Here's To Your Last Semester, Seniors

Here's To Your Last Semester, Seniors

Take this last semester with a grain of salt. Focus on what you want to do

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It's January and while some people are working on their New Year's Resolution, others are focused on more pressing matters. Some can include the government shutdown, family matters or businesses doing poorly in the market. Then there likes the matter with students. January is a time for students to return from break and start the second half of the year. January from May seems like such a long journey but in reality, it isn't. Sometimes it feels like a blink of the eye and it is summer. We want to accept so much that before we accomplish most of the checklist, we could be halfway done with the test.

When we first start college there seems to be a lifetime between the beginning and ending college. We choose to focus on several things but sometimes forget about the important ones. Over winter break my brother told me to write down the most important things I wanted to accomplish in my last semester of college and it got me thinking. I want to remember the moments and spend any time I have available with my friends. I don't want to stress or focus on something that isn't vital to me but rather I want to enjoy myself.

I don't know how other seniors might be handling their last semester but I know that if one senior can provide advice to another then maybe that can inspire others as well.

Dear college senior soon to be grad,

You made it. You are so close to completing your education journey (unless you want to go to graduate school) and you have grown, matured and learned along the way. There are so many people who helped bring you here and it is important to remember the sacrifices they went through to support you in college. This is the first point of this letter: Always remember the people who got you here. Family, friends, and teachers are people who laid everything on the line for you to succeed and you would not be here without them. Your parents and siblings were instrumental but be sure to think about your grandparents and that teacher who never gave up on you. In your last semester think about how you got here and the people who helped. Their impact is lasting and that can inspire you onward.

Don't stress over the little things

There are going to be things that might attempt to derail you in your last semester but don't let that get under your skin. It is your last semester and there are going to be things that will bug you but we just have to move on.

You don't need to find a boyfriend or girlfriend this semester

A Lot of my articles have focused on the significance of Independence and why you might not need a significant other. I know people talk about how they find their husband or wife in college but that shouldn't be on your mind. If you focus only on finding a girl or boyfriend then you'll miss out on a lot. Instead of focusing on a romantic relationship think about friendships. Preserve your friendships and reinforce them. Maybe a relationship can come out of that.

Have fun with your friends

I know it can be difficult to make time with your friends due to school, work or looking for a job but remember to find time for fun. Your friends in college have become your support system and spending any time you have with them will remind you how thankful you are for them. These are the friends who will be at your wedding and the people who know you as well you know yourself. Find time for them because you will miss them and they will miss you.

It must have been a great four-plus years for you in college. However, this isn't goodbye. The experiences you create in college will follow you in life and you have connections that will remain with you. I can understand being sad and nervous about college ending but it is important to keep moving forward. College helped mold you into a different person and now it is time for that person to change the world.

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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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7 Reasons Why Being A Woman In S-T-E-M Is The B-E-S-T

Science shouldn't be something to be afraid of, it should be something to embrace and conquer.

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Growing up, I used to think science was only for boys. I read articles about male scientists discovering all sorts of neat things, but I never thought I could become a scientist like them. As I embarked on my college journey, I realized that there are women, like me, who believed they couldn't become something big in the STEM field. This article is to encourage those the women out there that believe they're not supposed to be in the STEM field.

1. I feel like a BOSS

And it feels so good! Being in the STEM field has taught me that even though society tells me I can't do something big because I'm a woman, I sure as hell have a place to be something big in science. STEM empowers me to be a role model for young girls who aspire to become scientists. It gives me a cape so that I can feel like SuperWoman. It allows me to escape from reality and focus on a subject that I love. For me, STEM is a field of freedom.

2. I get to show my male colleagues how it's done

I'm not trying to say men are stupid buttt they are (totally kidding... but not really). When my male colleagues ask me for help or when they feel inferior when I'm good at something they aren't, I feel empowered. For so many years, women were looking up to men and feeling inferior but not it's quite the opposite. There are more female scientists coming into the field and I've definitely seen the impact. I can confidently say that women are here to stay. The future is female and if that offends any of my male readers, then sorry but I'm not sorry. We've waited far too long for a powerful female presence in the STEM field and we're finally starting to see them show others how it's done.

3. I had no role model, so I vowed to become a role model

It's true, I had no real female role models growing up. I felt like I was a helpless little girl stuck in a man's world. As harsh as that sounds, it was a reality for me at the time. Once I decided I wanted to be in STEM, I made a promise to myself that I would become a role model for other little girls out there. I want to show girls that it's OK to be a woman and a scientist and that the two shouldn't be something to be scared of being in today's world. I want to help girls feel strong and smart. I grew up thinking I didn't have the qualities to be in the STEM field. I realized later on that you learn so many intelligent qualities once you agree on entering the field. I want to be a role model and I want to be the leader of inspiring little girls to follow their science dreams.

4. I wanna be on TV someday

I used to see so many great scientists show off their work during interviews on major TV networks. Their work was absolutely mind-blowing. I realized I want to be like them and one day show off my work on national television. I'm not asking for a claim to fame, but I want to be able to talk about my scientific discoveries and share my work with the world. It's a dream of mine that still has a long way to go, but I know I will be able to make my dream into a reality.

5. SO many ideas

Once you decide on being in STEM, there are almost always a crazy amount of ideas jumping around in your head and you have no idea where to put them all. Well, that's what's so great about STEM. You can explore each and every one of your ideas down to the little details and stumble upon more and more ideas. STEM is all about discovering new ideas and jumping from one way of thinking to another. Every day is a new day for learning something new, which is one of the reasons why I love STEM so much. Every day is a new mystery waiting to be explored.

6. Confidence

STEM gives me a stable ground to put both feet on and feel confident that I'll be OK. There are plenty of fields that may seem kind of worrisome but STEM strengthens me and reassures me that I'm in the right field. It's given me hope that I can stay in this field till the end of time and still be financially and mentally stable. There are so many people who are willing to help you grow in science, and I'm so lucky to have met such people. They give me confidence that I can pursue my dreams without any regrets.

7. It's my passion

Lastly, science is my passion. It's everything I love, care for, and respect, all in one. There are still so many developments that need to be made but just thinking about the future and the love I have for STEM makes me excited for what's to come. I've been told before that I shouldn't be in medicine and that it's not the right field for women. I want to show those people that I'm here to stay and that my passion is so strong for science that I am willing to do anything for it. I know the future is going to be great and until then, I will continue this journey to pursue my dreams and follow my passion.

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