Unexpected things I learned while applying to Physical Therapy School

by Emma Runquist

Now, before I dive into the funny part of this blog post, I’ll give you some background on myself and the application. I am currently a senior majoring in Biology with the intentions to get myself into a Physical Therapy (PT) school. The common application for most schools (the PTCAS) opens in July. I applied to a total of 6 with the earliest deadline in early October. I can happily say I’m done with application so this blog post reflects my experience. Hopefully you can find something to relate to, whether you’re applying to grad school yourself or you are also bad at turning your computer off, enjoy. 🙂

  1. Word will CONSTANTLY be open on your computer. Between July 1st when the application opened and when I submitted everything 100+ days later, I closed Word a total of 3 times.
  1. In addition to Word always being open, your commuter will only be shut down only for necessary update restarts. I know this is not great for computers but I couldn’t be bothered to take the time to save the 3 essays I was working on, close Word and the 5 tabs I was using for research.
  1. Writing 18 essays is easier and more helpful than you think. Most of my fellow applicants didn’t have to write this many so you can relax. I just happened to choose schools that wanted to hear all about me! I recently had an interview out in Virginia and I had written an essay on over 75% of the interview questions I was asked. Already having well thought out and organized answers made me more confident when answering.
  1. You will write, re-write, edit the same essay at least three times. For me, the first draft of an essay isn’t always pretty. Luckily, I have a great support system that looked through and helped me edit all my essays. The screen shot below is the U of Minnesota’s essays and folder just to give you an idea of how many versions of essays I’ve written.

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  2. Being in Honors was one of the two best decisions I made at ISU. It wasn’t until I had to fill in every single activity I’ve been involved with during my collegiate career that I realized that if I wasn’t in Honors, I would have a much sadder list. Thanks to the FHP mentor program, I have been in the neuro-motor control lab for 4 year, been an FHP leader, Honors mentor, and took a very intense, but very helpful technical communication class (ENG 314H, I highly recommend it).

Here’s to the end of the fear of closing Word, having a never-ending to-do list, and the stress of applications looming over my head during every waking moment. It’s finals week now so get out there, study your butt off because the end is so close!

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