Believe the APTA Hype
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Becoming a physical therapist (PT) has been a lifelong dream. But during the first few months of physical therapy school, I wondered if it was the right career choice for me. At that point, there wasn’t really a class that got me fired up about our profession.
Around that same time, I was encouraged to join APTA.
Spoiler: My APTA experience has lived up to the hype!
My involvement in APTA was slow to start, but it was evident that as soon as I dove in, one opportunity lead to another, and door after door began to open: joining task forces, becoming a PT Day of Service ambassador, partaking in research in mechanical engineering, leading pro bono efforts with Vietnam Health Clinic, and cofounding a new student organization at the University of Washington called HuskyADAPT.
I was lucky enough to attend the 2017 National Student Conclave (NSC), where I was surrounded by engaged students and clinicians from across the country. NSC was just 1 weekend, but in that short time I met many incredible mentors, leaders, entrepreneurs, advocates, and innovators.
It was at NSC that I felt the fiery excitement about the future of my chosen profession. Every student I met, every story I heard, I felt excited to be a part of this profession.
Eventually, I realized that these game-changing opportunities and the feeling that this was the profession for me, didn’t stem from textbooks or getting good grades, but instead it derived from traveling within the social circles of my mentors, colleagues, and peers—even if it was coincidental.
It took me some time to get here, but because I dove in, raised my hand, and offered my time, I discovered what the value of APTA is for me.
I am eternally grateful for what APTA has given me: lifelong relationships, support to exceed the status quo, and a new energy and passion for physical therapy.
Becoming a #FreshPT is scary, no doubt. But I am more prepared than ever because now I have a support system that stretches near and afar, wherever I end up. Cheers to another year, APTA!
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.
Brandon Nguyen, SPT, is a student at the University of Washington. You can connect with Brandon via email.