Being in your early 20s, one year away from achieving your doctoral degree, and 2 years since earning your B.S. in biology, should qualify you to earn a decent amount of money while working a job more substantial than folding towels and making shakes.

However, today in America, these credentials provide you with the opportunity to volunteer your time as a physical therapy intern… 40 hours a week for 6 weeks.  But by volunteer it actually means cough up a pretty penny of $2,200 to toss into the collegiate gold mine.  Not to mention the countless hours of studying and school work preceding the internship (an even prettier penny, and MANY more hours). Now don’t get me wrong I absolutely love my clinical rotations and studying physical therapy, as I should, considering this is my chosen field.  I am extremely passionate about everything health and medical but it takes a toll on other aspects of my life when my time and wallet are constantly being pulled into the realm of work and school.

I’ve learned through the years of trying to juggle work, play and school that it is possible to do all three but there will be sacrifice and you need to stay in control, don’t let any of the three control you.  For instance, receiving a poor grade on a pharmacology midterm is OK when it happens as a result of spending a week in paradise with your two best girl friends and  meeting a guy on the beach who 4 months later becomes your boy friend and a year later the love of your life.  Everything is balance.  No one thing is going to make your life incredible and no one thing is going to make your life horrible… everything equals out you just have to see it that way.

Our lives, in the end, are the memories and experiences we gain during our time here on earth.  When you look back on life, you’re not going to be reminiscing on how you got straight A’s in school or how you never missed a day of work and if you are that person, you should probably skip work tomorrow, stop studying and go make some memories.

I pissed some people off and was definitely judged for missing my last day of work (folding towels and making shakes) but it’s okay, this is my life and I have the freedom to chose how to live it.  Instead of working 9 hours on a Sunday after a full week of internship and giving my 2 weeks notice 4 weeks prior… I relaxed at a ballpark on a beautiful summer evening.  Dating a minor league baseball player equals constant long distance so when he is 30 minutes away I physically can’t pass that up.  Anyway, on this beautiful evening I watched my loves first game back after working his booty off for 6 long weeks of rehab and it was perfect.  I was happy as a clam and literally couldn’t stop smiling.  Seeing the person you love do what they love and work insanely hard to achieve is one of the best feelings you can feel and should never ever ever be missed.  Life will bring you enough unexpected bad feelings so you might as well grab the expected good ones as they come.

I am going to be working for the majority of my life just like most people in the world but moments like that evening are precious and you can never get them back, they are those life events that bring beautiful colors to your canvas (the one that starts off blank when you’re born and when you pass away the artwork created is an expression of the beautiful and unique life you have fulfilled). I want my canvas to be incredible. Who doesn’t?!

I know it may sound morbid but life can be cut short at any moment, we aren’t guaranteed any specific amount of time so we must make the most of the time we know we have, which is now.  Find your passion, work your butt off to get there but balance it out by grabbing those special life moments as they come.  Work and school will guide you to follow what you’re passionate about, either because they are the stepping stones you need to achieve your goals, or because they simply provide a monetary value to help you live the life you wish to live, but work and school are only one realm of your life and should never outweigh another part.

Happiness is balance. There’s a reason why happiness is a feeling everyone loves.  When we feel it our minds and bodies are at peace and we are doing exactly what we should be.


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