Overwhelmed! Occupational therapy school is kicking my gluteus maximus right now.
So I have a huge hour VALPAR Presentation with Stephanie on September 25th. I have a huge hour Biofeedback presentation on October 4th with Emily, Meg, and me. I have still one more 12-step to go and one more reaction report to go due September 19th, and the journal of media/woodworking etc is due again this week. A large case study in pediatrics with a ton of questions is due September 25th and it involves a group of SEVEN people, two of which are across the state, and we aren't supposed to just divide it up – we're supposed to work on it together. And then we have step 1 of a treatment project due September 17th and step 2 due October 2nd. And we have our two-week Level I fieldwork coming up in October which will have a ton of assessments, journaling, and a big occupational profile due from that. And, we have to read an autobiography about mental illness and do a book report/occupational profile kind of thing on the main character. And, we have to make sure we get in our 35 leadership hours for the semester so we're doing things like Backpack Awareness Day on the 19th, and a Heart Walk this weekend, and another Walk next month, and I'm doing the two local children pediatric hospitals every few weeks right now, and I'm working six hours a week at night, and we are now taking Pathology, and we are working on our community initiative proposals (mine is with Brooke, Virginia, Mary, and Patchez) which also requires a lot of meetings, AND, I'm trying to, you know, like, shower, work out, eat, occasionally clean my house, see friends, errands, etc. Oh yeah, and all that is on top of being in school most days from either 8 to 3, 8 to 4, or 8 to 5. And this is all only the stuff due in September and part of October. We haven't even touched November. And most of these Powerpoints are due at least a week in advance to the professor and involve meet-ups. It's rare I'm not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Writing on this blog is one of my few leisure activities, and I do it as therapy. So anyway, let's add in the new kicker that has thrown me over the edge into the sea of Overwhelmingia, near the country of OMGAREYOUKIDDINGME.
We all have to do a research project with a professor mentor. My group's is on balance and mobility, looking at Tai Chi in an older population. I'm not sure if I can give exact details in case anybody steals my professor's idea so I'm going to be a little bit vague. I'm actually really excited about it since I like balance and mobility and Tai Chi. I even took Tai Chi once, about 8 years ago. Anyway, our group (Meg, Katy, me) met today along with another group looking at different components of Tai Chi (Julie, Stephanie, Emily), along with the professor, for our first research meeting. First of all, we need to do training for the next 4 weeks, 2 hours a week, which we don't really have to spare sanity-wise. Okay fine, I can handle that, I'm kind of excited about the training. But it also turns out we need to do baseline assessments on this older population, both of which are housed at least 30-45 minutes away from me depending on traffic, with an OT student partner at all times (ie coordinating two schedules), on TWENTY PEOPLE, with assessments that can take up to 1.5 HOURS, over the course of THREE WEEKS IN NOVEMBER WHEN WE ALREADY HAVE THE OTHER STUFF GOING ON *AND* WE ARE GOING THROUGH FINAL EXAMS! AUGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One girl just flat out broke out in tears because her wedding is coming up and being told her insane schedule was going to have an extra 20+ hours added on to it for 3 whole weeks beforehand was enough to break her. I don't blame her. Everyone there looked ready to cry. I was and remain slightly excited about the project and I plan to keep a good attitude, but the time commitment for that three weeks currently feels excessive.
Now, the good part of this is, next semester we won't have as much to do as other research projects, because we will have done so much already. But next semester our schedule is a lot emptier due to it being research-focused so it would be a lot easier to handle. This semester is so action-packed and I'm always running around so crazily that I can't even fathom how I'm supposed to find time for an extra 20+ hours a week in there, 3 weeks in a row. Especially with the driving it will entail.
I'm trying not to be TOO overwhelmed/stressed (ie crying, freaking out and being nonfunctional) because I realize that A) things are often easier than they appear, B) the assessments may not take as long as we think, C) the grant may not go through and things will change, D) stressing out now over things happening in six weeks won't help much, E) I'm on Wellbutrin (haha), F) I have faith things will work out, G) I have overall excitement about the project.
BUT, I'll just admit, right now I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed. I still love OT school, I love what we learn, I love who we interact with, I love it all, so all you incoming OT students need to not freak out reading this, but I'm currently ready to slam my head into a wall a couple times, in a purely chronological sense. I'm sure things will improve and it will all get better soon, and then I'll think I was totally being melodramatic when I wrote this, but for right now, I'm STRESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AUGH!! But I'm functional. Well, kinda. My phone's been ringing all night and I've not been answering because the more stressed I am, the less I want to interact with others. I'm at least study-wise functional.
So right now I'm going to go try and finish my part of the VALPAR Powerpoint so I can bring the manual to Stephanie tomorrow. And then I'm going to NOT work on some other stuff because I am going to give myself a mental health treat and just go to bed early if possible, I sense a lot of sleepless nights in my future so I might as well get some sleep while I can.
I hope tomorrow to have a new glowing report of how unstressed I am and how today was all just a nightmare. Check in tomorrow for more of the days of our occupational therapy student lives.