What are helpful tips for college?

Hey Little Sis, College Is Going To Be Great

College advice from big sisters to little sisters because college is hard, but it's so worth it.

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Dear little sister, congratulations! College is some of the most fun I have ever had so far. It's pretty amazing being surrounded by amazing individuals that are motivated and care about you. You are going to do amazing things while you are at school. You have a ridiculous amount of potential and you have the skills to accomplish world-changing, earth-shattering feats. In order to do that, you might want a little bit of advice. I haven't learned much, but I have learned a little.

College isn't all about appearances, but they most certainly help. You should eat well, but don't say no to ice cream. Eat breakfast and throw in a little protein every day to make sure that you're doing your part to stay healthy. Make sure you wear something other than your pajamas to class and don't wear your lanyard around your neck. You will definitely feel better. Side note: people giggle a little when freshmen wear their lanyards. Make sure that you brush your teeth and take care of yourself. If you get sick, go to Student Health. If you need a flu shot, go to Student Health. If you are looking for nutrition advice, go to Student Health. They have a ton of resources that you pay for anyway, so use them!

With regards to class, there are just a few tips that I have. Make sure that you are considerate to each individual that is in your class. Don't type too loud or take up more than one seat in class. Honestly, you should probably not take courses before 10 a.m. because they can be difficult to motivate yourself to go to. If your class is reading-heavy, try reading ahead. Getting behind is not in your favor, but you also shouldn't stress either. Make a schedule and stick to it — it's extremely helpful for accomplishing projects and hitting deadlines. Check your email several times per day and always make sure to respond to professors. Not only do they expect a response, but they are often working for your benefit, so make sure you give them the thanks they deserve.

Outside of class, you should do your best to relax and have a blast. College is supposed to be pretty fantastic, so make sure you take advantage of it! That being said, you don't have to go out to a party to have fun. My friends and I do movies nights where we all get in our pajamas and watch comedies until we run out of snacks. Having fun is super important, but make sure you do some work too. Fill out a LinkedIn profile and apply for an internship or job on campus. You will be thankful that you started thinking about your future early.

A few random suggestions include doing your laundry in the mornings, keep your backpack light, carry your own whiteboard markers, get an oil diffuser, and try to keep a plant alive. There's definitely a learning curve you will hit once you get to college, but it doesn't have to shatter your world. Call Mom and Dad every once in a while and tell them about the cool stuff you're doing, then actually listen to their "glory day" stories. They appreciate the communication more than you know.

Little sis, college is awesome. I'm really excited about you embarking on this adventure in your life. If you need anything, you know I'm here for you.

Love your big sis!

P.S. WEAR YOUR SHOWER SHOES — bathroom floors are gross.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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A Reminder To My Little Brother, You Are One Of My Largest Blessings

My baby brother deserves the world and more.

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My not so little brother Nicholas, is one of my life's greatest blessings. He is childish, yet mature for his age, the one I protect but also the one who protects me. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would feel this way, I am not so sure I would have believed you.

Siblings whether you like it or not, are tied to you for life. They are the people who understand you best, know you forwards and backwards, and simply know what you go through on a daily basis.

Nicholas and I, while younger had the classic older sister younger brother relationship. Kicking and screaming at one another over the silliest of things, and very rarely giving the other as little as a hug. Fighting like cats and dogs. But regardless of all this we were always protective of each other.

I would say our relationship shifted for the better, when times got the hardest in our house. We relied on one another. Comforted and supported one another. It was different and in the best way possible. Thankful for these hard times. Simply because without it, I wouldn't be as close to Nicky.

I believe in my brother. I see the best in him always, even when others at times doubt him. I know that right now as a teenage boy, these times are confusing. You're confused about where you fit in this life. And I want you to know that wherever you end up, I am by your side.

High school is complicated and so is navigating who you are. But do not ever worry Nicky, because I am here to remind you when you forget just how special you are. Here are some reasons why!

Reason one; because whenever you see someone hurting you immediately warm them with one of the tightest yet softest hugs. Overwhelming people with this sense of comfort and support. You may not offer motivational words, but you are there with quiet strength for those you love.

Reason two; that goofy smile paired with the deepest of dimples can light up just about any room and heart. You have a charisma about you bud, one that many people are drawn to. This is something that will carry you through life.

Reason three; even though you like to pretend you do not care about most things, all you want is to be accepted and seen. Just like the rest of the world. You are relatable, you work hard, you fiercely protect and care for your friends and family. You do not even realize it but you have the tools to influence so many other people. Do not be scared to unlock the potential of your greatness.

Reason four; you are so bright. Some people truthfully just do not fit the mold of educational systems. That is okay that you are one of them, and just because you cannot conform to this doesn't diminish the fact that your brain is larger than life. No other 15 year old I know, becomes interested in conversation of bitcoin let alone has productive thoughts on the matter. You're going to be successful in your own ways, despite what your report card says.

These reasons barely scratch the surface as to why I believe in you. Sometimes, as humans we need to be reminded that we are doing great. That regardless of how messy our worlds seem not, one day they will make sense. And we will discover our greater purpose.

Like I said, Nicholas' potential is endless. I truthfully believe that. Because that is what a sibling does. They believe in one another, when it seems like the rest of the world doesn't. Nicky may be younger than me, but I learn so much from him. And as I play the role of the older sister, I also discover things about myself too.

I do not think Nicholas understands truthfully how special he is. How much he warms our hearts and home. He was the best addition to our family and he is one of the largest blessings in my life personally as well. I am so thankful.

This is a corny tribute, however one that is so necessary. Simply because I cannot help but gush about my baby brother. I love you to the moon and back Nicky, keep the goofy smile on your face, continue to love hard, and continue to expand that brilliant mind of yours.

I'll continue to protect and love you for as long as I live. Show the world just how special you are. Again, I believe in you!

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