If you’re considering going to school to become a massage therapist, you may be as excited as you are worried. Whether massage therapy would be your first experience in a full-time job or a career change after already being in the workplace, going to school for a new skill and profession can be daunting.
But it doesn’t have to be! With a little information on your side, you can feel comfortable and even enthusiastic as you embark on this new adventure. Here are three tips on how to succeed in massage therapy school—and to be happy while doing so.
- Commit to the goal of graduation. Before you even sign up for your first class or attend your first lecture, you should decide that this is what you want to do. After that decision has been made, you will find the energy and focus that it takes to accomplish your goal. It’s just like your parents (or grandparents) always told you: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you want to achieve the goal of becoming a licensed massage therapist and actually believe that you can do it, then you will, whether it takes six months, a year, or more.
- Find a study partner or group. In massage therapy school, you’ll likely be learning about the human body in more detail than you ever have before. And when it comes to memorizing huge lists of terms in anatomy or studying a bunch of new vocabulary, having a study partner makes all the difference. Even if you think you study better alone, it’s still wise to find a fellow student or two and exchange contact information. You never know when a copy of someone else’s notes will come in handy or when you’ll need help with an assignment. Plus, when you’re in massage therapy school, it’s always nice to have a buddy to give your shoulders a nice rub when you’re feeling stressed!
- Take time for self-care. Just like an airline flight attendant will tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else, you’ve got to take care of your own body and mind before you’ll be able to help anyone else through a career in massage therapy. This applies to your time in massage therapy school as well; you won’t be able to fully apply yourself and focus on your coursework if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. This self-care might come in the form of meditation, scheduled time off from schoolwork, time to prepare a healthy meal, or alone time to just decompress and watch a favorite show. Whatever it is, set aside the time to do it and honor that commitment to yourself.
If you can mentally commit to massage therapy school, find a support group in your classes, and make time to take care of yourself while you do it, you’ll be prepared to succeed not only in school but in your career in massage therapy as well. And as you undertake this new journey into massage therapy school and beyond, you can feel confident that your career choice will help other people as much as it helps you.