College Hasn't Been The So-Called "Best Years of My Life"

College Has NOT Been The Best Years Of My Life And I'm Very Over It

"Done" doesn't describe enough how I feel with this period in my life.

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All I've heard from people, movies, and TV is that college is amazing, "some of the best years of your life."

College is supposed to be where you meet your lifelong friends and future bridesmaids. You learn hard, have fun, go to parties, do some fun extracurricular that helps give your life meaning. You become best friends with your roommate and easily make friends with people through various things, meaning you never have to do things alone. Your weekends are always filled with fun plans.

I'm sorry, but that isn't always the truth.

College is not amazing. It's hard. It's exhausting. It's stressful. It's expensive and ridiculous and filled with stupid people, both students and staff alike.

I'm a senior, and I'm so over college it's not even funny.

No, it's not (just) senioritis - although that is super real for me right now. Maybe I sound jaded. But any other student who, like me, haven't had the "ideal" college experience would sound exactly the same way.

I switched majors and minors several times. I got my first apartment with someone who turned out to be a really bad roommate (she legit caused us to get a mice infestation). I worked two internships and am currently working a third, and have been through three part-time jobs, two of which were total messy disasters. I had so much friend drama with people who turned out to be really toxic.

This is just the shorthand of my less-than-satisfactory college years.

For the most part, I have gone through college alone with a pretty nonexistent social life. Neither my freshman and sophomore year roommates became the "roommate is your best friend" cliche...far from it. I had friends in my first two years of college, but they went to other schools and turned out to be less-than-great people. I've been in a relationship since starting college, but we've been primarily long-distance.

Let me tell you, going through college physically alone sucks hard. It's great and all to text people and send Snaps back and forth, but it isn't the same as having someone physically there. And when what feels like everyone else at your school has a life and friends, the FOMO is real.

I entered college undecided. I found a major sophomore year...and then had to switch it junior year once I realized I didn't have the skills set for my old major. Imagine having one idea, for the first time ever, of what you want to do with your life, only to have it ripped out of your hands by the realization that you're no good at it.

Since I began college, my mental health grew worse.

Unfortunately, I'm just one of many college students who experience worse mental health during college. On top of your usual college stress, I've been dealing with new environments, trying to discover myself outside of my religious upbringing, a long-distance relationship, working terrible part-time jobs, making new friends and losing friends - all of top of dealing with anxiety, depression, and slight OCD.

My mental disorders made me feel everything much more intensely and all at once, which could be incredibly overwhelming. I started having suicidal thoughts, wanting nothing more than to just stop feeling everything so intensely. Only my boyfriend knew about how bad my mental health was getting, and bless him for helping me get through these last few years.

Side note: I returned to therapy about a year and a half ago and started medication roughly one year ago. Both have helped IMMENSELY, making college and its stress a bit easier to handle since my brain isn't going into hyperdrive about homework, due dates, and being on time. If you are struggling with mental health in college, please get help. You do not have to go through it alone.

I'm currently working an internship in a marketing agency, and it's pretty much my dream job. The environment and people are great, it's laidback, and I can wear leggings to work (yes, you read that right. It's amazing how much more productive you can be when you're comfortable!!). It's by far one of the best things to happen to me during college.

BUT. I feel like I have learned more in the rough month I've been there than I have since beginning my mass communications major. That's just under two years of college versus roughly a month of internship. The pacing of college is also incredibly slow compared to the work environment. I've done more hands-on marketing tasks of all kinds in just a few days, while my current class is slowly moving through ONE project.

Sitting in class now feels like a drag because I know what I'm learning could be taught faster. So needless to say, the senioritis is seriously kicking in - and I don't graduate until December.

Oh, and the parties aspect of college?

You don't just happen to discover parties. You have to know the people who are throwing one or someone who somehow always knows where the parties are. The only parties I've ever been to were in sophomore year...at my boyfriend's college. Being surrounded by drunk strangers and blasting rap music at some stranger's house: not totally my scene. If I'm going to social drink, I'm going to do it with friends in a friend's place.

In short, my college experience has been about four years of drama and hecticness.

College has been stressful, mentally draining, and physically and emotionally exhausting. December and graduation cannot come fast enough.

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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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12 Things Only People Under 30 Fully Understand

Only young millennials and Gen Z will know

Jenn
Jenn
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Being a young adult in 2019 is full of a lot of random stuff that our parents and grandparents didn't have. We have more opportunities, different lifestyles, and just really weird stuff we didn't normal.

1. Our obsession with avocados

A super food with a huge place in our hearts.

2. College debt

An actual representation of me giving colleges my money, with no questions asked.

3. Buying jeans with wholes in them.

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4. Memes

The hero we needed, but don't deserve

5. Gifs

A sort of sibling to the meme, but powerful in its own right.

6. Spending five dollars on coffee

Not a want, but a need

7. YouTube/Instagram influencers

They make the world go round.

8. Mason jars as cups, decorations basically anything that isn’t for their intended purpose.

So versatile

9. Our love of succulents

Why have kids when you could have ten cute succulents that don't talk back.

10. Renting instead of buying

Besides have like no actual financial stability, we prefer to live less conventional lives than our predecessors.

11. Our imminent downfall as a society

We never grew up in a time of prosperity, and also know the earth may be dying unless we make a significant change to how we treat it. I guess that’s what happens after we treat it like shit.

12. Being non-binary or gender fluid

A new concept where people don't have to conform to gender norms or even acknowledge them.

Jenn
Jenn

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