Moving away from home was the best thing that happened even if I didn't end up staying

I Had To Move Away From Home In Order To Find Myself

Not only am I now at the university I always dreamed of, but I feel happiest I've ever been in very long time.

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Ever since I was little, I dreamed of faraway places and the life I might have as an adult. I moved quite a bit when I was younger, so getting the opportunity to start over and meet new people always appealed to me. I believe the world is an interesting place we all can learn and grow from, but we have to be willing to seek after it.

When I applied to colleges my senior year of high school, I applied to a total of 15 schools. 6 in state, 9 out of state. The ones that were in state were more of my "safety" schools. It's not that I don't believe the state of Pennsylvania has great schools, but it didn't seem different to me. With that, I got into all 15 after being waitlisted from two.

It's important to note that I always loved the University of Pittsburgh. My dad went to Pitt during his undergrad, so it was basically installed into me when I was 6, I would go there too. I started attending football games with my parents and my dad's friends, constantly visited the university, and even dreamed of attending the school. However, when it came down to deciding where I wanted to go, I lost all appeal. I felt like I was following too much in my dad's footsteps. I thought I wanted to go to ROTC as he did, and even had plans of being an army nurse to make a full career out of it.

I felt a need to discover who I was without feeling like I was living in someone else's shadow. I wanted to find my own destiny and create it without feeling pressure.

At the end of it all, I ended up choosing Temple University in Philadelphia. Yes, it was in state, but it was six hours away from home in one of the biggest cities in America. For an aspiring Political Science major, I loved how it was dead in the middle between New York City, Harrisburg, and Washington D.C., so the possibilities of different internships and job opportunities pulled me in. Plus, when I went to visit the campus, I basically fell in love with the university.

However, things changed halfway through my sophomore year. Just like anyone moving away from home for the first time, I struggled to adjust and get used to living on my own. I like to think I have always been a fairly independent person. However, moving to a new city meant learning my way around the city, navigating the subways, and other basic adult functions as I no longer had my mother there to help me. Sure, she was a phone call away but I needed to learn to be on my one.

I was happy for a while at Temple. I mean, I was a part of a sorority - something advertised to be the best decision ever. I just didn't feel like myself. Yet, I thought I was going through just a rough patch and would overcome it. It got to the point I no longer felt comfortable at Temple since I reached a point where I just broke down. I couldn't keep going on pretending everything was okay because it clearly was not.

Ultimately, I decided to move back home and attend the University of Pittsburgh like I always dreamed. I do believe a part of me always wondered what my life would be like if I did attend Pitt. And now that I'm here, I can say this is the best decision of my life.

Not only am I at the university I always dreamed of, but I feel happier. I am not only working hard in school but taking care of myself in the process. I have grown from the person who I was just a few months ago, and that is something amazing. I feel so blessed to have parents and friends who have heard that I've been struggling and pushing me to do what is best for me.

I am just at the beginning of discovering who I am, and I couldn't be any more excited about what this next chapter as in store. It's only been eight weeks since I became a Pitt Panther, and I couldn't be any happier.

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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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