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Home Away From Home

PA school has been quite a journey so far. As I reflect over the past eight months I am amazed by all that I have learned. I never thought that I could gain so much knowledge and accomplish so incredibly much in just eight months. I am currently home in Florida, on our summer break, before we start the home stretch of our didactic year. PA school has been very tiring but has been amazing at the same time. I am finally learning the things I have always wanted to learn and applying my past experiences to my PA studies.

The hardest part about PA school has been being away from my family. My entire family is in Florida, where I had lived for 23 years of my life before picking up and moving to Burlington, NC for school.  It has been an exhausting couple of months but I would not trade these months for anything. My parents have always been a huge support in my life, but even more so during these past couple of months. It is extremely important to have a strong support system while in PA school. Support for the days you need to cry after a bad test or tiring day. FaceTime has made being 700 miles away from home much easier. With FaceTime, I am able to eat dinner with my parents and talk about our days just like we were truly eating dinner together. I am able to see my two year old nephew’s big smile and hear all the new words he is learning. Although helpful, technology hasn’t made everything easy. I missed my nephew’s second birthday and the birth of my second nephew-which was probably the hardest time for me while in PA school thus far. However, over this current break I have been able to meet my new precious nephew and take my other nephew, Brian, to Busch Gardens. PA school has made me cherish the time I have with family and friends.

The best thing about PA school, thus far, has been the new family I have gained from Elon’s PA program. My classmates have become my brothers and sisters and make PA school endurable. Our class is filled with diverse individuals from all different walks of life, but we are all on the same mission-surviving and thriving in PA school. On the days I feel homesick, I have classmates that go out of their way to remind me that I have family in Elon. We are all in it together and we lean on each other during our weak moments. We refuse to leave any classmate behind on this journey, because we have become a tight knit family. I have love for every single one of my classmates and love getting to know each and every one of them. I could not have asked for a better group of classmates or ‘family’ to be on this journey with. I am excited for the coming months and learning even more to prepare for our clinical year. I know that on the hard days I will have my classmates by my side and my family just a Facetime call away.

Jaclyn Stevens PA-S

Elon University Physician Assistant Class of 2015