Dear Zoom, it wasn’t you >
September 14, 2021
I’m just going to say it—I miss Zoom University.
Zoom University and I had a toxic relationship and although it wasn’t my first, it certainly is the only one I miss. Sometimes you really “don’t know what you have till it’s gone.” Don’t get me wrong; I love being on campus, seeing all my beautiful friends, and making real-life connections with my professors, pero like*…it’s hard out here.
Before making the transition back to in-person classes, after over a year of Zoom, I never truly realized or acknowledged how much work it takes to be an occupational being, aka a student. Let’s just consider some of the things that we didn’t have to do when Zoom was part of our lives (or at least my life):
- Get ready in the morning (if you still did this, I am proud of you and I admire you)
- Prep lunch
- Pack bag(s)
- Leave the house
- Drive to campus
- Find parking
- Walk to class
- Sit in class
- Actually pay attention in class (R.I.P mute and camera functions)
I’m sorry, but the fact that I can’t get up and walk to my fridge for a quick snack or mute myself/turn my camera off and lay down on my bed for a second is rude. Also, do you know how intense my phobia of getting stuck in LA traffic on a school morning is? Ok never-mind the phobia, have you seen those gas prices? Seriously though, transitioning back to in-person classes has been quite an adjustment that I wasn’t fully prepared for.
As much as I hated being confined to Zoom at home, I had a greater sense of control over my entire school experience and I loved that about our relationship. I didn’t have to worry about traffic, whether or not I would find a parking spot, or being late for that matter. I could monitor the sound level, air temperature, light intensity, number of guests—basically everything that I have absolutely no control over in the underground lecture hall, G 37. G 37 induces sensory overload in my body and exhausts me; it makes me reminisce the good times with Zoom.
I feel guilty for hating Zoom so much when all it did was love me and be there for me through the hard times, aka the pandemic. Yes, it gave me migraines and worsened my vision, but it also let me sleep in, eat during class, lay down between lectures, and spend my money on things other than gas. If I am being honest, it wasn’t Zoom, it was me. I was so upset and stuck on the idea of being “robbed” from my graduate school experience that I didn’t value or appreciate all the good things Zoom had to offer. I thought I was ready to move on—to be 100% back in-person and on campus—but what the heart wants is not always what the body wants or needs. While my heart is happy to finally see and meet my cohort and class in real life instead of a square on a computer screen, my body is tired and needs time to adjust.
I know I am not the only one feeling this way, and I just want you to know that you have permission to miss Zoom too. Listen to your body, allow it to rest and recharge as it adjusts to yet another change.
*Common Spanglish phrase meaning “but like”
Occupational Therapy, but Make it Dramatic >
September 2, 2021
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dramatic but being dramatic is what got me here, kind of.
You see, the moment I decided I wanted to go to college in the first place was very movie-like. I was a junior in high school when my family drove to Tijuana, Baja California for a weekend trip. I sat in the back of our Yukon with my head leaning against the window staring into the distance, probably contemplating my life, when I saw it. There it was written on the building: “UCSD School of Medicine.” I don’t know if you believe in signs, but this was mine. I was destined to become a doctor.
When college application season came around, I had no idea what I was supposed to do — I didn’t even know what a major was (the first-generation in me was showing). One day I was randomly talking to a girl in my class about what school she was applying to and what “major” she had chosen. This is when I discovered kinesiology and loved everything about it. Naturally, I changed my mind and decided I wanted to be a physical therapist, which was fine right? After all, it was still a career in the medical field. So, there I went applying to Cal Poly SLO and declaring kinesiology as my major. I was really going to college you guys.
When I got to college, we had an orientation into the major. That’s when I first met Dr. Clark. Dr. Clark began his introduction by telling us that we were going to start off wanting to become physical therapists but would leave the program wanting to be occupational therapists. I didn’t believe him until I failed chemistry. Imagine this: I get into my dorm, log onto my student portal, check my grade, and begin crying as I slide down the door in slow motion thinking I’m going to be kicked out of the university for failing a class. I could have won an Emmy or an Oscar. After I got it together, I realized that I was fine, everything was fine, and I didn’t need chemistry in my life anyway. I decided to change my academic track to one that didn’t require me to take the organic chemistry series and that is how occupational therapy popped up once again.
The more I learned about occupational therapy through my own research and volunteering experiences, the more certain I became that it was what I wanted to do. Occupational therapy highlights the humanity of an individual and recognizes that they are more than a label or diagnosis. We help individuals identify what is meaningful to them and their lives and develop a holistic approach to meet their goals and needs. I’ve come to understand that it’s not about what I do (i.e., deliver medical services) but about how I do it (i.e., being client-centered) that draws me to this field.
So, be a little dramatic, for all you know you may stumble upon your dream career.