So, you’ve decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. Good for you! Not only do physical therapists enjoy benefits like job security and flexibility, but they also get the satisfaction of making a difference in their patients’ lives. But, as wonderful as these benefits are, you’ll have to work hard to get them. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 7 tips for physical therapy school!
7 Tips for Physical Therapy School
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re just starting out. But, don’t let this stop you from getting involved in your new community! Search for local volunteer opportunities and student groups that you can join. Becoming a member of your local APTA chapter is also a great way to meet other students and industry professionals. Staying active in these groups will help you gain real-world experience and bond with others!
Build a Network
By getting involved, you’ll start to form connections with other people. Networking is very important when it comes to gaining insight and expanding your knowledge of physical therapy. As important as grades are, they’re not the only thing that will open doors for you in the future. Be sure to maintain connections with your peers and your professors, because there’s a good chance that they will benefit you later on. It’s also a good idea to look for mentorship in your field. Seasoned physical therapists know what it’s like to be in your shoes and they will be able to provide you with guidance as you complete your studies and start to look for jobs.
Practicing self-care is crucial to success. You can’t perform well in school if you’re overexerting yourself. So, find ways to balance your academics with your personal life. And most importantly, take some time for yourself. Utilize self-care strategies such as taking breaks and eating better so that you can stay physically and mentally healthy. Ignoring your personal needs will only lead to burnout, so remember to take care of yourself!
Focus on Your Own Progress
It’s easy to compare yourself to others. But, this will only hurt you in the end. The only person you have control over is yourself, so stay focused on being the best student you can be. This will always be more important than outscoring your classmates. When you become obsessed with outdoing others, you can easily lose sight of what’s really important. Recognize that your individual experiences and skills are unique and they will serve you well in the future. So, focus only on your own progress and what makes you special!
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Failure truly is the greatest teacher in life. It helps us learn what to do differently in the future. So, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Every person does at one point or another, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, the only reason you should think of a failure as a defeat is if you don’t learn anything from it.
Think Beyond the Grade
As we said before, grades do matter. But, they still aren’t the most important facet of your academic experience. Instead of stressing out about getting straight-a’s, shift your focus to truly learning the material in each of your classes. Expanding your knowledge of physical therapy and determining it’s practical application should be your main focus, not your GPA. Adopting this mindset will help you set healthier goals for yourself as you continue your studies.
Don’t Give Up!
Perseverance is arguably the most important of our tips for physical therapy school. It’s important to remember that while you may be struggling now, all of your hard work will pay off in the future. And if you don’t believe us, just ask your mentor or anyone else currently practicing!
If you’re just starting out as a physical therapy student and have any other questions, be sure to leave a comment below! We’ll be happy to help.