Growing up, summer school was always for those who needed extra help with reading, writing, and/or math, or even the kids that didn’t have great conduct or behavior. Fortunately, in my 17 years of schooling I never had to go to during the summer. As a result, hearing that graduate school consisted of spring, fall, and summer semesters was definitely a bit of a shock to me. As a lifelong Philadelphia resident, the summer has and will always be my favorite season. I have been a hot-weather, Jersey shore-loving girl ever since I could walk. Every summer my family and I would travel down the shore to spend full days playing on the beach and nights on the boardwalk playing games and riding the rides. Now, the over 21-year-old Marisa has grown to love the adult night life. I have come to love the phrase “no shower happy hour.” Being able to go out and enjoy quality time with a big group of friends, all sunburnt and tan from the previous hours spent on the beach, not having to worry about school or work was what summer has always been about for me.
Going to school in the summer was and still is a huge adjustment for me. My days no longer start whenever I decide to roll out of bed. They start at 6/6:15 a.m. with 8 a.m. classes or clinic shifts at the Pennsylvania Ear Institute almost every day. In comparison to the spring and fall semesters, summer semester consisted of less classes, but increased classwork and hours in the clinic. We now have half day clinical shifts on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and full day shifts on Tuesday and possibly Thursday (if you get the morning and afternoon shift). The first week of the semester started on a Monday with class from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The next day I had my first shift in clinic which happened to be a full, seven and a half hour shift. My clinic partner and I were eager to start but nervous to be one of the first groups seeing patients. At this point in our Doctor of Audiology education and future careers, we were credentialed in more audiologic measures than before. This allows us to do and perform more during in-patient appointments. I was anxious but excited to start applying my knowledge and showing off my skills in appointments.
With proper time management and lighter weeks, I was and am still able to spend some weekends down the shore with my friends and family. During the weeks approaching a shore weekend, I am doing my best and working my hardest to get as much as I can done so I am able to fully enjoy my time down the shore. I don’t want to spend my time relaxing on the beach worried about everything I still have to get done or study for when I get home. I know I will always have work to do when I come back, but the less I have to do, the better. Summer session has taught me a lot about time management and sacrifice. Working and using my time efficiently during the week has given me the opportunity to spend some weekends with the people I love in the place I love. But, I can’t always be there when my friends are because school is my top priority. Being an audiologist has been my dream since I was a little girl. Everything I am doing now, all the time and effort I am putting into my school work, will benefit me in the long run.
-Marisa is a second-year Audiology student at Salus University