7 Ways To Start The Spring Semester Off Right

7 Ways To Start The Spring Semester Off Right

How to find who you are as a person and also as a student.
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So you've made it past your first semester. You know now that it's not cool to wear your lanyard around your neck and that you should take advantage of your meal swipes. You feel like you fit in with the upper class men who have the, "I'm so done with this place and can't wait to graduate" look on their faces. Now is the perfect time to get the feel of who you are as an individual and as a student.

Here are seven things you should do now that you are in the spring semester.

1. Go to the gym

Not only have you discovered that the freshman 15 is a real thing, the holidays added at least another five pounds to that. Taking advantage of the free gym equipment and facilities is a great way to start the spring semester. If you're too afraid of the macho man that can bench press you times two; take a friend with you. It can be both fun and rewarding if you stick to it.

2. Join a club, greek life, or a team

Now that you know what it takes to make good grades, its time to involve yourself on campus. Joining a club or being a part of greek life takes the stress of school away and lets you make new friends. It allows you to feel a sense of community and to make those needed connections with upperclassmen and alumni for advice.

3. Adventure out into the town

There is more to your town than campus, I'm sure of it. Whether it's going to the local clubs to get your dance on or going hiking on the trails on the outskirts of town; you should try to branch out into your college town's community. Since you will be living there for a minimum of four years, you should take in all everything that your town has to offer. While finding the local Walmart and super market are important; finding your favorite new restaurant will lead you to memories that will stay with you even after you leave.

4. Try a new hobby

This is a fun part about college, you can become whoever you want to be and enjoy whatever you want. Trying new things is an important part in finding out who you are as a person. So go to the yoga classes that are offered at the rec, try writing in a journal, or even tryout or the local theatre auditions. You never know what might become your new passion.

5. Set a schedule

Now that you've had your first semester frantics, the time of not being sure how to schedule time for fun and studying, you can place an accurate schedule that let's you have time to focus on developing who you are. Setting a new schedule for the beginning of the new semester is a vital way to stay organized and allow for extra fun. So break out that planner, write on that whiteboard, and do whatever it takes to stay on task... while also having some fun.

6. Start looking for off-campus housing

This is a big one. Sometimes your campus doesn't allow off-campus housing and you have to stay in the dorms, which is perfectly fine. However, a lot of times students have the freedom to live in cheaper places and experience some freedom. You will want to start looking all over town, comparing prices and amenities. It may take some time and research, but i'm sure you will find a place that you love.

7. Live a little

This is the wrap it all up point. Now that the stresses of getting used to college are thrown out of the window, you can now focus on you. You aren't under your parents constant wing anymore and you have the freedom to fly, enjoy it. Adventure towards the unknown, try new things, learn a new skill, and develop who you want to become as you grow into adulthood.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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