It’s crazy to think my internship is coming to an end after (only?) 6 months. As expected, this internship has challenged me in countless ways while providing opportunities for therapeutic learning, personal growth, and building meaningful relationships. There were moments when I thought this internship would never end and there were weeks that flew by way too quickly. Yet here I stand, six months older, six months wiser, and (as Kanye West would put it) six months harder, better, faster, stronger. One thing I’ve worked on throughout this internship is being able to recall experiences and adequately synthesize information in order to improve from it. Trying to process after sessions my first few months sparked nothing but a blank deer in the headlights stare and absolutely no memory of what had transpired only 30 minutes prior. I can confidently say I’ve greatly improved in that area, but here goes one last word-vomit-filled, bittersweet attempt at summarizing information from what feels like a blur of a six months. The following are my top internship learnings:
- Know your strengths and use them to your advantage
I learned very quickly in this experience that things rarely go as planned. I’m grateful for the ability to look on the bright side when things seem frustrating and to highlight small victories when sessions don’t go as I expect. Even though there were stressful and overwhelming moments, this strength has kept my spirits high and I was able to fall back on this throughout the length of my internship.
2. You have to take care of yourself before you’re able to take care of others
It’s easy to tell someone to prioritize self-care, but in actuality this task is much more complicated. I’ve tackled this topic in one of my previous blogs, but truly understanding the ins and outs of this incredibly broad subject has turned me into a better therapist, student, and overall functioning human.
3. Teamwork makes the dreamwork; you’re never really alone
Getting the chance to observe physical and speech
therapy helped solidify my perception of a team approach. I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the multi-disciplinary therapeutic field.
4. Sometimes being the dumbest person in the room is the best thing you can do for yourself
Somewhere around month 3 I read this article that truly changed the game for me. It quotes Michael Dell saying “Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people…or find a different room.” I’ve really had to work on shifting my competitive mindset to one that is accepting of personal flaw and open to seeking out information from those who know more than I do. This has completely changed the way I look at my professional priorities and career development. I’ve learned that it’s okay to compare myself to other people as long as I am using this to build myself up rather than tear myself down.