Joining APTA: Much Like a Blind Date
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Joining APTA was like being set up on a blind date by your parents with a stranger and having to foot the $90 bill.
Like many other schools, my program required me to be an APTA member.
With student debt and no interest in dedicating time, money, or energy to anything outside of school, this wasn't the way you were getting buy-in.
At first, my relationship with APTA was entirely digital.
I would get emails inviting me to conferences and promising a good time, and I’d see pictures of friends doing just that, but it just never seemed like it was for me.
It wasn’t until I gave APTA a chance that I realized I should’ve believed the hype all along.
The University of Central Florida helped fund my cohort to attend National Student Conclave in 2016. It was at that conference — a conference designed for and by physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students, by the way — that I got to meet the APTA family, my #PTFam. They were everything that I could have hoped for: friendly, supportive, like-minded, driven, and passionate. They made me a better version of myself.
After that experience, I was hooked. I was bit by the bug. I was in love, and I couldn't wait for more! Since then I've attended multiple conferences from Combined Sections Meeting and APTA's NEXT Conference and Exhibition to APTA's Federal Advocacy Forum. The relationship I've developed with APTA has given me opportunities to travel the nation, connect with leaders in the field, advance my understanding of the profession, and advocate for myself and my patients, all while finding my community.
I am confident in saying that I will be an APTA member for life.
Erica Parazo, PT, DPT, is a #FreshPT based in Florida. You can connect with Erica on Twitter at @parazoPT.
View more APTA love stories. 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.