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What It’s Like to Study Occupational Therapy

What It’s Like to Study Occupational Therapy main image

By Emma Mace

Every morning, I wake up and am increasingly aware of every single thing I do. I notice my ability to get out of bed, walk to the bathroom, brush my teeth, shower, get dressed, and pack my lunch. I analyze every function I utilize to drive my car to school, walk through the door and greet my classmates and professors. I see the subtle yet significant gifts and abilities each of my peers bring to our learning environment. I would never have noticed any of these things without studying occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy is the most unique profession I’ve ever known. Occupational therapists work with clients who may have difficulty doing things they want or need to do because of illness, injury, or developmental delay. The therapist will analyze activities to find out what may be difficult and how to adapt it to meet the needs of the individual. Each day I’m at school, I’m challenged to change my outlook, to be creative, and to wholeheartedly care for those around me.

Graduate school has changed my life. In one year, I’ve formed relationships with my professors, developed skills to put into a life-long career, and learned more about who I am and what my strengths are.

Graduate school is an immersive experience, unlike the constant lectures of some undergraduate degrees. I’ve received more hands-on training, mentorship, and character development than any other time in my life. I’ve learned to view the world as a place that can be inclusive, diverse, and, ultimately, fun.

The most encouraging thing about graduate school is being surrounded by other individuals who share your passion. Each one brings unique gifts and experiences to the table; some have come here straight out of college, while others have gained years of experience in a variety of fields. This is important because you don’t just learn from your professors, but from your peers too. Their viewpoints are invaluable.

Whether you’re interested in occupational therapy, social work, business administration, or biology, the experiences and resources available to you in graduate school and beyond can’t be counted. Graduate school equips you to go out into the community to serve and support other people. It opens doors you weren’t aware of and leaves you a member of a lifelong professional community.

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