While I am not quite where I want to be just yet, in hindsight I would say I spent my undergrad at GCU with four main things in mind that helped me get to where I am today: purpose, priorities, self-discipline and relationships.
Having a purpose is the first step towards doing anything of meaning. I have always had a purpose for doing what I do. Entering college, I knew my main purpose was to get a degree that I could use to do my part in bettering the world. Having a purpose gives someone a reason to do something. If one has no reason for doing something, then why do it? Having several purposes for doing something is fine as long as you can prioritize.
Having your priorities straight is critically important if there is to be success of any kind in getting what you want. While my main focus was on academics, by no means was that all I did. I was able to enjoy my undergrad at GCU to its full extent. I wrestled for GCU, I worked for GCU and still I made plenty of time to and enjoy time with friends. However, I always kept my purpose in the back of my mind. I knew I had a main reason for being there. Studies came first.
This is where self-discipline comes in. One must know when it’s time to buckle down. I had to make many sacrifices. While there were many times I went out to enjoy time with friends, there was at least an equal number of times I had to decline their invitations in order to complete assignments or learn material for the upcoming exam.
Relationships are an often-overlooked component. Throughout my time at GCU I was able to make amazing relationships, connections and ultimately friends. From my coworkers who are now strength and conditioning specialists, athletic trainers and nurses, to my professors and mentors who wrote me reference letters for physical therapy school applications, I consider them all great friends who I have learned many valuable life and academic lessons from. It is the connection you have with people that really shows who you are. For me, I would have to say that is the main reason I was accepted into several physical therapy schools. Not for my GPA, not for my minimal hours of experience, but from my connection that I have had with those I have met in my life. This aspect of you is shown in reference letters written on your behalf, in your interviews and in how you carry yourself every day of your life.
I have just recently finished my first semester now in DPT school. The first few weeks were a little rough getting used to a new state and a completely new level of education, but since then I have settled in and could not be happier. Although the rigorous classes and the immense time commitment can put lot of stress on me at times, it is lessened by the fact that I’m loving what I am learning. I love this profession, I love how God put me on this path and I know this is exactly what I am meant to be doing.
I would tell anyone that they must decide what they truly want and do whatever it takes to get there.
Written by Honors Alumni Pierre Gaud.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.