At the end of a college student’s four or five years, most cannot wait to run out the doors, proclaim their freedom and take their first steps without the label of “student”. Few choose to carry that label around longer.
In 2014, only 177,580 out of 1,869,814 students in the United States continued their education toward a doctorate degree, according to National Center for Education Statistics.
Ashlynn Law is a 22-year-old Oakland University graduate with the hopes of becoming one of those few.
For the last four years, Law has been working to get her degree in health sciences with a concentration in exercise science and has applied to an Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.
“I am most excited about getting into graduate school so I can start the rest of my life,” Law said.
The Occupational Therapy program at the University of Toledo is nationally ranked out of 162 total programs in the U.S. and is ranked in the top 25% in the world, according to US News and World Report.
Being a Rocket is Law’s top pick because, out of the handful of schools that offer a doctoral program in this field, UT focuses more on hands-on fieldwork rather than in-class learning.
“They only accept 20 people into the program each year and I should hear back any day now,” Law said.
Maintaining a near perfect GPA throughout her four years and graduating in 2016 with a 3.86 GPA overall, Law has set herself up to be one of those 20 students accepted.
During her last year at OU, Law completed an internship with the university’s Recreation Center as a fitness intern.
“This helped me assess each client’s physical strength and then prescribe them workouts to improve their fitness,” Law said, “Much like what I could do in the field.”
While completing this internship she also worked as a respite and service provider for a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome, which Law said is closest to what she wants to be doing in the future.
Occupational Therapy is all about helping ill, injured, or disabled people by using everyday activities as a form of therapy.
The therapists teach patients different movements they can do based on their level of fitness, ability and overall strength.
“I want to help each person live their lives to the fullest potential and do the things they love without restrictions,” Law said.
One last piece of advice while the waiting game continues.
“Just never give up,” Law said, “And always work hard.”