Finally Visiting St. Louis

Last month, I finally took a trip to the Midwest! I was actually pretty nervous about visiting St. Louis because I was scared that if I hated it, living there for the next 3.5 years would really suck LOL. But, I ended up reallyyyyy liking it!!!! Praise the Lord, freals.

After leaving LA at midnight and taking a short layover in Minneapolis, we finally arrived in St. Louis at 8am (A direct flight is less than 4 hours!). We were super tired since we barely got any sleep throughout our flight, but we had so much adrenaline because we were excited to start exploring St. Louis

Before I get started on STL, I want to share a short story that I think is worth mentioning. When we landed in Minneapolis, I went through a mini culture shock. After leaving such an ethnically diverse city like LA, it was really weird when suddenly all the people around me were 99% white o_o. I was a little worried about how I would cope with fitting in as a minority in the Midwest. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that people in the Midwest are soooooo freakin friendly!!! I felt a lot better after seeing how nice Midwesterners were. Anyways, I digress.

My first impression of St. Louis was: “Wow, everything is so green!” I cannot stress this enough. After being so used to the barren desert lands of Los Angeles, it was so interesting seeing so much green everywhere, even while driving through the freeway. Speaking of driving….

Major differences of driving in St. Louis vs. LA:

  • Traffic isn’t really a thing in St. Louis. We hit “traffic” like once while we were there, and it wasn’t even that bad.
  • Everyone drives pretty slow, which I like. LA drivers are always in such a hurry. Everyone’s always cutting each other off, speeding through yellow lights, etc.
  •  The drivers are really polite. I feel like LA drivers are notorious for being sucky drivers on purpose. I actually didn’t hear a single horn honk while we were there, except for when Alex honked at someone ūüėā.

Overall, I was really happy with my visit to STL. It’s such a cool city with so much history! It’s definitely a big change coming from such a big city, but I’m actually really excited to get out of LA. I’ve always been pretty introverted and a homebody, so growing up in LA was pretty overwhelming at times. Anyways, I’m really looking forward to my move, and even more excited because I signed the lease to my new apartment a few weeks ago!! I have so much to say about my housing experience, but I’ll save that for a future post.

Anyways, here’s a video of our trip to end this post! A lot of our first day isn’t included since we spent all that time just apartment hunting, hehe.



Why I Chose OT

When I started college, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I ended up majoring in Psychology after taking an intro course because I was so fascinated by the study of mental processes and behavior. I looked into a lot of different career options that would be compatible with a degree in psychology, but I wanted to make sure that what I eventually pursue would be my “dream job”.

When I think about my lifelong career, there are 2 very important things that I consider:

  1. I’ve always wanted a job where I can help people and make a positive impact in their lives.
  2. It’s extremely important that I genuinely enjoy my job, since I will be spending 40 hours of my week doing whatever I do. So… might as well have fun doing it!

I first heard about occupational therapy during my sophomore year of college, but I kinda just brushed it off. To be honest, I didn’t fully grasp the concept of OT at the time. About a year and a half later, I was reintroduced to the field of OT, and this time, I was a lot more interested in it.

So, I decided to shadow at a pediatric OT clinic in Santa Monica. During my first shadowing visit, I was a little disappointed. It seemed like the therapy session just consisted of the OT playing with a kiddo, and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “people actually get paid to do this?!”… UNTIL, the OT debriefed me and started explaining all the science behind each activity. (For those of you who don’t know, OT is heavily involved in working with the human anatomy and physiology, and there is a whole field known as “occupational science” that works to deliver evidence-based treatment.)

Everything started making sense! If you think about it, a child’s main occupation is to learn and play. So, OTs design their treatment to look like play, but it’s actually science and therapy in action. *Mindblown*

I continued to shadow at pediatric OT clinics which mainly focused on sensory integration, but I also volunteered at an intensive OT and PT pediatric clinic. Both settings helped me to gain more knowledge and confirm my decision to pursue a career as an occupational therapist.

So, why exactly did I choose OT as my dream job?

  1. As an OT, you get to work in so many different settings (schools, private clinics, hospitals, home care, etc.), with many different age groups (anywhere from newborns to older adults), and you can even concentrate in different areas (sensory integration, mental health, productive aging, research, etc). There are just so many opportunities in the field of OT, and I know that I would never get bored.
  2. Creativity is not only welcome, but required in OT! When I was younger, I always loved doing arts and crafts, and in high school, I attended a visual arts magnet school. I have always loved the arts and exercising my creativity. OT is all about being creative, thinking outside of the box, and being innovative.
  3. Doctors may save lives, but OTs give those lives meaning.¬†The core philosophy of occupational therapy is to help individuals live their lives meaningfully, with purpose, and as independently as possible. Our “occupations” refer to anything that we spend time doing: eating, bathing, driving, socializing, cooking dinner, playing basketball, painting, etc. We do not realize how important these occupations are in our daily lives until we are suddenly unable (or were never able) to engage in these activities. When this happens, our quality of life declines drastically. Occupational therapists assess these situations and figure out how to get you back on track to being able to do what you wanna do! We want your life to be meaningful and goal-oriented, no matter the circumstances.
  4. Occupational therapy is a growing field. When I was considering my career options, I wanted something that was stable and growing. Especially with the aging population, occupational therapy is becoming more and more needed. There are always jobs open for OTs, and it’s a great feeling knowing that your job is always important and needed. I have personally ¬†worked with an OT who was older (probably in her 60s), and heard of OTs who decided to come back to practice after being bored of retirement. I love that I won’t have to worry about finding work, even when I’m older.

I could honestly list so many more reasons about why I chose to pursue this career, but this post is getting a bit too long for that. If anyone out there is still trying to figure out what to do with their lives, I hope this gives you something to chew on. I don’t think that OT is for everyone, but I do think it’s important to consider some central factors that are really important¬†to you when deciding on a career path. Thanks for reading!



150 Days

Hello world! (Although, no one reads my blog and idk if anyone ever will lol!)

I have exactly 150 days until the start of my OT school career.

Exactly. 150. Days.

I got a packet in the mail from the OT department at WashU that contained our academic calendar, tuition fees, and other info. Our orientation starts on August 23rd, which means I’ll probably make the big move out to St. Louis around mid August! I am so excited for these new changes, but I’m also a little nervous and scared…¬†After living in LA my whole life, I wonder if I’ll be able to warm up to a smaller city in the Midwest. But, I’m 99% sure I’ll love it out there :).¬†I’ll be visiting St. Louis for the first time (and also making a stop in Chicago) in April, so we’ll see how it goes!

For now, I just want to enjoy the time I have left in LA. That means eating at all my favorite restaurants, hanging out with all my friends, spending time with my family, and just doing all the things in LA that I won’t be able to do in STL!

I’m going to try to¬†keep up with blogging so that I can look back at all my Pre-OT school memories in the future when I miss home. Hopefully I post at least once a week. Challenge accepted~