If you have been reading my blog posts for a while now, then you probably know that I recently graduated from California State University, Sacramento and majored in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. Another thing is that I have been contemplating between going on to get my Masters in Exercise Physiology or continuing on my path to getting a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Both have promising futures, one I have been dreaming about since I started college and the other is a recent interest from all my Exercise Science classes. Since I graduated in December, I became a certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine and got certified in both basic and advanced life support. These past 8 months I have been going through a lot of soul-searching, trying to figure out what I want to do in life (and some days…I’m just like what is life…). Sometimes I look at my notebook and see all the things I wanna do…places I want to visit…things I want to study more, and I get so overwhelmed that I do nothing.
July was the month where things started rolling. After looking at both options, I decided that Physical Therapy was the reason for my major, so I should follow up and see if it’s really what I wanted to do. I have had a lot of internships at clinics and shadowed many Physical Therapists, but never had any hands-on experience. So after a suggestion from my mom’s friend, I decided to apply for Physical Therapy Aide jobs near home. And after 2 months of searching and many interviews later, I’m excited to say (or type…) that I will be starting my new job soon! Exciting times! I know! For me, it’s a little overwhelming though. This will be my first job outside of college, a huge step…but I think I’m ready for it in this stage of my life. This will hopefully give me the courage to continue on with going to Physical Therapy school (even though it’s ridiculously hard to get into in California…and everywhere else) or will show me that it’s not what I really wanted to do, and I can start on a new path. Either way, I’m excited to just learn from the Physical Therapists there and grow as a person.
Another huge accomplishment for me this year is that I finally got my driver’s license!! *cue the confetti* Yes, for most people it is also an accomplishment, but in my case especially. Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t ask my parents to let me drive during high school, instead, I did everything possible to NOT have to drive. Mostly it’s my motion-sickness and then later anxiety after crashing my sister’s car while learning to drive, but I hated getting into any moving vehicle. After crashing my sister’s car the first year I learned to drive, I waited 4 years before I decided to take control, to practicing driving again. To this day, there are some days that just the thought of getting into a car makes me feel sick and I hate that it controls part of my life, but it’s getting better. And now that I’m starting my new job soon, I’m going to have to drive myself to work. Public transportation isn’t the best down here compared to when I was in college, so the only way to get to work is if I condition myself to have the confidence to drive. And it’s not like I’m a bad driver, I’m actually a pretty good one (according to my driving teacher), but sometimes you just have those days, where you just need to take a deep breath and start.
Like most people post-college, they have a hard time figuring out what they want to do next. And I’m no exception. Though I majored in Exercise Science, there is so much more that I’m interested in learning. Growing up, I always dabbled in the thought of becoming a stylist or doing interior designing, but coming from an Asian household (though my parent’s never pushed me in one direction) I knew that being financially stable was better than going out on a whim to do something fun, which was why I stuck to my major. And there is a lot that I can do with my major, which makes it even harder. Some of my dreams are to do research for exercise applications or devices like Fitbit or Polar, work with the US Olympic teams, and help train and rehabilitate our athletes, even maybe go to South Korea and help strengthen my favorite K-pop idols and make sure they get the treatment they need after an injury. There’s a lot I want to do, but taking the first few steps to get there is always a struggle. But, hopefully, the ball will keep rolling and I will continue to bridge the gap between reality and my dreams!
I wish you luck in whatever stage of life you are in, YOU CAN DO IT! And from my favorite little bear, ” You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –Winnie the Pooh
Every day, Lai day! Do what brings you joy!
Follow me on IG @_rachel_lai to keep with my daily life!