Read the Crowd

The time is nearing. A time I thought would never get here. I’ve finished off my last true semester as an Undergrad, and with only a few hours left in my final practicum I’m getting so close to officially finishing my BSc.

The last month or so has been filled with promoting myself, being invited to and running workshops and clinics for riders, working with individual clients, doing some seminars for myself, and basically not acting like a student anymore.

I’ve been loving every second of it. My skills grow leaps and bounds with every client I work with. Promoting myself is even getting easier, and as my name gets out there more and more, I have to do less self-promotion and more just honing in on what each client wants/needs.

A few things in the last while have popped up for me when it comes to stepping into the “real world”. University does a great job not babysitting students (hopefully, anyway), bolstering and encouraging the transition from high school to more the “real world”.. it does still provide a very comfortable student friendly environment. Throughout my degree, while I was challenged in so many ways and grew both my academic ability as well as a person.. being an individual without the label of “student’ offers a whole new realm of challenges.

I’ve mentioned before the intimidation of growing your own business as a young professional, which I am still over-coming to a certain extent. As I prepare to step out with now official letters behind my name.. it’s both excitement and terror. My comfort zone is ending come September, where it’ll be the first fall of not returning to courses like I’ve been doing for the last 18 or so years. The impending certification exams in November are of little comfort.

As my student association’s co-pres, I’ve been busy the last bit planning our annual grad dinner. With it approaching fast this Friday, it’s been crunch time. And as I work on my speech, I find myself thinking not so much about all the facts and textbook science I’ve absorbed over the last 4-5years, but more of the characteristics I’ve developed. Starting the degree to where I am now, I can safely say I’ve surprised myself every step of the way. While doing a presentation this past weekend for the MB Podiatry Association on posture and preventative exercise– I found myself thinking about how growing up and becoming a professional has a lot to do with reading the crowd, and yourself, and reacting appropriately.

As a student, you generally have quite a few guidelines to follow as your progress along the degree pathway. Yes, University does an excellent job of teaching critical thinking skills- but it doesn’t completely leave you on your own with most things. From assignment rubrics, prof expectations, and formats to follow- you know what lines to stay within to succeed. Not much about real life is like that. Yes, there are certain things that are clearly the correct way to take- but for the most part, especially in my business, I have found myself bending and adapting to where my clients are at, and what they want/need. Every client is going to be slightly different, and react differently to everything you throw at them. This skill is especially valuable when standing in a room with a bunch of podiatrists at 3pm when they are all half asleep… knowing when to change your presentations tactics to a more movement and interactive based presentation is key!

Looking at where I was 5 years ago as I graduated high-school, I feel many of the same feelings. Apprehension of the transition, excitement, naivety, dread, gratitude for making it… But I also feel much more prepared to step out into the world. Also much more excited. Leaving the cocoon of high-school and leaving the tree of University are much different things in some ways. I am leaving undergrad life with practical experience and direction towards my ambitions, but also the self-awareness ability to read myself as I progress into my future one day at a time. As you know if you’ve been a follower of this blog, impatience is one of my strong traits- especially when it comes to my own future. I find myself now seeing how all those little “one day at a time” lessons add up to create the present, the future I once desired.. even when I didn’t know what I was headed towards. This doesn’t make me any less impatient, but sometimes I think the impatience is what drives me forwards.

With all that being said, I gotta get back to my grad speech! Until next time!

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