Clinical Doctorate of Physical Therapy


Is the first semester really stressful?


If so, what are ways that students cope with it?


The pace and heavy content of the first semester is stressful, but it is also an exciting time. Students rely on their classmates for help, and everyone takes an interest in each other’s well being. Finding a balance between school and time off is important. I would recommend going to the gym, and spending time doing the things you enjoy. This rejuvenates you and allows for more focused studies.

Megan Kaiser

DPT Class of 2015


The first semester of the program is definitely an adjustment and at times really stressful.  However, everyone in the class is going through it and the encouragement and help from classmates is essential to being able to cope with the stress. 

Keesha Olsen

DPT Class of 2015


The first semester is amazing. You are challenged each and every day, you begin to realize that at the end of 3 years, you will still never feel like you know enough (but you definitely know more than you think you know), and you become close with your class and bond in a way that only something difficult but ultimately satisfying can promote. However, it's a manageable stress for sure--the other students from other programs around the building always comment on how "happy-go-lucky" the PT students seem, and it's because we have so many hands-on labs and interactive studies. AND we have an amazing staff, many of whom will take the time to calm you down when you need it. Exercising with your friends is always a great stress reliever too, and your class will do social things together that makes you feel like a normal human being again when you need it.

Patty Kool

DPT Class of 2015


Ultimately, it’s up to you how stressful you make the semester. Yes, the material comes at you like Gatling fire, but if you study a little every day and keep an eye on the profession beyond the books, you’ll be fine. If you piled work and organizations or sports on top of your undergrad schedule, you’ll be accustomed to the work amount. The first semester may serve as a healthy wake-up call for many, but like the PT professors have said, any student accepted into the program can succeed through it. Another thing to remember—GPAs don’t matter as much at this level. Don’t ignore them, but don’t let them be the ruling goal of your studies.


Though I say to study every day, don’t let PT school swallow you whole. Do things unrelated to PT—keep an exercise routine (highly recommended), rock climb at GV, explore the city of GR. Do something each week where you are not thinking about school, and enjoy it. And get enough sleep!

Patrick Lawrence

DPT Class of 2015


The first semester can certainly become stressful if you allow it to be. It will help if you realize that you're not going to get an A on every exam and assignment. And like I said, take a night off every week or on the weekend to relax.

               Nate Keniston

DPT Class of 2015


Page last modified April 2, 2013