This week was the start of my second year in OTA school. Phew. That was a long year. Looking back, though, I can confidently say that this experience has meant more to me than I ever thought possible. There aren’t really words. It was too deeply gratifying, too excruciatingly difficult, and too enormously transformative to put it mildly.
It is so bittersweet to leave behind year one and march ahead to year two. It feels like we have made it through some of the toughest weeks of our lives, with the sobering knowledge that perhaps the worst is yet to come. My professors have raised our bar even higher and the workload seems impossible. The days are miserably long and tiresome, and even in the first week of the semester I feel completely spent by the time I collapse through the front door at night. On top of it all, we had to say goodbye to another member of our close-knit cohort recently, and the her absence is felt every day.
With the bitter, though, there is an underlying sweetness. There is sweetness in the laughter I see as my classmates encourage one another. Mostly we laugh at ourselves. We are giddy with pride and gratitude for each other. We are mostly delirious most days, and no matter how hard it gets, there are always 17 people in my corner. That is a blessing beyond belief. 17 people with hardly anything in common except for the dedication shared to love fiercely, serve humbly, and kick butt in school so we can spend the rest of our lives helping others.
I do love these people.
So pray for us, if you’re into that sort of thing. Pray that we remain focused and strong as our days get long and gruesome. Pray that I will one day be able to look back on this year with the same gratitude that I now possess toward the previous one. I’m blessed beyond measure to have this opportunity and support system I do (both in and out of the program) and I don’t want to lose sight of the for a minute.