12 Realities Of A Nursing Student

12 Realities Of A Nursing Student

​​​Why being a nursing student is the best and worst decision you will ever make.

I am a nursing student. This is synonymous with lifeless, stressed, exhausted, compassionate, smart and a plethora of other words. If you are or were ever a nursing student (in which we can't blame you for switching majors, the struggle is real), you will completely understand these 12 reasons why being a nursing student is insanely painful and extremely rewarding at the same time. If you're debating becoming a nurse, then this might serve as a helpful list of pros and cons.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing Is Different Than Any Other Major

1. Free time is nonexistent.

There is always a test, quiz, care plan or clinical that is demanding all of your attention, all the time. Say goodbye to friends, say goodbye to fun and say goodbye to your sanity.

2. Your schedule is insane.

You need to pencil in time in between studying for multiple exams, going to class and clinical hours in order to sleep or eat. When a non-nursing major complains about their 8 a.m. class, you just roll your eyes because you've been up since 5 a.m. and probably won't go to sleep until at least 2 in the morning.

3. You feel extremely stupid.

You perpetually feel unprepared for tests and you're disappointed that your grades won't be perfect any longer. You feel straight-up confused all the time. That 4.0 you had in high school? Yeah, that's not possible in nursing school, boo.

4. You also feel insanely intelligent.

When you spew out healthcare jargon and your non-nursing friends have no idea what you're talking about, you feel pretty damn cool. Plus, you now understand what the heck is going on in "Grey's Anatomy," so you're basically Derek Shepherd IRL.

5. Your teachers are disorganized and make classes practically impossible to pass.

Most of them grade harshly and make your life a living hell. And they usually don't have any sort of education degree or experience. Solid.

6. The two or three teachers you actually like already are, or will be, your friends.

The ones that help you get through the torture that is nursing school are keepers. They'll probably write you letters of recommendation or go out for drinks with you once you're no longer their student.

7. You have to pay to work.

You pay tuition for clinical hours, which essentially means you pay to work. Sure, the experience is invaluable, but that's a lot of time and effort to do for free.

8. Your nursing friends will be your friends for life.

There is a special bond between nursing students friends. You've studied together, you've laughed together, you've cried together, you've drank together. No one can understand the pain and glory that is nursing school like your fellow nursing students. And you know you couldn't have done it without them. No nurse left behind.

9. You see some really cool cases.

Some of the patient cases you see at clinical are nothing short of amazing. Knowing that you helped with an interesting and complex case leaves you with an invaluable experience and greater confidence in your knowledge and skills.

10. You will also see some really gross cases.

There are some images you just can't un-see (or un-smell) no matter how hard you try. I won't go into details, but nurses see some really icky stuff on a daily basis.

11. You will learn useless information.

Just like every other major, you have to take stupid classes that won't ever help you in life. I know for a fact I will never use the knowledge I gained from Healthcare Economics or Computer Skills for Health Sciences ever in life as an RN.

12. When you do have "free time," you kill it.

No one can party like a nursing student. No one. You drink so you can save lives.

No matter how hellish nursing school can be, you'd never change it. You know that being a nurse is what you're meant to do. No other job can handle your crazy, your feels, or your brains. You've been trained for this. Keep trucking through this bitch of an undergrad degree, we are all in this together. Now go out there, it's a beautiful day to save lives.

Cover Image Credit: Katy Hastings

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Freshman Year As Told By "FR.I.E.N.D.S."

The cruel realities of the best experiences.

Apart from being your first year in college, freshman year is the year for many other firsts, as well. For many, it is the first time living away from home, first time with a roommate, first time having this great amount of responsibility. But, to not give much away, here are the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. gifs depicting freshman year!

1. Orientation

You could be the biggest social butterfly and you would still find orientation to be one of the most awkward experiences there are. The good thing about it is everyone is on the same boat, so (hopefully) it can’t get any worse than that.

2. 8 a.m. classes

Waking up at 6:30am everyday for high school is not enough to prepare you for college. Your sleeping schedule will always be a mess, you’ll never feel well-rested and your super power will be not falling asleep during the early morning classes. Also, coffee, lots and lots of coffee.

3. Naïve teenagers

Somehow, living without adults telling us what to do becomes the synonym of adulthood. However, it doesn’t take long before you realize that isn’t true and find yourself calling your parents asking something about the laundry or if it really is necessary to go to class because it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella.

4. Stress becomes a lifestyle

You walk around trying to hide the fact that you’ve just had your third mental breakdown in the bathroom, waving any and all concerns away with a façade of mental stability. Everything will be alright though.

5. Due to #4, parties become stress relievers

And by alcohol, I mean Capri Sun’s, of course! Yeah, I don’t think this needs any more explaining.

6. Teachers expect too much

Let’s be honest, not even in high school did we do anything during break. I feel like professors should know by now that if they get to spend time with their loved ones without any care in the world, we’ll be doing the same.

7. Freshmen 15 fears go out the window

Probably the most common fear of all students their first year, yet there is no hesitation in ordering a pizza with your friends and eating it all in one take without a care in the world. No regrets, no nothing, just a full stomach and a whole lot of happiness.

8. Friends become family

Probably the most important part of freshman year: you meet the people that will become lifelong friends.

Cover Image Credit: Comedy Central

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Should You Work Remotely? The Benefits and Challenges

Why work in a cubicle when you can work on the beach?

While some people enjoy cubicle life, an increasing number of people would prefer to work remotely. In 2016, 43% of employed Americans spent at least some time working remotely, and those who worked remotely 60% to 80% of the time had the highest rates of commitment to and enthusiasm for their job.

While telecommuting has its obvious benefits, there are also a few challenges. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before switching to the freelance life.

Pro: You Can Be More Productive

Numerous studies show that working the standard nine-to-five isn’t congruent with productivity. The brain can focus only for limited amounts of time before it needs a break. By working remotely, you can get flexible with your work hours and factor in mini breaks to give your brain a rest, helping you enjoy greater creativity and enhanced productivity.

Con: It Can Be Lonely

Even if you aren’t an extrovert, working day in and day out in your home office can start to feel isolating, especially if you live alone and are a homebody. You may find that a week goes by before you leave the house. Force yourself to make social connections, whether it’s with another remote employee or with someone from a community group. You can find groups of people with shared interests on Meetup.com and Facebook

Pro: You Can Be More Creative

Some people say they’re morning people, and others night owls. But have you ever heard someone say they’re an afternoon person? This is because you’re most creative when you’re tired, and this time is usually either right when you wake up or before you go to sleep. By working as a freelancer, you can set your schedule around your peak creativity hours or your peak focus hours—when the sun rises or long after it sets. 

Con: You Have to Invest in Business Essentials

When you take your work from the office to your home, a poor internet connection or continuously ringing phone can mean working longer hours and feeling stressed about fast-approaching deadlines. Consider getting a second phone line solely for business purposes, and answer it only during work hours. You’ll also want to research the fastest internet providers in your area and determine how much speed you need for the type of work you do. 

Pro: You’ll Save Money

Despite having to invest in a few business essentials, most remote workers save money. On average, commuters spend $2,600 per year, or around $10 per day, getting to and from work. That’s no small amount to spend on gas and car maintenance. This amount doesn’t include the costs for buying your lunch and coffee when you’re running late. Working from home eliminates these commuting costs and makes it easier to make coffee and lunch at home, rather than eat out.

Con: You May Feel Left Out

According to one study, many remote workers feel purposely left out and shunned by their in-office colleagues, and some even feel their colleagues talk behind their backs and lobby against them. When you’re not in the office, it’s easy to fall behind in the daily news, including growth and promotion opportunities, and it’s more difficult to speak up and share your input. You’ll want to find ways to stay in the loop and make sure your opinions are heard.

Pro: You’ll Feel Less Stressed

Several studies show that remote workers are happier and less stressed than their in-office colleagues. For one, working from home allows you to avoid the grind of traffic and the anxiety of commuting. It’s also easier to feel happy when you have the freedom to set your schedule, enjoy more time with your family, and work in a space where you feel most productive. 

Con: It Can Be Hard Blending Work and Life

Ironically, establishing a healthy work-life balance can be more difficult when you work from home. When there isn’t a boss looking over your shoulder, it’s easy to start online shopping when you’re on the clock or to start working in the evenings while watching a movie with your family. Keep your work and living spaces separate, and establish a set work schedule. This separation will help you get your work done on time and not let it bleed into your evenings or weekends.

Switching from office life to remote work marks an exciting time in your career, but before making the leap, weigh the advantages and challenges. Consider whether the pros outweigh the cons for your personal preferences and how you can tackle the cons. Having a plan will help you make the right decision and set you up for success.

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