What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Commuter Student

5 Things That I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Commuter Student

Let's set an alarm for 6:00 am so that I can be on time for my 9:00 am.

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I first decided to commute because I was an out-of-state student and didn't want to spend money on housing when I could just drive, especially since I already had the extra cost of tuition for being out-of-state. What I didn't know was that there are so many opportunities and benefits of living on campus (especially your freshman year) that I am sad to have missed. Before you decide to commute, consider the following:

1. Traffic and parking

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You wake up early, have no breakfast (or a small one,) and leave 30 minutes early, all so that you'll be on time for a class in which you have an exam. You're driving and *bam* TRAFFIC. Now, you think, it's moving I'll still get there on time (which you do). You chose a parking lot that's a little far from campus, but it's cheaper and you don't have to worry about finding a spot. Now everything is good. You're ten minutes early and waiting for the bus. The bus comes, but before you get in, the driver tells you "there's no more space, wait for the next one!" You take the next one and now you are late and all your efforts were for nothing.

2. Class selection

If you live five minutes away, this might not be a problem for you. But if you're like me, and have to drive 40 minutes every day, the classes you chose might be limited to a certain time frame. I don't like waking up early, so the classes I choose have to start at 9:00 am or later (although even 9:00 am classes take all the energy I have). This is a huge problem when you are a freshman because you're the last one choosing classes, which means all the good professors, classes and times are already taken. So now you have a 40-minute commute, an 8:00 am, and a 5 pm with nothing in between and no dorm to nap in.

3. Clubs

Club take a lot of commitment if you want to be considered a member or have a good position like Ambassador or President. In order to do that you have to come out to all events, even the ones on the weekends. Let's be honest, you'll probably get tired of all the driving and give up, you'll decide not to go one day and now someone else probably has a better chance of getting a position. Most club meetings are also late since they want to make sure that its after classes.

4. Friends

Being an out-of-state student, I didn't have a lot of friends at first, and living off campus was not helping me. The only way I had to make friends was to just talk to random people in classes and clubs until I found someone I could become friends with. This wasn't easy because most people had known each other from high school. Now, don't get me wrong, once you get settled as a commuter it's really easy to make friends as most people are pretty approachable and easy to talk to.

5. Time management

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Commuting takes a lot of time. In my case, I spend 2 hours of my day driving. There are so many things that can be done in 2 hours, like studying for tests, doing homework, or working out. Although I personally would just watch Netflix, the point is you lose a lot of time commuting and have to be good at managing time so you don't fall behind.

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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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The Benefits Of Being Bothered

Fordham University creates students who are constantly bothered...in a good way.

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This past weekend, I volunteered as a member of Fordham's Rose Hill Society for the Spring Open House on campus. The Bronx was buzzing with hundreds of potential students gazing in awe at our welcoming campus and frantic moms and dads flooding my fellow tour guides and me with statistical questions. Most of these students have less than a month to make one of the most memorable decisions of their lives, and it was the least I could do to share with them how happy I am with my decision.

As a prospective student on Fordham's campus, I unfortunately never had the opportunity to hear Father McShane, the president of Fordham University, speak. Some of my closest friends have actually accredited Father McShane with the reason they chose to attend Fordham, deeming him as an eloquent speaker and a true representation of why Fordham University is so special. So, with some time to spare between giving tours, I chose to listen to Father McShane's welcome address in the Rose Hill Gymnasium.

As much as I would like to highlight all the reasons to come to Fordham that Father McShane spoke of (because as a student, I can easily agree that they were all real and true), I'd rather write about one specific section of his speech that struck me as more valid and meaningful than the other obvious reasons of why Fordham University is so great. In the midst of raving about the intelligence and curiosity that Fordham students possess, Father McShane simply said that students at Fordham not only become "bothered," but also learn to feel comfortable with that uncomfortable feeling. Having been a student at Fordham for the past two years, this concept really resonated with me. Fordham's academic curriculum requires students to take a number of core classes in order to graduate. These classes can sometimes be tedious and, honestly, just annoying, especially once you've decided on a specific major. I've come to realize, however, that these classes help students become the well-rounded, knowledgable, and "bothered" students that Fordham prides itself on possessing.

I realize that "being bothered" is a phrase that usually has a negative connotation. As a student who has definitely learned about, wrote about and excessively talked about her fair share of bothersome topics, I've realized that being bothered is in some ways more beneficial than one would assume. Father McShane expanded on this concept by stating that Fordham students become bothered by social issues, injustices, and their lack of knowledge, among other things. For me, I can confidently say that I have been bothered by more issues, controversies, and injustices while attending Fordham University than I have in my entire lifetime. Classes that you'd assume would focus on boring subjects have actually been the ones that have expanded my knowledge the most about our world. For example, a course required for students to take is an English course labeled "Texts & Contexts." For me, I assumed this course would fall directly into the category of boring literature classes that constantly focus on vocabulary, grammar, and symbolism. As much as this is true, the course that I enrolled in, which is sub-titled "(In)Equality," has led me to become more comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations, sometimes even wanting to continue these conversations outside of the classroom.

I can go on forever ranting about how grateful I am that Fordham has allowed me to have these conversations and that I know I will graduate being more bothered than I have ever been before. I will not bore you with these excessive details and examples, however, mostly because I am reaching 650 words and need to spend more time working on homework assignments than I do writing silly articles about why I love my university. I guess you can just add this to the list of things that bother me...

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