Feeling Nostalgic About My Last First Day of School

For Every Senior Who Just Experienced Their Last First Day Of School, I'm Already Nostalgic

It's the year of lasts and making lasting memories.

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Well, there it is. I have officially experienced my last first day of school after 16 years of education. I've been working my way up to this moment since I was in elementary school. No more first day of school pictures with my backpack over my shoulder. To all the parents, you probably feel old hearing this and you have permission to start crying now. I will definitely be joining you the day I walk across the stage on the quad. I can't believe that I am a senior in college already. These past three years have flown by so incredibly fast and now we're at the end of the road.

It hasn't hit me yet that we're the oldest class on campus now and the freshmen are looking up to us and analyzing us. I remember being a scared little freshman and thinking the seniors were so grown up and feeling so intimidated by them. Now, we're in their shoes, saying hi to everyone we pass by on the quad who we've met over the last three years. We're the ones making plans for our futures that we worked so hard to prepare for. This time next year I could possibly be starting my first full- time job. How crazy!!!!!

Being a senior in college holds a high level of status. In high school, we were still young even though we were seniors. We were the leaders of our sports teams, clubs, and organizations. We couldn't wait to move on to the new adventures of college life. Now, as seniors in college, we've figured it all out. We are still the leaders but more importantly, we will do anything to stay in the moment. We don't want to think about leaving the amazing places we have called home for 4 years before venturing off into the real world on our own.

It's crazy to think that three years ago, I was worrying about what classes I was going to take, where I would tailgate before a football game, what sorority I wanted to be in, who I was going to eat dinner with, etc. Fast forward and now I'm worrying about fitting all of my classes into my schedule before May, where I'm going to live after college, what kind of job I'll have, how much money I'll make, where my friends will live, whose bridesmaid I will be, etc.

Since I'm already feeling nostalgic, my plan this year is to not only try to figure out what my life will look life after I leave this amazing place I call home but to also do and see as much as I can before I leave. Senior year is all about making that final set of lasting memories that you will carry with you for the rest of your life and still be talking about in your 80s. Even though this year is the year of "lasts," we have to live in the moment and appreciate everything. Before we know it, we'll be stressing about how to design our grad caps and what we'll be wearing underneath our purple gowns.

Go Class of 2019 and Go Dukes!!!

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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.

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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.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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