You might think from the name of this field that it has to do with one's occupation, and since many students forego the working world in favor of focusing on their studies, you might not understand how occupational therapy applies to the average community college transfer student.
But in actuality, the term refers not to one's professional occupation, but to any occupation, which is to say, any activity that might occupy your time, from getting dressed and making breakfast every morning, to cleaning the bathroom, to playing sports or even simply walking across campus to your next class.
Still, you might wonder what this has to do with you. If you have any kind of disability that impacts your capacity to function in your daily life, or if you have suffered an illness or injury that has left you impaired in some way (physically, mentally, or emotionally), either temporarily or permanently, then the services of an occupational therapist could help you to gain control of your life and learn to once again participate in all of the activities you enjoy.
The Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Community College Transfer Students
Occupational therapy is mainly concerned with helping people to function and thrive in their daily lives through mastery of actions. It is meant to provide people with the skills they need to perform common activities, not only those that are essential for survival, but also those that bring joy to one's life. Suppose, for example, that you are an athlete who has suffered a serious injury in the course of training, or that you've been hurt in a car accident.
Perhaps you have had a serious illness such as pneumonia, or you recently discovered that you have a heart defect or cancer; something that requires a drastic lifestyle change (either in the short or long term). All of these occurrences can limit the range of your physical activity and make you feel like you've been robbed. For a student attending community college, this can be a major blow. It can upset your whole life, school included.
In addition, you may suffer from emotional and mental stresses based on these events. Or you might be dealing with extreme anxiety or depression due to body chemistry or your reaction to environmental stressors. Whatever ails you at this young age, you might not realize that help is available.
But occupational therapy is designed to support people of every age when they face accident, injury, illness, or any other life change that upsets the balance and causes them difficulty when it comes to addressing everyday tasks. In addition, this advanced medical field can help patients to reach goals both simple and complex through holistic therapy that addresses all facets of the challenge ahead.
If, for example, your goal is to walk again after a serious injury that has left you in a wheelchair, an occupational therapist will not only assist you in finding the proper equipment and facilities to start your journey to recovery; he/she will also manage your recovery process, including training sessions, education, family involvement, and any other therapies needed to help you reach your goals.
This professional will create an environment that is conducive to recovery on every level and encourage your full participation throughout. In short, occupational therapy can help you to get back on track after a life-changing event or through ongoing hardship.
For the community college transfer student suffering in silence, this form of assistance could lead to a new lease on life, not to mention the ability to complete school.