"As encouraged as it is at AOC, do NOT graduate in two years if you are able to. If you can afford to take an extra year, or even complete all four, I would highly recommend it. You only have so much time to live your life independently as a young adult, while still not having to experience the realities of life post-grad."
My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.
During my junior year of high school, I was first exposed to the world of health care, interning at a dental clinic. From there, I knew that I wanted to take care of people as a career.
I committed to UC Irvine as a Biology major, but then changed my major to Public Health Policy by the end of freshman year.
In the Fall of my freshman year, I was accepted to the Sports Medicine Internship as an observer, where I spent most of my time shadowing athletic trainers in the athletic training facility.
The following year, I was promoted to intern status as a served as a student athletic trainer for the Women’s Volleyball team. I was responsible for first aid care during practices and games, in addition to pre- and post-treatment.
For my third and final year, I became one of the student athletic trainers for the Men’s Basketball team. Not only was I in attendance for every home game and practice, but I was also brought along for several away games, as well.
At the same time, I volunteered at an out-patient physical therapy clinic during my last quarter at UCI.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Dental clinic internship
National Honors Society
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
UC Irvine Sports Medicine internship
Clinical observation hours at an out-patient physical therapy clinic
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
At this point in my life, I have graduated and have moved back home. As I look to pursue my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, my plans for the next year involve completing program prerequisites and gaining further experience in both out- and in-patient physical therapy settings. Beyond physical therapy school, my hope is to start my own practice in either pediatrics or sports medicine, but who knows what the future holds? Maybe I’ll discover a completely new interest of mine.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: It is oKAY to not know what you want to do when you get to college! The best way to start creating a career path is by involving yourself in clubs. There are so many different clubs on college campuses; it would be impossible to not find one club that piques your interest.
Advice #2: One thing I learned as an undergrad is that when you apply to graduate school (e.g. medical school, physical therapy school, etc.), your college major does not matter. What these schools care about more is your cumulative GPA, your prerequisite GPA, and who YOU are. So save your GPA and don’t major in something you feel obligated or pressured to do so. Study something that you’re passionate about. Many prerequisites for these graduate schools can be taken at COC.
Advice #3: My biggest regret about my time at AOC was not getting involved in more extracurriculars! I was so enveloped in my academics that I did not see the point or benefit of doing things outside of school. When college apps came around, I found myself grasping at straws, trying to include items under extracurriculars. Not only did I not stand out as a candidate, but I simply had no interests or hobbies. It wasn’t until I came to college and became involved with various clubs, such as camping club, did I feel like I could finally relate to people beyond an academic level.
Advice #4: STUDY ABROAD!!! Best decision I have ever made. Especially as a graduate from AOC, take advantage of the amount of hours you have completed and use that extra time to study and explore a new country. As a study abroad ambassador for UCI, I would be more than happy to answer any questions about study abroad in general. (Best part about going abroad was that I actually saved money)
Advice #5: Lastly, as encouraged as it is at AOC, do NOT graduate in two years if you are able to. If you can afford to take an extra year, or even complete all four, I would highly recommend it. You only have so much time to live your life independently as a young adult, while still not having to experience the realities of life post-grad. I originally aimed to complete college in two years, but after seeing all of the opportunities UCI had to offer, in terms of career development, and making meaningful friendships, I decided that I could not give all of that up after just two years.