Hi, I’m Meredith. Right now, my time is torn between writing to you and daydreaming of every Coloradan’s favorite destination: the beautiful, glorious, awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains! I’m hooked. I can’t help it. I wasn’t always this way.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, my summer plans consisted of anything in an air-conditioned building. My family lived for vacations, because the combination of Southern sun + Mississippi River humidity left us with no way to be active and have fun outside, like I now can in Denver. Not that I’m complaining. My mom has lived in several different countries and somehow convinced my dad each summer to take us travelling internationally, so my 2 younger brothers and I have had some pretty incredible experiences for people our ages. So there’s a trade-off I’ve had to cope with. Now that I’m in grad school in one of the neatest cities in the country, I have a much better view and year-round access to a mountain playground, BUT I no longer get all-expense paid vacations abroad. Sigh… I suppose it’s one of the many aspects of growing up?
Hands down, the type of growing up I’m experiencing as a grad student is totally different than the type of growing up I experienced as an undergrad student. I loved college. I’m proud to be an alumna of Southern Methodist University, where I chose to attend for its combination of a stellar dance program and strong academics. My plan for the future was to move to NYC, join a professional ballet company for a while, and then get a “real” job, for which I would need a college degree. I had a blast at SMU- I love to learn, and I had fun between my dancer friends (if you have any dancer friends, you know we’re just a little off the rocker), DDD (no help-ya jokes, please ; P ) , and the group that became most meaningful to me- a local church’s campus ministry. Largely due to the leaders and fellowship in this group, I have developed a deep rooted love for God, which spurred part of my growing up.
I began to realize that the highly-competitive lifestyle of a professional dancer would be too precarious for me to be healthy physically and emotionally. I began to look at dance and wonder what about it fueled my passion, and to contemplate whether I could pursue those same characteristics in a different vocation. With that question in mind, prayer, and a long self-examination, I pinned my passion as a love for being active and for caring for people. >>I’m very aware that this is part is sounding pretty girly. Sorry men, but I know you like to be active and help people too! ; ) << All said and done, I realized that physical therapy would be the best way to help people others in the most important ways a person can be helped- as therapists, we’ll get to assist them physically but also be able to minister to them emotionally and …. you know the rest. I know you feel the same, or you wouldn’t be looking into PT.
SO, I did what I had to do. Switched my dance major to a minor and picked up those extra science courses. Took summer school and extra hours in both semesters of my senior year. I hated not being able to perform in the semester ballets, and suffering through organic chemistry and calculus just added insult to injury. You may have enjoyed them, but remember me, ballerina? I hate numbers. I tend to blank out when numbers are mentioned, and to this day I will miss any exam question that has to do with quantities or statistics! But heads up: Don’t do as I do, study those things because they’re often included on exams! …Anyways, I knew that suffering was a means to an end, and it would be worth it.
I applied to a different DPT program, because I loved the city it is in (yes, that was before my eyes were opened to the world of having nature to enjoy), all my best friends would be living there the next year, and I had done an internship with them. I was accepted before I applied anywhere else, but I decided to apply to Regis based on Denver’s reputation as an awesome location. When I was selected for an interview, I almost declined because I didn’t want to miss school that day and because I had 99.9% settled my mind on attending the other school. I did interview at Regis though, and was utterly blown away by how cool the students I met were and how the professors earnestly cared about the holistic well-being of the students. Regis’s interview day, I was prepping myself to spend the next 3 years as an anti-social, book-obsessed, talk-to-me-when-I graduate person. I never imagined grad school to be, you know, enjoyable.
I was sold. Thankfully, they accepted me and even offered me a scholarship. So here I am, still growing up and learning every day, about more than just muscle testing and movement analysis. Your time as a Regis DPT student will be challenging in many ways, but will DEFINITELY be enjoyable. Interview day wasn’t a show- your classmates really will be that cool and the professors really are that incredible. Trust me, you’ll see what I mean when you get here! –M