occupations that define who you are, because those occupations will provide perspective, especially if times get rough. I understand that the application process is monumental, but so is living and enjoying your life! In addition, by living a life of balance, you’ll be immersing yourself in a concept that you’ll be emphasizing to all the people you will eventually help one day.
Surround yourself by people who will fuel your fire: By surrounding yourself by people who will support you unconditionally, they’ll be able to give you reminders of why you’re working towards your dream. These are the people who truly understand your passion, and will give you that extra push that you need. Whether that’s family, friends, or a mentor, I can honestly say that without these people in my own life, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Dream big: Finish this line: When I am an occupational therapist one day, I want to ________. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish as an OT. In doing so, you’ll give yourself that extra motivation as to why you’re engaged in the application process.
Patience, patience, patience: As i mentioned earlier, the application process takes time. It’s human nature to want instant gratification, but good things truly do come to those who wait.
Your best is all you can ask of yourself: - Once you turn in your application, celebrate, blast your favorite song, and do your happy dance. No matter the outcome, you’ve focused all your efforts over the last couple of weeks/months/years towards making your dream come true, which is all you can really ask of yourself. If that same effort shines through when you’re an OT one day, you’re going to be an amazing clinician.
One of the most happiest moments of my life - the day my acceptance letter came in. Here I am with my little sis, as we both got into our respective graduate programs on the same day!
Hope my words of encouragement serve you all well. Stay determined, stay hungry, and stay focused. It’s all worth it. Best of luck to you all!
Over the Summer, I was fortunate enough to receive an opportunity to do my level II fieldwork (3 month full time internship) at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. The experience was nothing short of epic; Hawaii is an amazing place with so much untarnished beauty, friendly people, great food, and amazing surf! I was afforded an opportunity to immerse myself within an occupational therapy physical disabilities setting, where I was able to improve my skills as a future clinician. It was an extremely rewarding experience working with the heroes who have served our country, who shared with me so much wisdom, knowledge, and gratitude as I got to know/work with them in therapy. In addition, I was welcomed in like family by the rehab team at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, who made me part of their Ohana from day one.
I’ve been told many times that the culture infused at the workplace will ultimately make the work place, and I can honestly say that at the Honolulu VA, they’ve established the right culture and have found the winning formula: Give aloha, receive aloha. If you can show people that you care, that you believe in them, and that your efforts are fueled by your passion, it really is incredible what can happen.
Here I am with the awesome OT team, presenting my final project: The Occupation Based Toolkit - Helping People Reach their Goals through Meaningful Activity.
Chillin’ and grubbin’ on some Poke at Lanikai beach
Waimea jump off of “The Rock”
“Many rivers, one ocean.” The Hawaii Floating Lantern Festival brings together people to honor loved ones who have passed, including the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country.
With that said, I definitely miss Hawaii, my vets, my rehab Ohana, and the friends that I made over there, but it does give me plenty of great reasons to visit again soon! Who knows, I may even even call it home one day
Aloha for now,
Greetings and aloha everyone!
Welcome to my very first blog post! I Being that this is my first blog post, I figured I’d start with the story behind why I’m here today:
As an undergraduate, I attended Cal-State Fullerton, where I majored in Kinesiology. During my time at CSUF, I developed passion and love for surfing. In fact, surfing became such an important occupation in my life (defined as meaningful activity) so much so that I decided to take the surfing class offered at CSUF four times! During each semester taking the class, I was assigned to do a project that would increase my awareness and education regarding surf culture. For one of my projects, I decided to write a paper about surfing and explain a therapeutic purpose as to why I engage in it. In my research I came across the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, an organization that utilizes ocean and surf therapy to facilitate meaningful activity and foster therapeutic relationships for children with special needs and Veterans who are living with PTSD. After doing more digging, I found out that the program was started by an occupational therapist who was a product of USC’s OT Doctorate program (USC’s very own alumni, Dr. Carly Rogers!) To realize that you can utilize something that you love to do and use it as a means to help people pretty much solidified my career aspirations of becoming an OT. Coming full circle, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Rogers when she spoke to our class during my first summer session within the program! Here’s a snap of Dr. Rogers and I, the OT that ignited my journey. Thank you, Dr. Carly Rogers!
As I continue on my journey as an OT student, I can definitely say that it’s been a fun, enlightening, and rewarding ride thus far, and I’m stoked that I’ll be able to share with you my experiences. As I continue to enjoy this ride, stay tuned for more of my adventures as I continue to grow within our program and profession.
Take care and aloha for now!