Name: Connor Longacre, Class of 2018
Undergrad: Colorado State University
Hometown: Wyomissing, PA
Fun Fact: I am a huge of soccer, though I haven’t formally played since I was 11.
“It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how.” (Dr. Seuss, DPT)
Many of you reading this may think of the classroom as a no-nonsense place of learning. Those who distract others with joking and laughter are often unwelcome in such environments.
Hear me out, though.
If, in my time as a Student Physical Therapist, I choose to spend every hour of class, every day, for three years, as a solemn study machine, then what do I expect my career after PT school to look like? I would probably know as much as the dictionary, with the interpersonal skills of … well, a dictionary. Don’t get me wrong. School is serious. Working with patients is serious. Physical therapists must know how to be professional and serious. However, having fun is also an essential part of being a PT. From becoming friendly with our patients to creating engaging ways to make exercises more enjoyable, there is an occupational requirement to be fun-loving, which is why fun belongs in the classroom.
So, how does Regis University put the “fun” back in the fundamentals? Long story short, it doesn’t. All the university can do is give us (the students) time, space, and some freedom. It is not the professor’s job to bring in a beach ball or play funny YouTube videos. Adding the element of fun to academia is the sole responsibility of the student. When done well, it can be seamless—and even educational.
At the risk of sounding as arrogant as I probably am, I’ve included some tips on how even you can have fun in the classroom:
- Learn to love where you are. If you’re in PT school, then the prospect of learning about PT things should be pretty darn exciting. Stay excited. Stay motivated. Learn to dwell on the details like they are the difference between being a good PT and a great PT (because they are).
- Find time to unwind. Everyone’s brain candle burns at a different speed. Some people can sit in class for 8 hours attentively, but when they get home, they’re spent. Other students may need to get up and walk around every hour, maybe chit-chat a little between lectures, but will buckle down during independent study. Give your brain time to rest.
- Get moving. Hours on hours of lectures can put you into a comatose-like state. Get up and walk around when given the chance. Personally, I like to kick a soccer ball around at breaks.
- Finally, get to know those lovely people you call classmates. Play intramural sports, go out to a brewery, maybe even hit a weekend camping trip. Warning: spending time with people may lead to smiling, laughing, inside jokes, and friendships. Friends make class fun.
There you have it, folks, a helpful-ish guide on how to have fun in PT School.
*Shoot, I should have added “write blog post” to the list of ways to have fun.