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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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Closing Time

Liz

May 4, 2021
by
Liz

Beginnings and Endings Diversity What are OS/OT?

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I knew this time was coming — final blog post and graduation! I cannot believe next week is graduation. These two years flew by so fast and I’ve seen myself grow so much. I’ve met lifelong friends, who can’t get rid of me now because they know far too much about me at this point. I am so excited to see where life takes us and all the amazing things we will do as OTs soon.

I never imagined getting a Master’s degree. If you took a poll at the schools I attended from elementary school to high school and asked “Which student in this classroom can you see in USC’s OT program one day?” it certainly wouldn’t have been me. I am grateful for all of my mentors from elementary school until now who encouraged me and believed in me when I didn’t. I am also thankful for my family, my amazing partner, and friends who’ve been there for me throughout this journey! I couldn’t have done it without you all.

Pictures speak volumes, so here are some of my favorites captured these past two years that make me happy. Prepare for photo dump!

Pictured: the future’s greatest OTs and my best friends! From left to right — Stephanie Gomez-Rubalcava, Raquel Rios, Renee Reinberg, and Lorelei Ritter. We did it! We went from crying in the hot tub of our apartment complex after only knowing each other for one week our first summer to crying tears of laughter. Go us! We’ve shared so many beautiful memories together and I am beyond grateful for each and every one of you. Cheers to us!

The greatest team in the world! Bethany, Calvin, Savi, Daniel, Yna, Lamoni — you are all such kind souls and I really wish we could just work together forever. Special thanks to the amazing Kim Kho — Kim, you are a gem. Ya’ll need to stand behind me on this one. Kim should honestly host a TED talk. You’ve pushed me to be myself, stay creative, and have always made our mental health a priority. A million times thank you! I will miss you all so much.

A FAQ I received this past year was “will I have time for a personal life?”. My answer is always, yes! Sometimes it’ll be a little challenging, but it’s very doable. Personal life consists of so many things — for me, it was making time to spend with my favorite person in the world. A very special shout out to a very special, patient, and goofball of a man my boyfriend, Josh. Thank you for being so supportive and working with my wild schedule!

Pictured: my motivation for everything that I do! My mom, dad, and little sister. Which brings me to the point: anyone else agree it should be illegal for younger siblings to be taller? Anyway, thank you for shaping me into the woman that I am today. You came to this country with nothing, only to give me everything. You painted my wings, we did it.

Bonus picture of my dad. He sent me this picture during my first week in the program — proudly posing at work with his boss’s USC flag. This picture keeps me going. You’ll have your own soon, pa!

Now, the terrifying, yet exciting question: What’s next?! After thinking long and hard, I decided not to go through with the OTD. Financially, it is not within my reach at this moment in time. And, I think it’s time I help my family. So, although I REALLY hope to teach some day, now’s not my time. But, I am hopeful that I will find my way back to reach this goal. For now, I am excited to help provide my parents with health insurance and lift some weight off their shoulders.

My fieldwork educator from the Spring mentioned he may have a position available for me after I get my license, so I will be staying in touch with him. As you all know, I had a blast! So, I am looking forward to going back and some day taking in a fieldwork student 😉 I am excited for what’s to come. And lastly, thank you to all the faculty at Chan whose made my experience truly unforgettable. Fight on!