Hi, could I please get some feedback on whether or not I'm getting my idea and message through clearly on the PTCAS prompt before I submit my application?
Describe a meaningful experience in your life.
Reflect on how that experience influenced your personal growth, such as your attitudes or perceptions."
The essay is supposed to be about my experiences at sea and in the military, in general, and how it led me back to my passion for PT and helping others.
I began to question it - my whole life thus far. As I sat on a stationary bike overlooking the vast Pacific waters onboard one our nation's greatest creations, - the nuclear aircraft carrier - I asked myself, "What key decision brought me to the middle of the ocean, as one of the Navy's nuclear operators?" At first, the answer is simple and obvious, right? I signed the piece of paper and took an oath saying that I would serve the nation as a United States Navy Sailor, and do so as what is considered to be the most mentally grueling rate next to being a Navy Seal.
Why should I even be asking myself this? The job itself is glorious, and I get praise and thanks from family and friends back home, and strangers. I'm serving to defend my country and the people I cherish, who live in it. I'm also acknowledged as an expert in my craft and a leader amongst my peers. Yet, I still felt that what I was doing lacked substance.
Being stuck in the middle of the ocean, on deployments and underways, standing hours upon hours of watch, has taught me several things about myself. I found my answer to my pondering was that, at the time, I sort of gave up on myself and didn't follow through with what I set to accomplish. I've since realized that through complete application of myself and focus, we, as humans, are able to achieve great things, especially those that we have a passion for. Awakening to this simple principle enabled me grow as both a person and a leader, as I shared this with my fellow sailors. It also put me in a position to take more action and seek out resources to further my self-development, and teach it to others.
Although we're provided with high bonuses to re-enlist, and the idea of getting a high-paying job in the civilian sector, I found that it still didn't entice me to stay in this sort of field. I realized that following my passion and being happy about it was much more important to me than getting paid a high amount and still being unsatisfied in the work. The fire burning in me, was the same one I had while still an undergraduate at ASU. It involved helping others in a holistic manner through natural modalities of therapy, fitness, functionality, and nutrition.
Re-igniting the flame to become a physical therapist wasn't the only thing that arose from my experiences out at sea. Being in the military has also taught me that leading is an art and discipline, which shares the selflessness of what I want accomplish as a physical therapist. It helped me learn that in order to help and influence others to live positive, healthy, and fulfilling lives, that I must portray that lifestyle myself, and open the roads of possibilities to them.