An Occupational Therapy Student Advises Future Students

Hey, OT students, this is Brenna here, from
Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, and I really wanted to make a
video about advice for incoming OT students, and things that I wish I had
known and realized before starting OT school. So first, and foremost, I wanted to
talk about embracing the imposter effect okay, that is something I really, really
felt and really struggled with, you know I had worked so hard to get to OT school,
but then when I was finally here, I kind of felt like I was just treading in the
deep end, barely keeping my head above water. That’s a very, very real feeling
that I know a lot of people feel when they first get to OT school, but um,
instead of it seeming scary I think it’s important to try and embrace it, right –
you’re not gonna learn all the information you want to or you expect to
and you’re not gonna learn it all overnight. I mean it’s just not gonna
happen. There’s so many things that we learn
when we’re in the moment experiencing things out of the classroom. That’s
something to embrace and to realize that’s part of the process of learning,
um, and I just think that kind of getting that out of your head sooner than later
is gonna make you more confident. I mean I think that really took down my
confidence and, you know, my understanding of who I was as a future OT and, you know,
just embrace the process. You’re not gonna learn everything that you expect
to overnight and that’s okay, and you’re not supposed to. And, you know, there will
be the challenges in OT school and that’s just what’s supposed to happen. Um,
you know, if it was easy everyone would be doing it, but it’s not easy and that’s
part of the process and, you know, just welcome that – welcome all the bumps along
the way. I mean I’ve definitely had times where I
felt confident, I felt like “Okay, I see where this is going.
I see myself as an OT,” and then there’s other times where I just feel like
totally lost, right, it’s like “What am I learning? How am I ever gonna apply this?
Will I be able to help my clients in the future?” And so try to just get that
negativity out of your head and replace it with, “I might be struggling now but
I’m struggling to learn more for the future so I can help my clients be the
best that they can be.” Another piece of advice, you know, it’s kind of cliche
but stay organized. It’s real, um, I think one thing OT school will definitely do to
you is challenge you and it challenges you in many ways, and one of the ways that
it does is your ability to multitask. I mean, that’s a real thing that we’re
gonna have to know when we get it out into the clinic and into the field and
if you can’t multitask, you’re gonna struggle. So, you know, recognizing that
you are going to need to multitask, you’re gonna need to stay organized and
stay on top of it, you know, realize that sooner than later,
um, and, you know, get yourself a planner, figure out the ways that you study best,
you know, find a study group that works well for you and really embrace it.
Another piece of advice I have is, you know, just step out of your comfort zone.
I think you know trying to step out of your comfort zone and find new ways to
be a leader is really, really important. Um, that’s one thing that I’ve definitely
benefited from in OT school, and I’ve had a lot of personal growth growth, you know,
not just, um, professional growth, and one of the reasons why I think is because
I’ve really tried to push myself and get myself out of that comfort zone. Um,
another piece of advice, my final piece of advice here is to realize that it
depends – okay a lot of your learning in OT school will be it depends – that’s
something I was not prepared for. My kind of learning when I first came into OT
school is it was either X or it was Y there is no in-between, right? But I soon
learned that much of OT school, OT practice, your clinical reasoning,
everything is in this in-between area, and it really depends. You’re gonna have
to start thinking in shades of grey, um, no pun intended and, um, just kind of, you
know, embrace that and know that you’re working on becoming more of a global,
more of a holistic thinker, and this is going to directly benefit your clinical
reasoning and benefit the treatment that you’ll be giving the clients. Um, but
other than that, you know, just embrace the process as I’ve said a couple of
times. There will be it’s challenges to OT school without a doubt, but all of those
challenges, just recognize that they’re giving you another layer onto your
skills. Every challenge you have, just meet it with grace, meet it
with strength, and work to get above it. But other than that, you know, enjoy the
journey. You’re gonna learn so, so much, you’re gonna be pushed, and you’re also
just gonna see the beauty of Occupational Therapy and all the things
that it can do for others and, you know, just know that one day that person is
gonna be you and you’re gonna be the one making a difference in other people’s
lives. Thank you.

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