The following is an article I wrote to feature in my ex-High Schools Careers Newsletter. Enjoy!
It feels like last week that I was eating lunch in the Piazza, evidently, time really does fly as seven years have passed since! Through my high schooling career I was the ‘well-rounded’ type student who was good at most things, but not ‘the best’ at one particular thing. This made selecting a career path difficult. I enjoyed organic chemistry, loved a go at indoor soccer, thrived on creative writing and dabbled in the performing arts. No matter how many times I frantically flicked through the University careers book, funnily enough, I couldn’t find a potential profession that encompassed chemistry, sports, theatre and creative thinking. Upon reflecting on personality traits and personal values there were, however, a few things I did know:
- I enjoy learning and being challenged with new concepts
- I am active and want to be on my feet most of the day (the thought of a desk job makes my skin crawl)
- I find the human body and its functions fascinating
- I relish communicating with multiple people daily
These four points led me to selecting a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of South Australia as my first preference. After graduating from Samaritan College in 2011, and being accepted into a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Uni SA, City East Campus, I moved to Adelaide in 2012 to begin a new journey.
My first year away from home, and studying in University, had its challenges. I had bouts of home sickness, countless phone calls home to mum with questions like “how do I wash a woolen jumper?” and multiple late night study sessions memorising the horrendous amount of muscles in the forearm.
My first three years of tertiary study I resided at a residential college, St Mark’s College, which was without a doubt one of the keys to my success and love of university life. If it wasn’t for this supportive environment I would not have flourished within University and adult life.
My fourth, and final, year of University was tough. I moved out of St Mark’s College into a share home, I had 3x jobs (to afford daily living and rent), was elected the President of the Physiotherapy Student Society, and had multiple University placements throughout the year. Mentally and emotionally, this year was hard. It was even more challenging as I refused to accept, and address, that my mental health was poor. Through my final year of university I struggled with a high degree of anxiety and anxiety attacks. In an effort to improve my mental health I found a creative outlet (outside of University and work), I started a blog. To publish some of my creative writing took courage, but I truly believe this was a vital step to addressing my anxiety issues. To this day, I still publish blogs and spend a lot of time writing. This part of my journey was the first lifelong tool I developed to keep my anxious behaviour at bay and prevent burn out.
After graduating University at the end of 2015 I was hungry for change! I am a firm believer of ‘life starts outside your comfort zone’, so I did just that, I leaped outside my comfort – right into Tasmanian soil to start my career as a Physiotherapist. February of 2016 I started my Physiotherapy career at the Launceston General Hospital as a permanent, rotational, physiotherapist. Through my rotations within the hospital I quickly found a passion for the acute sector and respiratory physiotherapy. This has recently led me to the appointment of the Senior Physiotherapist in the Emergency Medical Unit – where I am often the first points of contact for patients. I (quite literally) jump out of bed each morning, I thrive on the fast paced nature of the emergency department, I love communicating and making medical decisions as part of a multi-disciplinary team (doctors, occupational therapist, social workers etc.) and I adore the new challenges that come with being a senior member of a team.
At the ripe age of 24 I have many aspirations I want to attempt and/or conquer, to name a few – I want to run a marathon, open a florist or café, visit art galleries in Barcelona, work with aboriginal communities in the APY lands, become a university educator. Someone once told me that the average person will change careers up to seven times during their working life – how exciting! Whether I am working as a Physiotherapist at the age of 50, or running a florist in Spain, nothing will have been a waste of time or energy – every opportunity, encounter, relationship holds something special and valuable. “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.”