DancerFutureDPT

Academic Administrator
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7+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2009
843
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251
Chicago suburbs
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Academic Administration
Does anyone have good methods of fighting burnout? I took a year off between undergrad and grad school to take prereqs and work. I am now finishing up my last two required courses, one of which is totally kicking my ass and making me hate my life.

I've worked at PT clinic for almost two years in a variety of roles, and most days I really like it. In fact, when I started working there I had no intention of going into PT, but I fell in love with it. I've gotten into a great PT program and am really excited to get started, but sometimes I think it'd be easier just to do something in my undergrad major, start making money, and live life, or go to a 1 year grad program for something else I also really like. But that's not really what I want, I don't think. But I feel like there are so many uncertainties with PT right now, between financing it, health care reform, etc., that I'm starting to second guess myself (did I rush into it by taking all these classes in such a short time frame, should I have tried working in the real world first, etc.) I've always been the kind of person with a broad interest/skill set ("jack of all trades, master of none" is kinda the story of my life), and I have the attention span of a fly and hate the idea of being tied down into one specific thing forever. I know that I'll have lots of options with PT, but even so my interests are so narrow (although I know after school that may change and I may find a passion in something I didn't know would interest me).

I know I will love it, because everything has come full circle for me and it always ends up coming back to PT, but I think I'm freaking out because it's becoming real. I'm terrified of getting $100k+ in debt and not really being satisfied, or going a year and then deciding it's not what I want to do and then being $60k in debt for nothing...because that's kinda how it was with undergrad for me (changed majors countless times, had to go an extra year at community college to get the prereqs done) - except at least in undergrad it was my parents' money, not mine :p

I even went and saw a career counselor at a school I work at, and did an in-depth assessment....of course it listed a PT as one of my top choices, along with some of the other things I really enjoy doing too. That wasn't much help.

Has anyone else been in this position? How did you overcome it? I feel like I'm getting burned out before I even start.
 

MotionDoc

PT/PhD
Oct 29, 2009
151
0
0
Status
Rehab Sci Student
From my experience ANY career decision has similar "life-altering" consequences.

...if you want to convince yourself PT isn't the way to go, well you have some justification for that decision...but, can't you just as easily come up with equally convincing reasons why you should stick to the path?

This is just my two cents, but people in general are very fickle and tend to go whichever way their emotions point them.

My advice: Reason out all your options and make a truly informed decision.
 

HonorG2

10+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2008
14
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Dancer - I have been contemplating the same dilemma since I applied this past fall. It has been nearly 2 years since I received my BA and nearly 1.5 years of paying back some of my undergrad loans. My loan payments aren't all too high, but they are constant reminder of the debt I have to my name. The serve as the strongest warning for not wanting more excessive debt from graduate school.

I made a decision when I applied that I wouldn't accept an offer unless it was financially reasonable/feasible. I'm sorry, but I value my own financial well-being in the long-run over my love for PT. I can love another career without a $500+ loan payment each month, and that's on the low end. I found out today that I was NOT categorized as an in-state resident to my #1 school, which was a real eye-opener and still baffling to me. After a separate resident application, multiple e-mail correspondence, and phone calls, I received the bad news 2 hours before my deposit deadline. Apparently a letter is in the mail detailing my denial in more detail.

The difference in cost for in-state vs. out-of-state for this mentioned program is $45,000. I declined the offer. I couldn't fathom paying more than double as a non-resident for a DPT degree, nearly $90,000 for tuition alone.

PT was a great career before it was exploited by schools (raising tuition costs), the APTA (creating a "doctorate"), and loan company's (high interest rates). It is out of control in my opinion. Concerning my case, I don't really know if I would have entered school this coming year if I had been categorized as an in-state resident. Even then, I would have been looking at nearly $70,000 total for the program. IMO the field is of great interest to many (maybe that is the problem), but the compensation and cost of tuition do not equate, not to mention the absence of any substantial scholarships. I could go on and on about my gripes with the system, but I just wanted to share a personal experience with a little quantitative data.

It's easy for people to get into a bad graduate loan situation (especially those coming right out from undergrad), not realizing the effect it will have on them in the future.
 

HonorG2

10+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2008
14
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Plan B doesn't involve PT school, that's about all I know right now.