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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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My Support System


by Daniel

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Diversity Life Hacks

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This past week I received the best news ever, “WE” passed the NBCOT exam! The reason I say “WE” is because I attribute every big accomplishment to my support system. Yes, they will always say that I’m the one that put in the work but I feel that my accomplishments are and always will be a collective effort. Where I come from, it often takes a village to do what very few have done before. This past weekend made me reflect back on my support system and their unconditional love and support. I have been fortunate to have people in my corner every step of the way. Being the first person in my family to go to college came with a set of challenges that at times felt unmanageable. From thinking college wasn’t an option in high school to now being in the OTD Program it has been a long journey to say the least. Last Wednesday, when I opened that email with the NBCOT score, I felt a sense of relief as well as gratitude because I know what it took for me to get here, to be one huge step closer to being a fully licensed OT. This is much bigger than me because it goes back to the hardships my parents and my community have faced.

There have been moments in the last couple weeks when I felt defeated while taking classes, completing my residency, going through life, and studying for the NBCOT. It is in these moments that it helps to lean on your support system. Whether that is your family, significant other, friends, classmates, mentors, school organization, etc., it is good to know that there is someone there for you. Having people checking in on me, giving me good vibes, and understanding that I had to spend almost every day studying helped me get closer to the finish line. Sometimes a quick encouraging text can go a long way for someone. And I think this has been the theme of my entire college career, having people that cared enough to make sure I was doing okay mentally, emotionally, and physically. Today I want to simply thank every single person that has made an impact on my journey. The list is too big to add on here today but you know who you are.

This year has been such a unique year as we had to completely change our lives. It has been a year of ups and downs, and times full of uncertainty. All of this plus the responsibilities we still have on a daily basis can make anyone feel overwhelmed. If you ever feel like you are just drowning in school work and other responsibilities, take a moment to reflect on how far you have come. Remember those long nights when you used to have conversations with your loved ones about going to OT school and now you’re here. Hold on to those moments and use them when times get tough. When things don’t go your way, take time to feel those emotions, heal, and when you’re ready get back to it because there is always more than one path. Know that regardless of the outcome your support system, your village, your people, will be there to help you get back on your feet. They will not judge you, and instead will respect you and care for you. Now more than ever it is important to stay connected to your support system. Spend time with those people, whether that is in person, FaceTime, Zoom, whatever way you can. One thing I have learned is that accomplishments always feel best when you can share them with the people that were there along the way. Lastly, take all those lessons you learned along the way and support others.

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