On having a break:
It sounds weird, but part of me is glad I did not get into grad school so I could take a year off from forced learning. I was so burnt out by the time junior year came to an end. Obviously, part of me is still disappointed that I didn’t get in, but that’s why I’m trying again. I’ve only been out of school for 2 weeks, but I’ve already learned so much and improved my life. Granted, I have a little more time off than a normal AT since I’m only a part-time intern, but I try to keep busy. So here’s some things I’ve been thinking about in regards to time/having a break.
- School = stress. Obviously! Especially when you’re a senior and trying to figure out your plan for after graduation at the very least. It’s a lot of pressure, and even without that, school is a lot of pressure. It drains everything out of you, so I’m glad to have this break to recharge and learn stuff on my own, which I will DEFINITELY do, and I’m already doing it, actually!
- I have time for the gym! I even have time to work in actual rest days into my workouts instead of forced rest days because I don’t have time. I mean, my very last semester I had much shorter clinical hours so I could go nearly everyday for even 3 hours some days. The gym is a very big de-stressor for me, so it’s important for when school stresses me out. But that’s slightly unfortunate, because sometimes school is what takes away the time I have to work out. It’s a horrible, awful cycle so I’m glad to be away from that for awhile. Anyway, working out is also an energy booster which leads me to the next point!
- I’ve rarely had coffee. Okay, I am a natural morning person although I try to deny it, so it hasn’t been too hard. I’ve been able to get more sleep, or at least it’s more restful since I’m not as stressed. Also, even though I work early in the morning, it’s very different from morning class — you’re moving around, forced to be on your feet, and you get to talk to your athletes and coworkers. That gives me energy for sure. And then, going back to the gym — it’s an energy booster, so now when I workout mid-day and study after dinner, I don’t even feel like I need coffee, it’s great.
- I like learning now. I’m going to try and start studying early in the morning, because I realize the first few hours of your day are your most efficient. I’m currently studying for my certified strength and conditioning specialist exam (CSCS). Oh my god, it’s so hard. It’s all stuff I learned in school, but stuff I forgot because I didn’t feel it was absolutely essential for being an AT. I was very wrong. It took me 3 hours to get through half of my biomechanics chapter, but the difference is that I actually LEARNED the stuff! When I came across something difficult, I didn’t just skip it, I really tried hard to wrap my mind around it and eventually got it. When I came across something applicable to my own life, I’d get SO excited. So, not only does it apply to my job, but it also applies to my own workouts and understanding how my body works, and I basically can be my own strength coach, so THAT is great! Anyway, I just find that when I actually try to understand things and apply it to my own life, it sticks way more, and I actually WANT to learn it. I can’t wait to go to grad school and learn even more about specific injury sites, for example.
- I have time to COOK for myself. Which makes me happy emotionally, physically, and relaxes me mentally. Food/eating has been a big stressor for me as of late, so when I have time to make my own healthy food and actually enjoy it, it takes so much stress away from me.
The most important thing about being away from school is that it’s given me time. Time is so, so precious. I hope to use it more wisely out here. There’s nothing wrong with Netflix days sometimes (it was 46 degrees these past 2 days OK), but I’ve been getting out and doing more stuff than usual, I’d say. I’ve been reflecting more, working out more, studying, cooking. My mom tells me to get a hobby but she doesn’t get that working out is one of my main hobbies…but I do want to find some other ones so I don’t just waste my time. Hiking, perhaps. Who knows.
For now my main goals are: workout. eat well. study a lot. start talking to grad schools now. learn financial responsibility. go on more walks. be happy. Having time is truly wonderful.