Helpful Tips to Decrease Stress in PT School; Logan Buckley, SPT

PT school is straight up stressful, and it is easy to be consumed by the stress and it is easy to have a bad school - life balance. This can lead to school becoming miserable. Throughout my first two years of PT school I feel like I got the hang of this balancing act. Below are some tips that I feel helped me.

1)      An A is not everything

This one I figured out early on in Anatomy. I am not a visual learner so Anatomy was tough for me, I struggled. I was still learning a lot, but when it came to the test I was getting high C’s or low B’s. It was like my undergrad experience with Organic Chemistry (except in Orgo I was getting C’ and D’s).  Eventually I stopped putting the stress on myself to get an A. I still tried my hardest, but realizing an A is not the end all be all.  This allowed me to decrease my stress level and really focus on the material. I kept the mantra up through the rest of PT school and my stress has been so much better for it.


2)      Don’t worry about what other people are doing

PT and PTA students love to talk about school and the amount of studying one of your friends is doing is bound to come up in some conversation. My first year of PT school I had a roommate who was awesome, every week night without fail she would be studying at the kitchen table, even some nights after test. This allowed me to realize early on that everyone studies differently. You just have to do you. There was no reason to worry about my roommate studying more than me. I was comfortable with my study schedule, and she was comfortable with hers, and because we realized this I think we were both less stressed. Only you know how much you need to study to be prepared don’t let others dictate your schedule. I know this one can be hard since your around your classmates a lot, but if you can tune there studying out your stress will definitely decrease.  


3)      Find a Hobby

I think finding a hobby outside of PT school really helped me decrease my stress levels. I had something to look forward to that was not school every week. For me it was improv comedy, but it can really be anything. Maybe it is reading, going to the movies, working out, intermural/social sports, hiking, baking ect. Someone in our program just started making homemade chap-stick and candles! Find and interest outside of school and have fun with it.  Some people in my program also have part-time jobs. Now this is not a hobby but can help a person that has to stay busy, but does not always want to do school work.  Pick something you truly enjoy and try not to think of school too much when you do it.


4)        Stop studying when you are “Done”

I sometimes find days where I try to study and I am not focused, retaining nothing, and am really sitting there wasting my time. These are days early on in PT school I would try to power through, but eventually realized that it is okay to stop studying when that happens and taking a break is okay. If you were planning on studying for 5-6 hours on a Saturday but you get to hour 3 and feel wiped out, maybe take the rest of the day off. I think once I started thinking this way with my studying it really helped me have more efficient study sessions and decreased my stress.


Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Logan Buckley, SPT