It is strange to think that I am half way through my two years of the MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Reg) programme, time really has flown by. I can still remember clearly the day that I received my unconditional offer by post, the excitement was very similar to when Harry Potter got the letter to attend Hogwarts (but rest assured, I did not have ‘You Know Who’ to worry about).
Looking back, it was one of the most challenging things that I have ever took on and truth be told, there were times when I wondered if I was up for it. The last 11 months has been packed with academic assignments, learning new theories and applying them to case studies, preparing for placement, and a lot of coffee breaks in the library. Of course, when I put it this way, it might not sound remotely interesting and rather stressful. But you know what? I would have made the same decision to pursue this without a second thought. That is because even with the challenges that I had, I was not on my own to deal with it all.
The academics have been extremely helpful, and whenever I need help with my university work, they always make time for me. Even when we were snowed in back in March and could not make it to the campus, they arranged to chat with me through Skype! My personal tutor said to me “What you are experiencing [a set-back], is the evolution of a learner”. As someone like me who had no prior knowledge of occupational therapy and the science underpinning the profession, their input was invaluable, and I have grown to be more confident in my academic ability ever since.
Of course, how could I not mention the friends that I made through this programme? I was so grateful that not only we helped each other from time to time with coursework, we also spend time getting to know each other. One of them even asked me to make her wedding cake, which I feel very honoured by, and I'm so looking forward to her big day! At times, I cannot even imagine life without them. I know it sounds cheesey, but the reality is, they are one of the reasons that motivate me to carry on; I am determined to get on the graduation stage and collect my certificate with them.
Last week, it was my birthday and normally I would take a whole day off. But it happened to be the interview day for potential study to be on the BSc (Hons) and MSc programme at the University of Plymouth, so I went in to help out. As I was fully aware how they felt on the day - the nerves, the excitement and the readiness to show everyone what they are made of - I am glad that I had the opportunity to share my experience with others. Later on, I had an email from one of the interviewees and she told me that she had been made an offer and she was over the moon for it! (At the time I was reading the email, I shouted ‘YES!’ in the middle of the road and got a lot of strange looks 😂)
After a long day helping out with the interviews and a bit of light reading in the library, I went to my favourite place in the world for the evening, Newquay, to celebrate my birthday. I sat down at the beach and watched the sunset. It was lovely, and I cannot imagine being anywhere else when the beauty of nature is right by my doorstep (okay, not quite, but just a short drive!)
So what I am trying to say is, making choices and decisions can be difficult and scary, and I know it definitely was in my case! However, you may feel the fear, but do it anyway! Because you might surprise yourself, and with a little bit of faith, you never know what you might find.