Grad-School Photo Book

*This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own*

So I’ve been wanting to get all of my photos from grad school together in an album forever, and I considered getting all crafty and making a scrapbook, but I felt like that would take more time than I have to spare. Luckily, I got an email from Shutterfly to make a free photo book (it was one of their promotions in the spring).

Anyway, I had so much fun sorting through all of my grad school photos (from school in Pittsburgh, to clinicals in Florida and North Carolina) and then putting them together and designing my own little photo album. When I finally finished and the book came, I was so thrilled with how it turned out! I’ve loved showing it off to my family and friends, and I wanted to share some of the book here today!

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect CheronPhoto Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

Photo Book via Imperfect Cheron

There are tons of layouts to choose from, as well as different backgrounds and little decorations, so each photo book you make could be special and unique. It was also easy to use. I’ll definitely keep looking out for free offers from Shutterfly!

 

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OT Fieldwork: Rotation #2

If you’ve been following this little blog for a while, you know that I’ve been finishing up grad school (for occupational therapy) with my clinical rotations, which are 3 months each. My first rotation was in Florida, and I’m 4 weeks in to my second rotation here in North Carolina. I wanted to give you all an update on how my second rotation is going!

fieldwork update april

I was extremely excited for this particular rotation, because the setting is Outpatient Hand Therapy, a specialized subset of occupational therapy. I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that hand therapy is my dream career, though I wanted to wait until I spend 12 hardcore weeks in it to be sure. And I love it so far, you guys! It’s challenging and overwhelming and frustrating and wonderful, all at the same time.

Basically, my experience is like riding a joyful/anxiety-filled roller coaster. Some days I feel like, “yes, I’m really getting this!” Other days I feel completely incompetent. It’s stressful most of the time, because I go in without knowing exactly what to do or where to put my hands or how to make small talk with people. And sometimes we have to work patients in and I have to do something that I wasn’t expecting to have to do that day. I won’t lie to you, it has been a great challenge so far, mentally and emotionally (and a little bit physically–I am not used to sitting all day anymore!). But it’s so fascinating and motivating; I feel like I’m learning so much and really enjoying the setting. It just feels right, even though my confidence is fairly low and I have SO MUCH more to learn.

All in all, it seems to be going okay-ish. (: Thanks for letting me geek out about my second rotation today!

xo

I’m Moving!

This post has been something I’ve wanted to write for a while now, but have been kind of afraid to. It’s kind of a long story and I won’t bore you with all of the details, but I’ve dealt with several disappointments and some major drama concerning my full-time clinical rotations (for occupational therapy) for the spring. When I thought everything was finally settled, I announced the news on my Facebook page, only for everything to fall apart a few days later. I was pretty heartbroken and frustrated, but as of now I have my placements for the spring, and I’m just crossing my fingers that nothing bad happens with them! Anyway.

Pittsburgh 2

I’m excited to share with all of you that come December, I’m saying “goodbye” to Pittsburgh and moving…twice in the spring. That’s right. Two placements, two states, six months. It’ll be interesting to say the least! I don’t want to jinx things too much, so I’m not going to share where I’m going. As it gets a little closer, I promise I will keep you updated.

Cathy

Looking up at the Cathedral of Learning.

As happy as I am to not have to spend January-March in Pittsburgh (the COLDEST winter season ever, am I right?), I’m a little bit sad to leave! I’ve made so many amazing friends here, and it’ll be really hard not to spend 8 hours a day with them, 5 days a week. Plus, there are so many things I love about Pittsburgh. It’s a great city, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I have a few things I still want to see/do before I leave, and I’ll share that “to-do” list in the near future.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy the beautiful fall season here in the ‘Burgh and relish these last few months.

Thanks for letting me share my news (and ramblings) with you!

xo.

a week.

On Uncertainty in Life

With Finals coming up next week and my transition from being a “first-year” grad student to a “second-year,” I’m feeling a little sentimental and doing a lot of reflecting on where I’m at in my life. I can’t believe how fast time is moving this year!

When I look back over the last year, I realize how much my life has changed. I graduated from college, moved across the country to Pennsylvania, and started grad school. I met the most amazing group of people (Pitt MOT Class of 2016 shoutout!) and I’m so glad to have all of them in my life. I’ve truly never felt closer to any group of people! Which kind of makes sense, considering we spend 8 hours a day together in the same classroom. It was such a whirlwind of a year; things happened so fast.

IMG_0452

Now that I’m finishing up my first year of OT school and preparing to enter my last year of school (hopefully forever, how cool would that be?!), I can’t help but think about what the next year of my life will bring. There’s so much uncertainty right now, and it’s kind of cool (and also pretty scary) that I have no idea where I’ll be in a year. I know that I’ll be in my clinical rotations for school, spending 40 hours a week in a real-life OT setting learning by doing, but I have no idea where I’ll be. I’m almost certain that I’ll be in different states (aka, not in Pennsylvania) for my rotations, but I can’t say for sure. I’d be lying if I said that I was really calm about it, but I do appreciate how exciting it is waiting to find out what my future holds. In June, I should know where my clinicals will be, and until then I’ll be anxiously waiting to hear.

Uncertainty is something that is really hard for me to deal with. I’m a Type A, organize-everything freak with some anxiety issues and the need to plan everything in advance. It kind of stresses me out to not be able to plan my housing arrangements and start figuring everything out in my head for the next year. And that makes me a kind of impatient person–I don’t like waiting! But I have a really good feeling about the next year. Just thinking about how much uncertainty I had just a year ago about the future and realizing how well everything has worked out makes me feel a little more at ease. Not knowing is so hard, but I know it’ll work out. And waiting to hear where my clinical sites will be is the hardest thing ever, but I know it’ll be so worth the wait.

My life is pretty unstable and I often feel like the ground under my feet is shaking. That’s when I turn to my friends and family for support, when I try to persuade myself that everything will work out. Something good is always coming, and I find comfort in knowing that.

xo.

On Being Homesick

I feel a little ashamed to say that, with less than a month until I get to go home, homesickness has really gotten the best of me the last couple of weeks. I’ve had highs and lows that change on a daily basis, I’ve been a little grumpy and irritable, and I’ve had a few mild meltdowns.

I’m prepared for this week to be especially hard, because almost everyone will be going home for Thanksgiving break, and I’m starting to feel that little green pang of jealousy. I’m going to try so, so hard to spin my perspective and look at all of the positive things about this week, and try not to let my jealousy and my grumpiness affect others.

Thanksgiving should be a fun day, because a good friend of mine (from California!) is coming over and we’re going to make pizza for our little holiday. It’ll be nice to have someone to spend the day with, and I’m pretty excited about our Thanksgiving pizza!

It’s been a hard stretch, and a really long 6 months since I’ve seen my family. It will be so meaningful when I step off that plane in December and finally get to see my family! It’s nearly all I can think about, and I’m hoping it will motivate me to work extra hard through my finals.

Thanks for listening to my little homesickness rant, I know it isn’t the happiest little blog post that ever existed! But I’m getting through it, I know that this experience is making me stronger and more independent and a better human being.

xo.

Do Woodchucks Chuck Wood?

Hi, there!

Sorry, I know it’s been a while. I’ve been in the process of packing up my entire life and moving to a new city in a new state, all the way across the country (it’s a big deal for me!). I’m happy to say that, after a week of shopping and buying used furniture on Craigslist, I am finally settled in. Life is about to get really busy again: I start grad school this week, and the summer session is going to be an intense and challenging one! Hopefully I’ll be able to post here and there, but (as always) my blogging will be limited. Sorry about that ):

But for now, I want to give you all an update on my newest obsession: groundhogs (also called woodchucks). Yes, they are real. And yes, they are everywhere in PA! There was this little shy guy living under the porch at the house my parents stayed at while they helped me move in (my parents are the absolute best. I would have been lost without them!):

frick house

And, there’s this lovely little groundhog that lives in the shed in my new backyard. I’ve lovingly named him “Welton” because that just seemed like the perfect groundhog name. I love watching this little guy from my window every morning as I get ready for the day. He likes to sneak through the hedges into our neighbors yard to eat vegetables from their garden–he’s a hungry little dude! I think he’s adorable, and I have to say: I’m a bit obsessed with groundhogs.

welton

That’s all for now. I hope you’re all having a great week–Happy June! Can you believe that May is already over?

xo.