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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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Wrapping Up with Thanks


December 3, 2019
by Kaho

International Living in LA

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I hope everyone had a relaxing and long Thanksgiving weekend surrounded by friends and family! Students of the Chan Division are back for their final week of classes and are sprinting to the finish line as they prepare for presentations, final papers, and exams. It’s a time of high stress, but I want to try to soak in the warm soothing vibes from Thanksgiving for a little while longer.

I spent my Thanksgiving this year with my boyfriend’s family here in SoCal. My family is far, far away in Japan and the holidays can be a lonely time for international students like me, so I’m really grateful to have been able to get that home-with-family feeling with lots of home cooked food. My cohort, Cohort A, also had a Friendsgiving potluck that week. I found out that everyone is a master chef and we had like . . . a century’s worth of food. It was amazing. Our professors, Dr. Diaz and Dr. Gunter, prepared turkey and ham for us too, so I’m not exaggerating when I say we had a FEAST.

Cutting turkey

Dr. Diaz and my classmate, Daniel, cutting the turkey

Cohort group picture

My favorite cohort 😉

*Sorry for the blurry photos, my phone has terrible quality*

As this semester comes to an end, I’m reflecting on all that’s happened (classes, fieldwork in pediatrics, elective courses selection, OTD application, externship planning, student ambassador events, etc. oh my) and how quickly these past 4 months or so have flown by. To be honest, this whole year and a half since I started the program has flown by. I can’t believe that I’ll be done with my final immersion by the end of next week and I only have one semester left until I graduate. I know that next semester will feel even faster because it’s filled with exciting elective courses and I’ll be working lots of events. Although I have an indefinite list of things that I’m thankful for, this year, I’m especially thankful for the friends that I’ve made and become closer to through the program, the opportunity to pursue my passion and study OT at USC, my teachers and mentors, my family that never fails to support and encourage me no matter how far they are, my support system back in San Diego from undergrad, and my good health/able body. I’m heading home to Japan over winter break and my annual family reunion is waiting for me on the other side of finals. It’s been a whole year since I’ve seen them, so I’m beyond excited and motivated to get through these last two weeks. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and good luck on finals! Finish strong!