“As the PA journey begins for many of you shortly, whether it be starting your application cycle tomorrow or starting PA school in the near future, I can imagine you are a bag of mixed emotions (I certainly know I was at both those points). There’s the fear of the unknown ahead of you. For you new applicants you’re taking a leap of faith, making yourself vulnerable, and putting the power of your future in someone else’s hands. As terrifying as that is, it’s also very brave. For you (almost) official PA students, you’re taking a leap of faith in yourselves. Many of you are moving far away from your homes in order to chase your dreams. You’re fully aware there are late nights of studying ahead, learning more information than you could even fathom would be jammed into your brain, and sacrificing a few years of your life in order to save one in the future. That is truly amazing. The journey ahead from your perspective seems so far off and long, but from where I’m standing I can look back and be excited for you because only the best is yet to come. You will make some of the best of friends in school, and they will pick you up on your lowest days. You will learn how to not only treat an individual at their most vulnerable, but also how to prevent so many tragic diseases from happening too. You will be amazed at how far you can push yourself intellectually, while also learning to forgive yourself when you make a mistake and grow from it. You will feel so BA when you put on your first white coat, be thrilled when you (finally) see a tympanic membrane with the otoscope, and be proud when get down a one-handed suture knot. Most importantly, you will glance down for a second, only to find that when you finally look up from that CASPA app or your pharmacology book…you’ve moved on to the next phase of your PA journey. So breathe, my lovely PA-ers…and smile at how amazing you all are for reaching this point in your lives. It’s a wonderful journey, and I’m so happy you guys have jumped along for the ride! Best of luck to everyone who is one-foot into the unknown of your future. You’re already half-way there by believing in yourselves!” —Jourdyn Mootz, PA-S (@thepa_life)

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