7 Ways to Handle Rejection as a Pre-PT Student

As a pre-PT student, how do you handle hearing "no" from mentors, advisors or even PT programs? It's so easy to become discouraged, unmotivated, and not hopeful when you're told there's not a chance you can do something.

How do we handle being told that we can’t? It really starts by understanding that this journey is filled with a lot of NO’s. Here are 7 ways to handle rejection as a pre-PT student.

1. Remember your “WHY” 

If you haven’t already, you need to find your reason why you want to pursue a career in physical therapy. Did you pick PT because of the patient interactions you've had through observation hours, or because of your own personal experiences with physical therapy? Use YOUR WHY as fuel that drives and motivates you to push through the toughest times. At the end of the day, this is so important and it will be one of the driving factors to help you get over rejections you may face.

2. Do this for yourself

Sometimes we might hear "no" coming from family members or people that we are close to. We know they mean well if they say things such as “don't undershoot what you have the capacity to be,” but sometimes not receiving the support from family of the career you want to pursue can cause you to doubt your own goals. Don't forget - no one can make you doubt your goals unless you allow them to. Remember that every no you receive is not TRULY a no, it’s a next opportunity. Put the blinders up and focus on what you want. Do this for YOU.

3. It’s okay if your journey looks different

Understand that your path is unique to you and that is okay. It’s okay to not be a traditional student, it’s okay to switch from one career to PT and it’s okay that you’ve heard no once, twice or even three times before. Don't compare yourself to others either because everyone is on their own journey and has their own obstacles to deal with. If you know PT is the career choice for you, don’t let others deter you from becoming one.

4. How you respond makes the difference

We all get no’s and you have to ask yourself, “How am I going to respond to my no?” As a pre-PT,  what are you willing to do when someone tells you no? Figure out why they are rejecting you. Are they telling you no because of grades or lack of exposure to the field? If that’s the case, make sure you are asking for help in classes, getting a tutor, or studying with classmates. Figure out your weaknesses and work day in and day out to turn them into strengths. Don’t let anyone sets up limitations for you. Use the reason behind your no’s to fuel your desire for PT, not discourage it. No’s always gives you options.

5. Find people who support your dream

Having a support system who believes in you and your journey is important. These are the people who will lift you up when you don’t feel strong enough or when you feel like you don’t have any fight left in you. Find someone you trust. Your support system can be family, friends, classmates, mentors, or roommates. They can be someone that is local or even someone you met on the Pre-Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Facebook Group. If you are getting in your own way, you will need someone to help clear your fears and anxieties.

6. Find someone who can help 

If you don’t have a strong support system and you feel like you some help on your pre-PT journey, reach out and message us! We have students who had the same feelings and struggles as you and you’re not alone. Find someone who can help direct you. 

7. Mindset is EVERYTHING

Getting rejected or being told “no” can really take a toll on your mindset. You might start to think you’re not good enough. Or that you shouldn’t be in the physical therapy field. If you start to think and BELIEVE those thoughts, you’ll be right. You won’t be good enough. You won’t get into physical therapy school. To combat this, you need to have the mindset that you ARE good enough and you WILL become a future doctor of physical therapy. You need to tell yourself this out loud every day. Write it down on a post-it note and stick them in places where you’ll see it everyday. Write down “Dr. ______ , PT, DPT” and look at that every day. Your mindset will make or break you!

After all of these different points, we know it can still be so difficult to try to handle rejection as a pre-PT student. Understand that you’re on your own journey. As long as you are locking in and don’t pull the plug on your dreams and goals, you will get there. It’s going to be different from your classmates. It’s going to be different from people you see in the Pre-Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Facebook group. It’s going to be different from other pre-PTs that you might’ve read about in their blogs. Run your own race but understand how to handle the no’s you might receive. The quicker you can learn that, the quicker you will succeed.


Thank You For Your Attention!

As always, please feel free to Contact Us at contactpreptgrind.com and ask us any questions! We are here to serve YOU!



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