Dear Cassey: Should I change my future career because of how I look?

Dear Cassey,
I’m a junior at university and my major is physical therapy. I am not in the most perfect fitness shape. However, I am very passionate about physical therapy.
Currently, I’m 5’4 and a size 18. I’m worried that because of my size I should change my major or profession goal. I know my body doesn’t reflect the poster image of people in this field, or the average body of the women in this field.
My question is, should I consider changing or altering this education goal since my body isn’t currently the best example for future potential patients?
Confused About My Future

writing studying with coffee in white mug

Dear Confused About My Future,

No. Nope. Uh-uh. No way.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let that thought get into your head.

If physical therapy is your passion, then you should absolutely, 100%, HANDS DOWN stick with it! How you look doesn’t define your success in your future career. Your skill and your passion do.

Read that again. Annnnd again.

Your patients won’t judge you based on the way you look. They’ll notice your big smile when you greet them because you genuinely love your job. They’ll trust you when you take the time to listen and care about their needs. They’ll respect you when you find ways to fix whatever issues they’re dealing with. You’re gonna radiate confidence because you will be an AMAZING physical therapist!

And here’s something else to think about – what about the patients out there who struggle with their weight or body image? You’re gonna set the most amazing example for how success is NOT determined by the way you look. And you’ll show them that shape and size don’t necessarily define health.

We’re not all meant to look the same, no matter what type of work we do. I hate that you feel like you don’t fit the mold to be a physical therapist because of how you look. None of that matters!

Remember, the skills and knowledge you’ll gain from becoming a physical therapist will be invaluable. Do not deprive yourself of an education that you want all because of this thought. You are worth it!

Remember, the POPsters and I are here to support you along the way.

Keep going. I promise you won’t regret it!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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