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PA school is difficult, but rewarding. Like the proverbial horse and carrot-on-a-stick, so goes the PA student and graduation. Comfort comes from looking towards the future and knowing all the hard work will be well worth it. There are ups and downs, cycling over weeks or within a single day. My partner in this roller coaster ride has been my always supportive, and only occasionally sarcastic fiancé, Hunter. He has waded through countless notecards, words he can’t pronounce, diseases he never wants to get, and slideshow pictures he wish he hadn’t seen. He reminds me to take study breaks and keeps me and my coffee well grounded. I couldn’t do it without him. For my contribution to the blog post series, I asked him to write about what it’s like to be my live-in study buddy:

“Living with and being engaged to a PA student is sometimes like being a glorified Guinea pig. Every evening your PA in training will come home with a new skill and wish to poke and prod you to learn their craft. This is actually better than it sounds. You are constantly receiving medical check-ups without a single co-pay. This is a huge benefit seeing as you are living with a graduate student and money is tight. Another similarity is actual studying, you learn many new things (some you almost wish you didn’t) when you quiz your PA on the mountains of material they must conquer. You can also use this hard studying lifestyle to your advantage. When your PA does have a study-light night or weekend, the guys at work understand that you’re going to take the opportunity and leave early, because they’ve heard all about the busy significant other.

Sure there are moments of stress and helping your PA study isn’t what most 20-somethings would call an entertaining Friday night. But, you are making a difference. Everything your PA is learning will have a positive impact on peoples’ lives for the entirety of their career. That is my mission: to support my PA because in doing so I help others. If I do a bad job as a glorified Guinea pig or kept her from her best because of selfishness, I’d be hurting a lot more than just her grades. My advice is this: be patient, know (and remind them) why they chose this path, and be sure to know local happy hour times. Cheers. –Hunter Billings”

-Hannah Bradley, Elon PA Class of 2018

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