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Meet our New Blogger: Elizabeth

eElizabeth Terry

Year: Senior

Major: Recreation Therapy (RT)

Hometown: Yorktown, IN

Career goals: To challenge & push myself in an area I’m truly passionate about. The “area” changes all the time, but things I’ve considered are helping grow and promote rec. therapy internationally, working within the VA system or for the government in some capacity, physical rehab, adapted sport, and also going on to graduate school in recreation or occupational therapy.

The first semester and a half of my collegiate career, I was determined to be admitted into the very competitive IU School of Nursing. When I got a feel for the GPAs my peers were bringing in for admission like ribbon-winning pies (small Indiana town reference), and compared those with my own grades, I quickly realized I wasn’t all that passionate about being a nurse, at least not enough to change schools for it or possibly delay my graduation a year. From May-ish of 2013 until July-ish of 2015, I prepped and primed myself to apply to graduate school for a degree in occupational therapy. I did the suggested 30 – 40 hours a week of studying, upped my GPA to where it should have been freshman year, involved myself in clubs and organizations around campus, met with advisers, shadowed, visited reps from schools both physically and online, and acquired somewhere in the neighborhood of 500+ hours of relevant experience (thank you, in large part, to the requirements from the RPTS department).

Why is this list, which comes off as me touting my own horn, relevant? Especially when there are hundreds (if not thousands) of fellow students who have done the exact same thing (and kudos to all of you, because I know it isn’t easy)?


Getting great RT related experience at PALS through my classes, but outside of my classes. Win-win.

Firstly, it’s an insight to my perspective and what I bring to the table. Secondly, note that I said until July-ish of 2015. That’s because I’m not so sure I want to be an occupational therapist. I knew this could happen, which is why I chose the major I did. This was not always the case, however, because when recreation therapy was first suggested to me as a highly impressionable freshman, the context made it seem like a fallback. Like it was a less-than major, “Well if nothing else, you could do rec therapy, because they can work with horses?” This was through no fault of those suggesting it to me, because I do indeed REALLY like horses (see picture), but I was offended that people didn’t think I could make it to grad school (grad school at that point, = success, in my mind), and that they thought I’d automatically love a job just because “Horses!”


That time I tried wheelchair basketball at Bradford Woods – and got my butt kicked by 10 year olds.

The more I looked into it (and by that, I mean reading over the academic bulletin/”what you will learn in this major”/schedule combo on the SPH website), the more I decided this would be a great major to use as a stepping stone to OT. To me, OT was just a better, more well-paid version of RT.

And then a weird thing happened; actually there’s probably 101 different weird things that affected this, but regardless, I started to see this major, my constant companion for the past two and a half years, in a different light. I started to appreciate it and love it for what it was, and not try and use it to move on to something “better.” If this is starting to sound like the “finally fell for the friend who’s always been there” story, it’s probably because that’s fairly accurate.

Do I know where it’s going to take me? No. But, the world is my oyster and I do happen to know where I’ve been over the past four years. I can step back and see how it’s brought me to where I’m at, and hopefully I can share some little nuggets of wisdom for those more spry than my senior-status self.


Categories: Blogger Introductions

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•graduate school preparation

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