Trust the System. That’s what they told us on the first day of orientation. For 42 predominately type A personalities trust is something that is not easily dispensed; it is something that is earned. But there I was, standing at the edge of the table, arms crossed across my chest, about to make the biggest trust fall of my life into the arms of 41 strangers.
Since that day, I have come to understand what they meant by “trust the system” and I have become more comfortable letting go and doing just that. When I didn’t understand how to navigate the online learning system, there were numerous classmates that could see me struggling and jumped in to help. Aid came so quickly that I hardly had the chance to get frustrated. When I got my first non-passing grade on a test and was feeling down about it, my classmates could tell something was wrong and, again, jumped in to pick me up. At the same time, almost intuitively, we had several class sessions on developing effective study habits; as if I wasn’t the first person in the history of P.A. school to struggle. As if years of P.A. students before me had met the same challenges and the program and faculty saw this and developed curriculum to help us through this transitionary period.
There were times that I wondered how on earth I would ever learn all the material. I was sure that this was going to be THE week – the week that I kissed my P.A. career goodbye. But that’s not what happened. What happened was hours of study sessions with my classmates, lots of creative white-board drawings, laughing until I cried, Thursday night pizza parties in the library, and a passing grade and countless memories at the end to show for it all.
Trust the System. I hear this statement on a weekly basis. I say it to myself every day. It’s become my motto, my reminder that everything is going to be OK. It takes a weight off my shoulders and eases my feelings of uncertainty. I gladly close my eyes and fall back, knowing that I will be caught and I instinctively hold out my arms to catch my other classmates who are falling.