Name: Jhennylyn Rivera, OTS
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Practice Area: MOT Student
What does OT mean to your lyfe?
OT is my past. Back when I did even not know what occupational therapy mean, it was already there. OT is my present, each task that I complete in OT school and effort to attain occupational balance. OT is my future, my plans, and opportunities in the field of OT as a practitioner.
What’s your most memorable moment as an OT practitioner?
In addition to surviving our 7-week intense Gross human anatomy course in OT school and starting OT classes, having to suddenly switch to distance learning was the most memorable moment of OT school. This whole journey was memorable for me because I it reminds my of the physical, mental, social, and emotional struggles to adjust in the new mode of learning in OT school while dealing with the anxieties and fear caused by the pandemic. Although the uncertainties and obstacles are still there, I learned to adapt and maintain a positive attitude towards the challenges.
What lights you up about occupational therapy?
What lights me up about OT is that I get to use my creativity, resourcefulness, skills, knowledge, experiences, and therapeutic use of self to help people. That each intervention that I will provide is so unique to every individual, goal, and situation.
What’s your biggest challenge in regards to OT right now?
Just navigating through the uncertainties and sudden changes that we face in OT school. Like what I mentioned above, the physical, mental, social, and emotional struggles: Physical (because I had to move back home), mental (having the endurance to sit down the whole day to attend classes on zoom), social (I am a hugger. So not being able to see or hug friends, and even family is a little challenging), and emotional (oh, the negative thoughts, and self-doubts) that we go through this time.
What’s one piece of advice you would share with current OT/OTA students or practitioners?
Invest in yourself: Your personal and professional development. I am aware of the demands that OT school bring to students that we focus too much on getting those straight As. It is nice to see those straight As on paper, but for me, what matters most is the journey. Engaging in community service projects, leadership positions in student associations, participating in state organizations; attending webinars, conferences, and symposiums, meeting new people and networking (in-person, back before COVID). A lot of my mentors share some words of wisdom that out in the field, our grades/GPA does not weigh more than our experiences and personality. So, make sure to occasionally, stop, and smell the roses.
Where can people connect with you?
Hear more from Jhenny in her Lyfer of the Month feature: ot4lyfe.com/78