GUEST BLOGGER - May Challenge: G is for Gator Graduates

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I am honored to introduce you all to my best friend, Caroline Brown Bergh. Caroline has been my other half since forever, until forever. Meeting each other when we were 8 years old playing soccer, we have been inseparable since. We were a package deal growing up and I rightfully let her go when she married her best friend in December of 2009. I have never felt more honored to stand by my best friend's side and be her MOH on the happiest day of her life. Although we were like two peas in a pod growing up, Car and I are very different -- she was driven, intelligent and a brainiac (a quality I would say I don't shine in hahahah) When I heard she wanted to become a doctor after graduating from ODU, the idea of her not succeeding never crossed my mind as she is one of the most driven (if not THEE most) individuals I have ever met in my life. This living thousands miles away nonsense needs to come to an end soon though, I'm O V E R it!! Congrats Dr. Bergh on your newest accomplishment. I cant wait to see what your future holds (hopefully your own practice/business where I can be your social media and PR guru) xoxoxox 

It's great to be a Florida Gator, and it's nice to know that I am part of the ubiquitous Gator Nation. Go Gators!

Three years ago I began the journey to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Florida with 55 other eager 22-29 year olds. It is hard to believe that one week ago I graduated (it still doesn't feel real yet) after countless late nights spent studying, 8+hour days of lecture/lab, and getting very up close and personal with my UF PT family with whom I spent more time with than my husband.

Graduation is something that we all go through in our education, whether it's from kindergarten to high school to college and even from physical therapy services. Graduation symbolizes a rite of passage, completing something to attain a degree, certification, skills, or knowledge.

 For me graduation has not only symbolized becoming more educated but it also means overcoming challenges, moving to new states (and packing, ugh), and meeting new people -- in essence starting a new part of  life. With each graduation in life I have had different feelings... high school graduation was exciting but scary at the same time.  It was just the beginning of higher education, but for me it meant moving to a new state at the age of 17, away from my parents and all of my friends. Yet, those four years at Old Dominion University were some of the best times of my life as I was able to play D1 women's soccer with some of my favorite teammates of my career, where I met the love of my life, and I even learned a few things. :)

After undergraduate graduation, there were three years of physical therapy school in again a new state where where I did not know a single person on my first day of class and yet I made made
life long friendships with my future fellow colleagues. It has been quite a ride and although looking back it seems daunting to move to new states where I did not know anyone, I wouldn't have changed anything.

Each graduation led me to a different part of the country...from Lansdale, PA to Norfolk, VA then to Gainesville, FL. I have met lifelong friends, fell in love, learned A LOT, and grew up immensely.

Although the graduation ride has been fun, I am happy to admit that life is just beginning. It is a joyous time filled with many emotions as one chapter of my life ends. However,  I am prepared to start my career in my dream profession where I will make a difference in improving the lives of my future patients everyday. And that is SO EXCITING!!

Just a few life lessons that I learned along the graduation journey:

1. Finding out who your true friends--it takes effort to stay in touch with people when you live far away and I am grateful to have learned this early on in my life.

2. Meeting new people is FUN! It can seem scary at first especially if you don't know anyone but if you stay true to who you are, the right people will want to be your friend, trust me.

3. Pursue something you are passionate about, life is way too short to not be doing something that you love. I thought 3 years of PT school was going to take forever but it flew by and I am so glad that I am about to be part of the PT profession.

4. Appreciate your family and show them how much you love them everyday. That goes for humans and animals because you never know what life will bring you and at the end of the day family is forever.

Congratulations to all the recent and future graduates out there...Go Gators!
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