college friends

Do Whatever You Can To Hang Out With Friends While You Still Can

I'm taking advantage of this weird time in my life where I am constantly surrounded by my friends because I know that all too soon, I won't have this luxury.

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At the beginning of summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a road trip with four of my friends to Wise, Virginia. 4 hours there and back, three nights of sleeping in the same room, and two detours to Kentucky and Tennessee, and I was having the time of my life.

School was out, summer had just begun, and I was getting to hang out and experience new things with some of my best friends. Some would argue that this is the only time in your life where you have the freedom to travel and do spontaneous things without all the responsibilities of work or bills... so why not do it with friends?

A year from now, I will be a college graduate, and I have no clue where life will be taking me or any of my friends. We'll more than likely be spread among states, some of us working, some of us in grad school. But, after May 18th, 2019, the chances of getting all of us together to have our shenanigans will go down exponentially. So, to everyone in college, I challenge you to hang out with friends every chance you get.

Find the people you can stand to spend 96 hours straight with.

Casey Lofton

Find the people you can win escape rooms with.

The Enigma Chambers of Johnson City, TN

Find the people that drive you to another state to get snow cones with.

Casey Lofton

Find the people that come together from different ends of the state to celebrate your birthday with you.

Casey Lofton

Find the people that bring out the best in you.

Apparently I am at my best whilst throwing the bro pose...Casey Lofton

So far this summer, I've been able to spend nearly a week exploring new places with four of my best friends. Soon, I will be heading back to Charlottesville to work and spend quality time with my other friends that are also sticking around for the summer. There, we will be able to explore the place we've called home for the past three years without the stress of schoolwork and exams. I'm so excited.

I'm taking advantage of this weird time in my life where I am constantly surrounded by my friends because I know that all too soon, I won't have this luxury. Whether it be planned excursions or spontaneous hangouts, I am beyond excited to see what mischief my friends and I get into and what memories we'll make.

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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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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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