Comparison, Stop Stealing My Joy

Comparison, Stop Stealing My Joy

Stop measuring your progress based on others and where they are.
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"New year, new semester, new hair, new me..."

Feel free to change any of the words following 'new' and you have about every college kid's first caption of 2018. Everyone is excited for the firsts of the year and has vowed to make changes to their life, their lifestyle, their eating habits, their workout routines, their school stress, their schedules, their outward appearances, etc., etc. And I think it is great for people to make changes in their life as they start fresh in this first month of the new year. I have no problem with making these changes, I mean let's be honest, I almost always make new year/new semester resolutions. But I've realized that oftentimes our resolutions are just in response to others and are a form of comparison. Instead of wanting to eat right for ourselves and for the good of our bodies, skin, and energy, we do it because we want to look like someone else. What happened to just doing good things for ourselves, without worrying about what other people are doing?

I don't want you to get the wrong impression and think that I'm pointing a finger at everyone else without realizing how guilty I am of this same thing; this is something I am starting to be more aware of. I get so caught up in what other people are doing in comparison to me. I want to look like ____, I want everyone to think that I am ____, I need to get better at ____ because of ____, and so forth. I keep worrying about who I need to be in comparison to who others are, without realizing who I already am and who I was created to be. In response to this, a quote that I have started reminding myself of every day is:

Comparison is the thief of joy. Teddy Roosevelt

If I keep comparing my progress and my goals to everyone else and their life then I get so caught up in that I can't focus on myself or my goals right now. My happiness gets wrapped up in other people and how I compare myself to them in different aspects of my life. But when I start working towards my goals for the sake of improving myself, then I don't let comparison come in and steal my joy. Let's worry less about what other people are doing and what other people think about us, and start just being content with where we are, the progress we are making on our own, and who we were made to be. Wake up every day remembering that "comparison is the thief of joy" and that we should "put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24)." We have no reason to compare ourselves to someone else when we are loved by a perfect Savior and Creator who fills us with joy again and again.

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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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Kids Are Growing Up Too Quickly, And It's A Serious Problem

Jojo Siwa and Bhad Bhabie are the SAME AGE. Enough said.

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Today's children are finding themselves having midlife-crisis at the mere age of 12. With pressures from social media and an ever-present culture that asks children to put their most attractive foot forward, childhood is a diminished time period that is replaced with shaky adolescence. With the innocence and delicacy of youth slipping away from the fingertips of today's kids, we find that childhood itself is near extinction.

You see, children are being encouraged into independence much younger than necessary. They are expected to provide for themselves and form their own opinions and emotions much earlier than what is healthy for them in the long run. This rush all stems, however, from parental pressure, the media's influence, and the shame the modern world puts on dependency. Beginning with parental pressures, parents pack maturity into kids' heads by signing us up for technique-intense soccer camps, hiring reading tutors for kindergartners, and composing preschool applications as soon as they find out they are pregnant.

Parents strip away the sense of security and youth these children should have by constantly providing them a view of the future.

Beyond this, the emergence of social media as a common form of validation forces children to believe that the only way for them to receive any form of validation is to act in the manner of their role models and other celebrities. These celebrities, generally much older than the children who idolize them, become the framework for what children wish to become. It stands as an open gateway for girls and boys to venture into adulthood, without the necessary barrier of childhood.

Aside from parental pressure and the media, the modern world places shame on dependency for young kids. In our modern world, we see a toxic combination of marketing, media, and peer pressure pushing for independence. Whether it be a show, where a young boy goes out on his own and travels the world, or a friend, who is advising you that footie pajamas are too babyish. This deadly mixture places humiliation on young kids, constructing an even more secure barrier against dependency, an important component for development.

The effects of this push are outstandingly tragic and numerous. On a large scale, depression and other related factors have been found to be an effect to "hurried-child syndrome". In smaller, but just as serious terms, identity crises of our youth have been deemed an effect of this issue.

In the essence of dark matter, propelling the youth into their adolescence before they are ready has given leeway to drug and alcohol abuse, sexual fears, stress-related illnesses, burnout, and increasingly, suicide. Childhood is an age of innocence, to learn about the world with a lighthearted filter, and to experience life with naivety. It's important to our development, and without it, the misplaced life experience can be converted into poor life decisions and even worse views.

Amongst depression and it's related and devastating relations, we see identity crises uncovering themselves in the youngsters that shouldn't have a care in the world. The kids feel neglected and unparented. They mourn the loss of childhood and experience what looks like a midlife crisis in their mere teens. They feel empty in their adolescence.

The solutions themselves, however, are much simpler than one would expect. In order to allow kids to not feel succumbed to "hurried-child syndrome" society must simply pronounce dependence and disintegrate the stigma of growth. So allow me to tuck you in with a bedtime story, of soluble hope.

Begin by pronouncing dependence: Dependency is not something to be ashamed of. Instead, it should be protected. It is normal to need help every now and then because that is how we as humans learn and adapt to the world around us. Encourage inquisition and safeguard curiosity, because these acts of dependence are what allow us to grow into strong individuals in the future.

Amongst this, we can disintegrate the stigma of growth. Rather than deciding that children should be focusing on their future career path when they are a simple child, live in the moment. Childhood is quick, and if we continue to shorten it, a time that should be savored, won't be evident enough to leave a mark. We can stop stripping away youth by informing ourselves on children's developmental needs, recognizing what constitutes "quality childcare," and understanding that there is a danger to the consumerist screen-based lifestyle we live.

Perhaps I'm bitter that most children know how to dress better than I do, or maybe I'm just angry that not every kid had a "Justice" phase. Beyond my bitterness, the idea of a rushed childhood is something that should be considered and something that should be changed. Whether it be with your little sister, your baby cousin, or the kids you babysit, every single person can play a role in changing the modern culture of childhood into one that benefits and secures the innocence of childhood for what it should be. Because after all, kids should be kids.

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