Student Blog | Melissa
Hey everyone! This is our last semester in the program, and things definitely haven’t slowed down. As a result, I’ve realized that a common theme amongst our class is exhaustion and senioritis. After I graduated from undergrad, I thought that senioritis was a thing of the past, but boy oh boy was I mistaken. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying my time in the program tremendously, and taking electives this semester keeps things interesting, but I am also feeling the burnout. Thus, I wanted to share some of the things that help to keep me going!
Clinical opportunities and seeing OT in action
Although there is no Level 1 fieldwork associated with our Spring Semester, we still have the opportunity to shadow OTs in specific settings depending on the electives we choose to take. I talk more in depth about these opportunities in my previous blog post, so check it out if you’d like to learn more. Getting the information we need during class is always great, as our professors are incredibly knowledgeable and they are experts in their given area of study, but there’s something invigorating about being able to see it play out in a clinical setting. For example, we learn all about the difficulties associated with treating medically fragile patients up the hill at Keck Hospital, but having the opportunity to see what that looks like is hugely beneficial to my learning. It also helps to remind me why I chose to be in this profession, as the OTs we shadow are GREAT at what they do, and the patients truly appreciate them.
Meeting with my Mentor
USC does a great job of providing us with opportunities for mentorship, and we are often encouraged to seek out faculty or staff that we think would offer mentorship in an area we are interested in. I myself have sought mentorship from several faculty and staff members, and I can happily say that we are still in contact today. However, apart from being encouraged to approach mentorship on our own, our program actually assigns us a mentor depending the area of study we’d like to pursue! I personally love the mentor I was assigned, and I am truly grateful that clinicians, faculty, and staff all take the time to mentor us. Things aren’t always going to be rainbows and sunshine, and having someone that I can go to when things get rough is truly comforting.
In addition, I have been lucky enough to work alongside 2nd year and OTD students throughout my time in the program, and they have provided great mentorship as well. As students who are ahead of you in the program, they can offer some great information on what to expect, and even some tips based on their own experiences! I’ve found it really beneficial to have a student perspective as well. Ultimately, seeking mentorship from leadership within the program or students that are ahead of you will help to ease your anxiety, and it can help with your own career planning!
Assisting with interviews for the incoming Ambassadors
This has been a particularly fun experience, as it reminds me that not too long ago I was also going through this process and hoping to be a part of the Ambassador team! It was so refreshing to see the passion, commitment, and talent in our program, and we had some very strong candidates. This position is something I knew I wanted to pursue even before I started in the program, therefore interviewing the incoming ambassadors reminded me of the excitement and NERVES that surround the application process. Now that my time as an ambassador is nearing its end, the interview process has prompted me to reflect on everything we’ve done, and all that we’ve accomplished these past months. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of everyday life, therefore taking a step back to appreciate these last two years has helped me get the energy to push through the last couple of months in the program.
Admitted Student Reception
For those that don’t know, there is an Admitted Student Reception that we host in the spring to welcome all of our admitted students. It’s such an exciting, emotional, and invigorating experience, and serves as a great opportunity to meet your future classmates and professors! I personally had such a great time, and getting to experience it again last year and this year reminds me of the excitement surrounding our admission into the program! Working the event and meeting the newly admitted class is so fun, and I find it hard to believe that my time as a Master’s student is almost over. It’s a surreal feeling, but it serves as a reminder to enjoy the time I have left!
Ordering our regalia for Graduation!
We were recently notified that we could begin to order our regalia and sashes for graduation! Although graduation is a little over 2 months away, it’s exciting to begin to plan for it. It definitely makes it feel more real, and it’s a reminder that we’re so close to the finish line. We also get to personalize our sash if we want to, which makes the process more fun! Because this semester has been so busy, it’s hard to remember that it’s not an ordinary semester, but our last one! Even that small reminder has been enough to excite me to push through the rest of the semester and finish strong.
Being tired and feeling burnt out is not a bad thing. It’s just a sign that you’ve been working really hard for a while! However, it is important to take some time to reflect and remember why you started. It’s crazy to think about how quickly my time in the program has gone by, and I’m excited to push through these upcoming months to walk the stage with my classmates!