For The College Girl Who Feels Like Crying

To The Girl Crying In The Stairwell, These 5 Things I Promise You

We're all there with you.

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Dear girl crying in the stairwell,

I see you. I see you trying to hide your face as I walk down the stairs, ashamed of your tears as you talk on the phone. But I want you to know there is nothing to be ashamed of. You are brave for wearing your heart on your sleeve. And although I walk by and may not stop and give you the hug I want to, I desperately want you to know that I see you and I see your pain.

I feel you. I myself have cried when I thought nobody was around to see, and sometimes I've cried not caring who does see. There is sadness in this world, and my heart breaks for those that feel lonely and sad and are in a dark place. College is hard. Suddenly we are in this new world with so many new emotions and without the support systems that we grew up with. Depression and anxiety can sometimes be our new roommates, and sometimes it's so hard to keep everything together. But I want you to know you're not alone — I feel you.

I'm praying for you. I know you might not recognize me if you saw me again and I might not recognize you, but know that I think about you. I pray for you and hope that whatever was making you cry is not something you're daily afraid of, but something you carry with you as a reminder of how strong you are. If it was a test you failed, hopefully now you know that failing is not the end of the world and you can continue to live even after that letdown. Maybe it's the fact that you miss your mom so much it hurts. I pray that daily you feel grateful that you love someone so much to miss them, or maybe it's something worse that you're dealing with that only you know about. I pray that you find a shoulder to lean on, and know that your scars are not ugly things to hide but beautiful journeys to be proud of and show your growth as a human.

You are strong. People might think crying is a weakness, but it truly is an example of the strong warrior inside that can handle their sadness effectively and emotionally regulate themselves. Do not be ashamed to cry or be ashamed of the emotions you feel. Tears are beautiful and renewing.

You are loved. I do not know where you came from or your story, but already you have a place in my heart. I know that people out there care about you and I want you to know you matter. And even if you feel like nobody on this earth loves you or does anything to show they care, remember that already someone has died for you just for the opportunity to spend a lifetime with you. When everything on earth fails us, which inevitably it will, remember you have a God that loves you and desires an intimate relationship with you. And He is a God who will dry your tears and comfort your broken spirit.

Girl on the stairs, I've been you and I just want you to know you are stronger than you think. And even in your brokenness, there is something even more beautiful growing from those tears. You are loved, you are strong, I'm praying for you, I feel you, and I see you.

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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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Poetry On Odyssey: Moving On

Healing hurts but it's necessary to move on.

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I just want to make it clear, that I by no means am or plan to a poet. I have only written one other poem my entire life. But to keep myself from going off and hurting myself mentally, emotionally, and physically after a break up, I started to read, (and reread) my poetry books. I wanted to vent, but I didn't want to write long Facebook status or share every sad post. I didn't even want to tell anyone. Although, I knew I needed to turn my hurt, pain and confusion into something healthy and healing. I started to write an article but I couldn't get the words out, unless they were in short pieces. So I tried, to with a poem.

Moving On

I want to change how you made me feel

I want to numb all the pain and hurt

that you left me to deal with

but how can I do that?


How can I numb the pain,

when I'm already numb?

I feel nothing at all

and at the same time

I feel everything at once


I'm like a walking corpse

begging for life again

And I would anything to get it

but nothing at the same time


How can one thing so simple

make me feel completely empty

and so full of pain and confusion


I've never been left more confused

more vulnerable

and so full of self hate


I've never felt this type of sadness

I was verging on depression again

But I slowly realized that I'll be okay

because I can see what you truly want

and what I truly need


And while my heart was with you

I learned why it should be with me

and I know I'll be more okay than ever


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