Dear College Student, You're Not Alone, I've Been There, Too

Dear College Student, You're Not Alone, I've Been There, Too

Even when books are piled high and your world is spinning this semester, you are bigger than this.


Hey Friend,

I've been there, too.

It seems like yesterday was a winter break, but now you're stuck in your study corner in the middle of a new semester. Deadlines are written all over the pages of your planner. Countless books are stacked all around you and on your desk. Study notes are scribbled on scraps of paper, eventually resembling an illegible formula more than something from a book. You've read the same words long enough that they all begin to look the same. The words start to get blurry and your eyes red.

Some of you may be halfway to your next break, but others may have farther to go. You may be running on a few hours of sleep and feeling like you're only half in touch with reality. When you close your eyes, you fall asleep thinking of the hundred things you need to do. You may be drinking more coffee and caffeine than you should, just so you can make it through. Stress, anxiety, and worry may be consuming your thoughts. You just want it to be over; the lists, papers, assignments, and deadlines. It's all a little too much. Midterms will be here before we know it, but I know you can do it.

You are a fighter, and this is no exception.

Even in the chaos, there can be calm in your heart.
Even in the hustle, there is hope for brighter days.
Even in the pain, there will be a peace that you can find.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a rainbow at the end of this season. There are golden days to experience; days when sun rays glimmer through the trees, bringing warmth to your body. There are days ahead of thrilling adventures, windows rolled down with a cool breeze whipping through your hair, and laughing with your friends until your sides hurt. You will be able to catch up on sleep, breathe a little easier, and finish strong.

This is simply another chapter in the book of the story you are living out.

Don't get so focused on a grade or two numbers and a dot that you forget about yourself and others around you. You are more than a degree or the results of a test.

Don't let the key to your worth be put in any other pocket or place other than your own.

Remind yourself to eat well and take care of yourself. Take breaks to refocus and enjoy life. Sleep when you can. Take deep breaths and tell yourself it's going to be okay. It really will be; maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will be soon.

Turn up your favorite tunes, open your laptop, and have a study session with your best friend. One day at a time, you will get closer to your destination and be able to soon say "I made it." Until then, don't wish it away, be afraid to ask for help, and just take one assignment at a time.

Few things will look the same a year or more from now.

Hold your people and the present close to you. Be kind to your roommate who is getting on your nerves, those who are struggling, and even those you don't know. Smile even when you feel there is nothing to smile about. Sometimes the smallest things make the most difference in a day. Be the change that makes a difference in the simplest tasks and seemingly insignificant, tough days.

Celebrate the fact that you are here in this present place for a reason far greater than you know. If you opened your eyes this morning and you felt your heart beating, you received a gift today.

You are NOT alone in this.

I'm cheering you on and pulling for you, friend. I see you doing your best and am proud of you for putting one foot in front of the other. I feel certain that no matter where you are in your journey right now, you will be just fine.

"There is something more waiting for you. You have much bigger work to do. So take my hand and don't look back. You were made to carry bigger things than the small stories you tell of yourself. Say it as we go: Bigger than this. Bigger than this." — Hannah Brencher

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.


To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.


A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?


Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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