Hi there! My name is Nicole Weissman and I am a senior in the Bachelor of Health Science program on the pre-physical therapy track. Originally from Parkland, FL, I began studying at UF in 2017, and I am scheduled to graduate this coming May. I have recently finished filling out applications to various graduate programs with the aspiration of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).
I have always known that I wanted to become a health care provider, but I did not find my passion for physical therapy until I was already enrolled at UF. Beginning as a pre-medical student, I shadowed multiple physicians during my summers at home. One summer, while shadowing an orthopedist, I learned more about the roles of a doctor of physical therapy from the DPT that practiced in the office. From there, my focus shifted more definitively to this field, and I began shadowing in various physical therapy settings. Before I knew it, I fell in love with the profession.
Another meaningful involvement of mine that I would love to mention is my volunteer work at Balance 180 Gymnastics & Sports Academy. I found this amazing opportunity through the course Exceptional People in School and Society. During the course, students must complete a service project in which they volunteer directly with individuals with disabilities. Due to my gymnastics background, their Adaptive Gymnastics program seemed like the perfect fit. The instinct that told me this would be a good fit was right; I instantly fell in love. After approximately three years of volunteering, I was promoted to an assistant coach. My time spent teaching these children gymnastics while also working to improve their socialization and independence has been invaluable. It exposed me further to the positive effects of exercise while also allowing me to expand my personal involvement in the Gainesville community.
During the spring semester of my sophomore year, I applied and was accepted into Alpha Epsilon Delta. My admission into this pre-health honor society granted me access to a plethora of service opportunities to help promote health and wellness within the Gainesville community alongside opportunities to develop professionally. Participating in such service events while also fundraising for various philanthropies and learning more about what it means to be a healthcare provider ignited more passion within me to work toward a career of healing others. Additionally, this organization introduced me to many like-minded individuals who became some of my best friends and a true support system – both academically and socially – at UF! To anyone considering applying, I could not recommend it more!
Ultimately, my time studying at UF has been filled with love, fun, and passion. I am grateful to the university and to PHHP for helping me to cultivate my devotion to become a clinician. I firmly believe that being in the BHS program has helped to shape me into a better future physical therapist. This program has taught me more efficient tactics to treat the patient as a whole person, rather than only a set of symptoms. Selecting this major was truly one of the best decisions I have made pertaining to my undergraduate academic career. I am so excited to see where the future takes me! If you have any questions about the major, PT, or any of the phenomenal organizations that I am blessed to be a part of, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Ever since I was young, I have been interested in human movement. This fascination stems from my athletic interests. I began gymnastics as a toddler and transferred to competitive cheerleading at around thirteen years old. Learning how to manipulate the laws of physics in order to flip my body and land on my feet or to be thrown into the air and then caught inspired me to learn more about the human body and movement. I chose to continue following my passion for this sport in college and have been an athlete on the University of Florida Club Cheerleading team for all of my undergraduate years. During my third and fourth years in the program, I was elected to serve on the executive board as Orange Team Captain. In this role, I remained an athlete on the team and also gained the responsibilities of leading and coaching the Orange team. This sport and program have provided me with a family at UF! I have met some of my closest friends through my cheerleading career, as well as learned some of my most cherished life lessons. I love cheerleading and this program so much, and I feel blessed with the opportunity to give back to such an amazing organization that has provided me with so much!