I arrived exactly two weeks ago. Arrive where exactly? Glenside, Pennsylvania, a small town 40 minutes away (Google Maps is my new best friend) from Philadelphia’s exciting Center City. In order for me to graduate in my majors Health Policy and Administration and Psychology, I have to complete a 400-hour internship in a health care facility. After the spring semester ended, I flew back to the Philippines and stayed there for 2 weeks before flying back to the US.
Confession: I’ve never stayed in the US during the summer break.
Last semester, I applied to internships in Pittsburgh, State College, and Philadelphia. I was able to get interviews in State College and Philly, and fortunately, I landed on the hospital that I wanted. To be honest, I am not exactly sure if I’m allowed to mention the hospital’s name, so I’ll leave it out of this blog. Mostly, I just want to talk about my transition to my new environment.
Moving to a new place is scary. It kind of reminds me of college where I was new to the place, people, and culture. Here, I am new to SEPTA (the public transportation), new to the internship, new to the Church, new to my living situation, (and just like in college) new to the place, people, culture, and pretty much everything. It is uncomfortable to be unfamiliar with so much. I’m actually just starting to trust the bus system, and that the bus would actually come and not make me feel like an idiot. My stress level has finally died down low enough that I’m able to write this post.
The first two weeks, in spite of the stress, was not that bad. In fact, they were actually really really good, and a big part of that is because of the people. What makes a place a place, for me, is the people. And I was surrounded by great people.
I am living with a missionary couple who live only a couple of minutes away from the hospital. They are the sweetest and kindest people you could ever meet. Other than being amazingly hospitable, they are helpful, and so full of wisdom. I am truly blessed to spend the summer with them. I’ve received so much encouragement and love by being around them. One of my roommates in college also lives 35 minutes away from me, and so I could easily spend the weekend with her if I wanted to. Last Saturday, Luisa and I went to yard sales, ate at chipotle, took photos at the lake, watched Barcelona win, and played soccer and basketball all in one day! It was pretty crazy, but I loved every moment. On Sunday, I was able to spend the early afternoon with my boyfriend, Walter, where we walked around and explored the city a little bit. Oh and don’t get me started on the people at work. The reason why I chose to work at this hospital was because of the people. The people at the office are incredibly friendly. Although my internship is non-paid, they are setting me up so that I can get the full experience of the job and be exposed to whatever interests me.
However, with new experiences come new frustrations. An hour ago, I came back drenched from the rain. I commute to work everyday via bus and train rain or shine. Two Sundays ago, I was frustrated because the train station I went to was closed, and so I had to walk a couple of miles to the next station to get tickets when it was incredibly hot and humid outside (and I was also hungry).
At this internship, I am hoping that I will be able to figure out my life. I will be exposed to the clinical and administrative side of the health care industry, and I will get a better gauge as to what occurs on a regular work day. I’ve only been working for a week and a half and already I feel like I’ve learned SO much. I also can’t believe that work requires you to sit down at your desk for a good portion of the day. I am so not used to it. Is this what everyday is going to look like for the rest of my life? Lol.
Wish me luck!