A Valued Relationship
Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute
Value is a hot topic in our profession right now, whether it relates to the value of our skilled care or the value of membership.
The value each person gets from association membership, an experience, care, or anything else can be hard to put into words; for some it is very much a feeling.
My love story, my initial heart-stopping moment of the true value of membership in APTA, started at the NEXT 2018 conference in Orlando, Florida.
I walked into the chilly conference center the first night with no expectations.
I loved my profession and I was just biding my time until I was out of school and practicing.
Then I began speaking to other students who were incredibly involved: members of APTA's Student Assembly Board of Directors, people on APTA's Student Assembly project committees, and students who were doing so much more than just sitting in class taking notes and trying to pass exams.
And they seemed the happiest with their student experience. I'm still not sure when they slept, but they were truly thriving.
In those few short days, I was shown how much actively participating can make a difference, not only in my school and state, but also in myself and my profession. I fell in love with being involved and actively showing my passion for the world of physical therapy.
I realized that the connections and relationships I was making with people at this conference and in future volunteer opportunities were going to shape me as a person, and give me a family for the rest of my life (#PTFam).
It sounds incredibly cheesy, but my experiences at conferences over the past year — volunteering at NEXT, running for APTA's Student Assembly Board of Directors at National Student Conclave, joining the AOPT Membership Committee at Combined Sections Meeting, late nights talking about life with friends I never would have had — have transformed me into the person I hoped to be at this point in my career, and who now has so much potential for continued growth.
So I'll leave you with this: show up, you won't regret it.
Kelsey Smith, SPT, is a student at University of Alabama-Birmingham. You can connect with Kelsey on Twitter at @ksmithspt.
Want to share your APTA love story? Submit it here! Haven't had such an experience or moment? We encourage you to contact Kaylee Pobocik, SPT, Director of Membership, APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors to discover APTA value and opportunities.