As I was reflecting on my drive home from this past weekend at National Student Conclave, I was grinning ear to ear. This experience was so incredible, and it “fired me up” for my career and future in physical therapy. National Student Conclave is so different than Combined Section Meetings or NEXT (other APTA conferences), and I think it is because it is designed by students for students.
One of my favorite parts about National Student Conclave was connecting and networking with students and making lifelong friendships. The camaraderie between the #PTFam is nothing I have ever experienced before. Students were so excited to learn about each other and their experiences and passions within the physical therapy field. I have made friends that I will continue to keep in touch with and meet up with at future conferences. Luckily, so many of these awesome students have social media.
There is something so special and motivational about spending an entire weekend with 500 plus students that are just as excited about the physical therapy field as you are. National Student Conclave also had to offer some fantastic lectures and education sessions from President Sharon Dunn motivational lecture on the value of APTA and the student experience to the educational session on “PT Plus Nutrition: The Perfect Combo to Help You Stand Out.” The knowledge and skills that I learned at the conference through the lectures and educational sessions went far beyond our typical classroom learning. And I cannot forget about the awesome exhibit hall that was filled with information on APTA sections, job opportunities, continuing education courses, NPTE review material and so much more.
I cannot thank the Section on Women’s Health for this experience, and the ability to meet other students with the same passion as me. The feeling that National Student Conclave left me with will last me a life time, but I know at the next conference I will become inspired and motivated again by my future colleagues.