Thursday, July 31, 2014

Inside: Daily Life as a 1st Semester PT Student

After getting accepted I thought I had it made. I knew it would be difficult but I figured it would be a slight step up from undergraduate. I was in for a rude awakening.  The first trimester started off with anatomy and lab, physiology and lab, as well as all the other heavy hitting classes.  At first it started off really rough. I was at school from morn until eve, dawn until dusk, all day.  I would arrive at school somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. and would not leave until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.

 Utilizing time management has been key.  I have learned new, effective study methods, because simply applying what I learned as an undergraduate was insufficient. After the initial shock of starting school, on average I now find myself at school in class and studying from about 8:00 am to 6:00 pm every day.  Here is a quick look into a typical day.

6:45     Wake up
7:00     Get ready for the day (shower, get dressed, pack a lunch)
7:45     Drive to school
8:00     In the library (listening to online lecture)
9:00     Anatomy lecture 
12:00   Lunch & hangout 
1:00     Anatomy lab
3:00     Break (look at Facebook, check email, play games on my phone)
3:30     Study (I normally just study for whatever test is coming next)
5:30     Break (just a few minutes to wake up)
5:40     Review (this is key to retaining what you study)
6:00     Finish up (after reviewing I just head home, on test weeks I will review until 7:00 or 8:00) 
6:15     I get home and relax.  This is when a lot of my classmates go hit the bars, workout, etc.  (I don't drink and I have a wife and two kids so this is when I play with my kids.)  

I by no means want to sugarcoat life as a student DPT but above all it is doable.  At times I feel like I am at my breaking point when it comes to studying but I just stop and take a 15 or 30 minute break to re-energize and get right back at it.  It does take up most of your time but I don't have any classmates that don't have at least some social life.  Honestly the load is heavy and the work is hard but its not impossible. 

I'm no expert but feel free to ask any questions about pt school in the comments box. I want to help pre-pt students in anyway I can. I was just in your shoes not long ago. 

Find me on Twitter: @dpt_usa

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