As a senior, I have been thinking a lot lately about what I really want to do when I graduate. I know I still have 1 year of grad school here at Scranton (which I am NOT complaining about) but it’s still scary to think what I’ll be doing after that.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Even when I first started applying to colleges, I thought for sure that I would end up back in a classroom teaching. That was until I learned about occupational therapy.
I first learned about OT through my mom. She is a one-on-one nurse for a young boy with special needs. There was an OT working in the school where she also worked and my mom thought that it would be the perfect fit. After doing a bit more research, I decided to give it a try.
Looking back now, I think deciding to be an occupational therapy major was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made. Going to my first OT class freshman year was intimidating because I was still not sure exactly what an occupational therapist was or if I even wanted to be one. To be honest, it has taken me almost 4 years to truly understand the meaning of OT.
If I had to describe in my own words what OT is I would say that it is a holistic therapy that incorporates the use of purposeful and meaningful occupations in order for the client to return to maixmal independence. For example, as an OT working with a client who just had a stroke and needs to work on strengthening his upper body, instead of just having the client do exercises, such as lift weights, to improve strength, the OT would have him engage in a purposeful activity, such as dressing.
What I love most about OT is the client-centered approach. The main reason that I want to become an OT is to make an impact in someone’s life by helping them in some way. By having a client-centered approach to therapy, I feel like I will be able to make a difference for someone.
So as I’ve been thinking more about post-grad life, I remember the many lessons that I have learned these past 3 years and the many more I will learn in the years to come. I now know for sure that I want to be an occupational therapist when I graduate and help people is as many ways as I can. I think that as an OT, I can still fulfill my desire to be a teacher by teaching my clients what they need to know in order to regain their independece and improve their overall quality of life.
Have a good week!