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NSC and the Crystal Ball Theory

Tuesday, September 12, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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APTA National Student Conclave and the Crystal Ball Theory

By: Rima Lintakas, SPT Midwestern UniversitySince the APTA’s National Student Conclave (NSC) in Miami last year, I’ve been following Dr. Dunn’s “Crystal Ball Theory”. Dr. Dunn is the APTA President, and, while talking to her, she told me this theory: we all juggle rubber balls and crystal balls. The rubber balls are the things in life that will bounce right back to us if we drop the ball, like a test grade ("Don't be an A+ nerd!"- Dr. Dunn). The crystal balls are the ones that you can't drop - your own health, family - because if they're dropped, then they shatter. I’ve worked hard keeping my grades up since NSC 2016, but have dedicated more time to myself, my family, and, most importantly, my #PTFam.

When I first thought of going to National Student Conclave during the summer of 2016, I had no idea what I was in for. I was excited to learn about PT stuff that isn’t really school related – loans, residencies, fellowships, travel PT, and much more. But, I didn’t really know what to expect. Now I know: expect to learn a lot about PT-related information that you probably won’t get in your curriculum, other SPTs/SPTAs wanting to meet other students going through the same troubles from around the country, and a lot of free stuff from the Exhibit Hall. There are a lot of class-like sessions describing the things I had previously mentioned throughout the two full days at NSC, but there are also socials at night, Town Halls with Dr. Dunn, and the Student Assembly meeting. The Student Assembly includes every PT/PTA student, as long as they are an APTA member. This meeting allows students to voice their comments/concerns to the Student Assembly Executive Board, who are our voice within the APTA. While the meeting is at the end of the day, it is one I HIGHLY recommend!

Now, rolling back around to the Crystal Ball Theory (haha, get it?) and the #PTFam. One of the best takeaways from NSC 2016 was finding a PT family outside of my school. I love my PT class dearly, but what is going to happen when I’m not seeing them every day, 8-12 hours a day? Not everyone will stay connected, not everyone has a twitter. I realized, that finding others who are as ignited about this profession and the APTA as I am, and who I would still relate to after PT school, was extremely important. These passionate people are the #PTFam. I highly suggest connecting with other PT/PTA students on social media, and meeting the APTA Student Assembly Board at NSC 2017. Going to NSC was one of the best experiences of my life, and I guarantee that you won’t regret your decision to attend.

NSC is the only physical therapy conference organized FOR students, BY students. The NSC Project Committee (the students organizing the event) have worked hard to put together a FANTASTIC program, fun activities, and even a scavenger hunt! For more information, go to apta.org/nsc or contact me at rlintakas52@midwestern.edu or @rimalint on Twitter!

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