Staying connected >
September 23, 2020
As an only child, I spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends, probably topping my list of favorite occupations. Although over the years I’ve appreciated being able to have my own private time, I also find a different kind of delightful companionship from them. And so without being able to go out due to the stay at home protocol currently in place, and adding the factor of being away from home, feelings of loneliness do arise from time to time. What definitely has been a huge support for my situation are the various (virtual) social events being held regularly at school, which I think students could really use especially during this time of limited socialization opportunities.
Global Initiatives, for one, hosted an International Student Welcome Celebration Zoom party, where students were allowed to gather virtually (in our pajamas!) and have time dedicated to just catch up, share experiences, and have fun together.
One of our activities was called “bake a wish” where we made paper fortune cookies. We picked out a quote from a list of inspirational messages that were provided by the students ourselves, to provide encouragement to our fellow students. My quote of choice says: “The goal is to be better than who you were yesterday,” to inspire me to keep going especially for when the more challenging times come.
Additionally, is a photo of me with some Post-Professional Master’s students Elmo, Amy, and Ahmed virtually hanging out on a Friday night over Zoom. We played some games and really spent time talking to each other about life and many other things.
Despite the busy schedule, it is nice to have some time dedicated for socialization. Besides, what better way to destress after finishing 3 weeks of the fall semester than celebrate it with my fellow international students? After all, we, humans, are innately social beings; and social participation is one essential area of occupation that we must also fulfill in order to achieve a healthy balance.
To wrap this up, I want to highlight the importance of finding creative ways to make our presence felt to our friends and loved ones even though we’re socially distanced from each other. Each of us carries our own personal challenges, apart from the multitude of things currently happening in our society that may or may not be directly impacting us, so making it this far is really something to be recognized in itself. During challenging and unprecedented times like these, it is through each other where we can find support and draw strength from, so definitely reach out and seek support! Fight on, everyone!
Love is sweeter the second time around >
September 4, 2020
The first time I fell in love with OT was more than 7 years ago (I can’t believe it’s already been that long!). Right from the beginning, I always knew I wanted to have a career in a healthcare-related profession, but I wasn’t sure which field in particular. I entered the Occupational Therapy program with plans to continue on to medical school right after I graduate. However, as I got to know more about OT, I inevitably fell in love with it and felt that I actually was meant to be there. I then explored diverse practice settings as an OT intern and later on a licensed practitioner—pediatric development, adult physical rehabilitation, community-based rehabilitation, geriatrics, and mental health. Each interaction I had with a client was a unique and humbling experience that has served to prove the many ways that OTs can make a difference in our clients’ lives. The famous saying “OTs add life to years, not just years to life” indeed holds true.
Fast forward to several years later, I found myself choosing OT yet again, this time as a graduate student of the Post-Professional Master’s program. I must admit that I initially had my inhibitions about going back to school, but thanks to the efforts of Dr. Danny Park and the whole Global Initiatives team, the transition couldn’t have been smoother. Early into the program, I already got a sense of how expansive USC Chan’s curriculum is when I was presented with a number of choices for my elective courses—some of which I didn’t even know existed! Right then and there, it felt as though I was being introduced to OT once again as I saw a whole new set of possibilities unravel for my future career path. It is for this reason that I can firmly say, I’ve made the right choice. USC Chan definitely gave me more reasons to fall in love with OT the second time around.