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Haily Hickey
Holland, Mich.

I will always remember the atmosphere at a football or basketball game that gave me such a sense of pride for my school while at WVU.

My degree will allow me to help others reach their goals and continue doing the things they love.

I would tell my freshman self to work hard and follow your dreams, yet remember to have fun along the way. The time will fly, so enjoy every minute.

Describe your journey leading up to graduation—what made you want to study physical therapy?

I decided to study physical therapy because of my history with performance in athletics. I have been involved in athletic competition from a young age and thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of my life for as long as I can remember. My real interest in physical therapy began in high school when I was trying to decide where to attend college. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to continue my athletic career at the collegiate level, and that is what solidified my love for physical therapy. Physical therapists have helped many of my teammates and I recover from injuries and continue performing the sports we love. I knew I would love to help others through rehabilitation to reach their goals and return to doing the things they love. My athletic background, my love for helping others, and my goal of using physical exercise to improve function is all what led me down the path to studying physical therapy.

Why did you choose to attend WVU?

I chose to attend WVU initially for my undergraduate education. I was offered an athletic scholarship and was a part of the WVU Swimming and Diving Team. I chose WVU over other schools because of the sense of home that Morgantown provided and the sense of family that my teammates provided. I decided to stay at WVU for PT school because Morgantown and WVU are my home away from home.

Describe your time at WVU. What’s your favorite memory?

During my time at WVU, I have had countless memories that I will cherish forever. Being a student athlete, many of my memories revolve around my teammates and the many hours we spent together. Those individuals are more than friends and teammates, they are family. My favorite memory during my time at WVU was singing Country Roads at my final home swimming and diving meet with my teammates. This was last time I would sing Country Roads at home as a student athlete, and it was bittersweet, yet I was so thankful for the opportunity to do what I loved while representing WVU. Also, the day of that final home meet was the day that I found out I was accepted into WVU PT school, all around a wonderful day!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about studying physical therapy? Why should they go to WVU?

For someone thinking about studying physical therapy, I would tell them to work hard, study hard and follow their dreams. Physical therapy school is challenging and it will test you in ways you never thought possible. Yet, the hard work is worth it because there is no better feeling in the whole world than helping your patients reach their goals and dreams. A career in physical therapy is rewarding—with my little time in the clinic, I have felt like I have made a positive impact on many patient’s lives, and that is an amazing feeling. Also, I believe that WVU would be a great choice for physical therapy school because of the amazing atmosphere that WVU provides. My classmates and professors have made my three years of graduate school wonderful, and I believe the PT department has a sense of family that you cannot find everywhere.

What’s next for you?

Following graduation, I have accepted a pediatric physical therapy job in Austin, Texas, and I will be moving following graduation. I have always enjoyed working with the pediatric population, and I am excited for this new adventure in this new place.