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Need Some Encouragement/Advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by kato3, 05.17.14.

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  1. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
    Hello everyone. I've been reading this forum for the last couple of months, and I just need some advice from those who have been through the challenges.

    So a little bit about myself: after I graduated high school in 2011, I attended this gap-year program with my church for 2 years, mainly to search and discover about myself and my life of faith through service projects and activities for character development. I took a semester off after I left this program to help support my family financially, and during that time, I started to become interested in PT through visiting a therapist for my shoulder. I researched more about PT, and I became more convinced that this profession is my calling and something I want to do in my life.
    But recently, I have been in a dilemma about my choice. My parents are concerned about me attending 7+ years of school for this profession, mainly because my family is really tight financially (pretty much I need to finance all of my CC expenses), and I still have 2 younger sisters who have not graduated high school yet that my parents need to support. Part of me feels that I should find a decent paying job asap to support my family (so maybe go to the PTA route or other medical-related field), but a part of me has the desire to attend graduate school and do what I want to do in my life: putting my knowledge of the human mechanics to support my patients physically. I'm honestly torn.

    Also, I just finished my first semester last week, and many distractions came during the final weeks of school, leaving me to settle with Bs in both Chemistry I and Biology I, and most likely leaving me with a 3.4 GPA for my first semester. I might be being too critical of myself, but I am bummed that my prerequisite GPA took a hit, and it has been bothering me the last couple of days. I know GPA isn't everything, but I just needed to post about my concerns. I know that this is a long post, and most of it is just me releasing my emotions, but I appreciate any type of help/advice anyone can post here. I just feel like I screwed up my first semester of school in 2 1/2 years, along with working 20-hours a week paying for my tuition and a portion of my car payment. I feel like you guys are the only ones that can support me right now. Thank you very much.
     
    Last edited: 05.17.14
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  3. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    Most people who apply to PT school are "tight" financially and don't have a lot in savings. That's why they depend on loans. If you don't have any debt right now, then get the DPT. You're potential will be greater, you'll have an easier time finding jobs, and you'll be more satisfied. Go to CC, go to an in-state school, and spend as little on a bachelor's as possible. When you apply for PT school, apply to in-state schools to keep tuition as low as possible. Live frugally. Getting the PTA will be less expensive and take less time, but you will be less satisfied in the long run.
     
    hulksmash2010 likes this.
  4. hulksmash2010

    hulksmash2010 2+ Year Member

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    I agree. Don't worry about debt. As a PT you'll make it all back quickly depending on how you use your money. I say go for the DPT program. I was told by a physician to go for a PTA because it's easier to get into. I quickly dismissed his advice and I'm glad I did. I got into my top two schools. Do what you want to do. Work hard and you'll get in.
     
  5. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
    Thank you NewTestament and Hulk for your advices and encouragement. I don't feel depressed anymore, and I feel redetermined now to work harder into realizing this dream. Also, I saw my grades for this semseter today, and my Chemistry teacher raised my B up to an A!!! There is hope!!!
     
    Last edited: 05.20.14
    hulksmash2010 likes this.
  6. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    Oh, I want to ask your opinions again. Lately, I have been thinking about which degree I should study for. Right now, I am declared as a kinesiology major, and also am thinking about minoring in psychology. I wonder if I should do the reverse and get a major in psychology and a minor in kinesiology. I know for sure that I want to be a physical therapist, but what do you guys think?
     
  7. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    Neither of them are good majors, but if you have to choose between the two, do psychology. You need to know kinesiology but beyond physical therapy it's pretty worthless.
     
  8. lovepixie

    lovepixie 2+ Year Member

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    If you are sure you are going to do PT, do whatever major you want just make sure you're pre-req grades are good. I majored in Execise science because I was absolutely sure that I was going into PT. This helped me a lot bc some of the pre reqs were built into my major. Financially speaking, go with the major that allows you to take as many pre-reqs with the curriculum so you can save money and not have to go back and take all those extra courses.
     
    hulksmash2010 and markelmarcel like this.
  9. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    What would you consider a "good" major besides business-related degrees?
     
  10. NewTestament

    NewTestament 5+ Year Member

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    Majors that pay well, and majors that are actually in demand. Kinesiology and ex-sci don't meet either criterion.
     
  11. somehowmadeit

    somehowmadeit 2+ Year Member

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    If you're set on becoming a PT, your undergrad major doesn't matter, so take whatever you will enjoy the most. Financially, it may make most sense to take a major with the prereqs built in, like kinesiology, but it's not a requirement.

    When applying, committees look for your overall GPA and pre-req GPA. Those are the general cutoffs. They must be above 3.0, preferably above 3.5. In other words, get A's and the occasional B and you'll be fine.

    You have a great personal growth story as you've typed it out in your initial post. I think it's a story that can help you to convince a committee that you're a great candidate for an interview. As long as you have good grades and a good story, you're a strong candidate.

    As for debt, you'll make 70k the second you step out of DPT school. Within 10 years you'll have paid off the bulk of your debt. If PT is what you think you'll enjoy doing for your life, the money part can be taken care of with loans that you'll pay off over time. There's a LOT of time after school to concern yourself with that.
     
    hulksmash2010 and kato3 like this.
  12. DPTRVTCCRP

    DPTRVTCCRP 2+ Year Member

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    "you'll make 70k the second you step out of DPT school" depends on your location and where you are willing to go ;) In rural areas you will make more than in cities, skilled nursing facilities will also pay more (around $10,000 more than other places). Generally think in the mid to upper 60's as a new grad, at least that is what they told us (I just graduated and accepted my first PT position), but money shouldn't be your deciding factor.
    Keep working hard, math and science grades really count. I was a kinesiology undergrad and wish I had done neuroscience because that was where I really struggled in PT school. PT school is HARD, it is meant to be, but you will be a clinical doctor once you graduate within a healthcare field that offers many opportunities. Develop excellent study habits and you will do great. Also some schools waive out of state tuition, mine did for many of my classmates.

    Worse case scenario, you become a PTA (avg $40k-$50k) work a few years to get ahead then attend a transitional program. There are a few of them here in Texas - UTMB is one

    Keep your focus, good luck and remember that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to! :soexcited:
     
  13. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    Hey guys, I've been thinking of a different dilemma recently, and I didn't want to post a new thread, so I'll just post it on this thread. As I mentioned in the first post, I took 2 1/2 years off of school (2 on the gap-year program and a semester to work full-time). With one semester done, I really want to finish school in the next 3 years, but I'm debating if I should take the maximum amount of coursework for a couple of semester to graduate on time. I am currently planning to take Chem II, Human Anatomy, Fine Arts, and ENG II at my CC. I might add sociology (online) to take a total of 18 credits, but I'm still thinking about it. Should I take the sociology class as well? Does anyone have any experience with taking that many courses/credits? I would love to hear your opinions.
     
    Last edited: 08.03.14
  14. Watson27

    Watson27

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    At my school and in my major it was normal to take 18 credits every semester. Some of us even had permission to take more than that. If your time management and study skills are excellent, you will be fine. And if you choose a major that does not have PT pre-reqs in the curriculum, you will probably have to take 18 credits to get them all done in 3 years.

    I would also suggest shadowing/observing more PTs to see if you really love the field.

    Will you be taking Anatomy & Physiology soon? This is a class that can really give you insight into the world of the human body. Sure Bio and Chem are great, but you won't really use that info on a day-to-day basis as a PT.

    Talk to your academic adviser! Does your school have a specific pre-PT or pre-professional/graduate adviser? Many do. And if your school has a pre-PT club you should join it! I'm assuming these resources are probably available to you since your school has a kinesiology degree program.

    Many people in my program (Exercise & Movement) were psych minors.

    I chose Exercise & Movement because I LOVED the classes. I was excited to go to school every day. Studying the material was easy because it was so interesting to me. But if you are looking for an undergrad major with job security without the need for grad school... I think psychology is as worthless as kinesiology. Choose a STEM major. Biomedical Engineering is an awesome field and I wish I had majored in it. You can still go to PT school, or you can be involved in the field in a different way. We have two BMEs at my clinic that run the motion analysis lab. They are an integral part of the team and still have a lot of patient contact.
     
  15. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    Right now, I'm deciding between kinesiology or a biology degree. The way I'm thinking now is that if I take 18 credits this semseter and 17 semesters in the spring, I won't have to take summer classes and focus more on observation hours and working to save up money. I took 4 classes (15 credits) in my first semester of college last spring and got pretty good grades, so I feel like I could manage the courseload. I would like to hear more opinions.
     
    Last edited: 08.04.14
  16. davidtheusername

    davidtheusername

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    Taking heavy loads is good practice for the hours in PT school. Don't do it if your grades will slip, but if you have solid grades then go for it. I took 22 hours one summer. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't too bad.
     
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  17. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    22 hours? Damn. Has anyone taken an intro to sociology course?
     
  18. davidtheusername

    davidtheusername

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    It got worse. There was a big storm that knocked my power out for 3 weeks; it made keeping up with the reading awful. But semesters aren't that long really. And the material was interesting. I've never taken intro to sociology, but I know several people who thought it was fairly easy. I doubt that would be too bad of a class. Definitely not like one of the big science classes.
     
  19. southernswimmer

    southernswimmer 2+ Year Member

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    I took 16-18 hours for my first 2 years of college as an animal science major, plus a D1 sport on top. Take from that what you will.

    If you feel like you can handle the load, go for it!
     
    kato3 likes this.
  20. DPTwannab3

    DPTwannab3

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    I think you can handle the work load. It's all about time management, measuring your priorities and what the classes are. I took 18 credit hours including bio I with lab and Chem I with lab and got all A's. But those are also freshman level courses.

    As for choosing your major, it doesn't matter what it is like the rest said above. I'm majoring in Spanish and minoring in Psych. I'm almost done! As long as you can relate your major to the field you'll be set! I related mine to the fact that we now have SO MANY Spanish-only speakers in our country and I thought it would be super helpful in healthcare.
     
  21. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    Hello guys. I thought that I should post this message on this thread instead of creating a new one. I am in a conundrum on whether I should withdraw from Chemistry 2 this semester. I could still pass the class with a B with a very outside chance of an A (I pretty much need to ace the 3rd exam and the final acs exam). I also took anatomy and 3 general education classes so I could focus on gaining my observation hours this upcoming semester. I mostly likely I will receive a B in anatomy (my community college does not post grades based on the +/- system), and I am concerned that getting those Bs will take a hit on my pre-req GPA. Granted I have only taken 4 science classes so far (Intro to Bio., Chemistry 1 and 2, and Anatomy), but with the only A in Chemistry 1, my pre-req GPA will drop down to 3.28. For those who have been through this process, what should I do? I need to figure everything out by the 23rd.
     
  22. southernswimmer

    southernswimmer 2+ Year Member

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    I personally would only take a withdrawal if I were in danger of ending up with a D or F in the class. I was sort of in the same situation as you in Chem 2. I straight up bombed (aka got a 50 bombed) the 2nd test. Luckily my professor had a policy of replacing the lowest test grade with the grade on the final ACS exam, if that one was higher. Worked my butt off, and ended up with an 89.6 (shhh...don't tell my schools) which translated to a pretty 4.0 for my GPA.

    I don't think you should drop, especially since you do have a chance (even though it is small) to get an A. I know schools don't really care about Ws, unless you have a lot of them. But, if you see you are able to put in the time for studying and getting help from tutors/the professor, you should gun for that A and not settle for the W or even the B.

    Also, how may pre-req classes do you have left besides the chem and anatomy? You should take those into account when calculating your potential pGPA. A 3.28 is lower than average, but it is still above most schools' minimums.
     
    kato3 likes this.
  23. kato3

    kato3 2+ Year Member

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    Haha, I feel you. I just recently bombed my 2nd chem exam as well (ugh, those acid/base reactions and equilibrium...). I thought it was over for me, but I talked with my professor and he gave me a glimmer of hope for this semeseter. I plan to take Physics 1 (Calc-based because of transfer reasons), Physiology, and Abnormal Psychology this upcoming semeseter. If I get a 4.0 on those 3 classes and end up with a B in Chem 2, then it should raise my pGPA up to 3.57, which is not too bad, but it won't be like the 3.73 I could get if I get an A in Chem 2.
     
  24. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    What percentage score would you need to get on your remaining exams to get an A in the class, assuming you get full credit for any remaining homework, etc.? I would say just set aside a week and study like a mad man for chemistry...go to tutoring if you need it...dropping is just such a colossal waste of time. Sucks that you can't get a B+ on your transcript...
     
  25. DesertPT

    DesertPT ` 2+ Year Member

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    Such is the nature of the pre-req GPA, each class counts for a lot...still I bet you could get that A in Chem 2 if you got pissed enough about it :heckyeah:

    Also you aren't counting Physics 2, stats or biology in your calculations there...if your only B's are A&P 1 and Chem 1 and you get A's in everything else, your pre-req GPA should be like a 3.8
     

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