A Freshman 15 Survivor's Journey

The Story of a Freshman 15 Victim

I mean, it was more like 20, but who's counting?

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After 5 months of being away from home, you finally have two weeks to eat everything that you've been missing since you left; it is Winter break and you could not be happier. You throw any 'healthy or conscious' eating out the window. You're aware that you've gained a couple pounds, but who cares? It's the holidays! You stuff your face with just about anything and, before you know it, it's time to go back to school. So then, 5 more months pass, you gain a couple more pounds and that summer body you promised yourself you would get before school ends are long gone. You get home and let's just say it is not just your friends and family that want to welcome you; it's also the nutritionist that is going to help you with your new dieting plan.

As the diet starts, so does exercising, or, how I like to call it, torture! You try those so-called fun classes, everyone, raves about, but they never tell you the ugly truth about them. Like XCo, for example. For those who don't know what XCo is, just imagine you are taking a Zumba class whilst holding a pair of maraca/weights hybrid. Sure, dancing to the music can be great, but the next week you can barely lift your arms, driving is pretty much impossible, and God forbid you laugh because your entire body will pretty much ache you to death.

So, then, to make things worse, because you don't hate yourself enough yet, you decide to take Cycling classes. I think that's self-explanatory, but for fun, let's just explain the side-effects! You're constantly asking people to carry you because you don't want to use your legs, you curse the instructor's name every time you sit/ stand, and that includes using the bathroom, you might as well consider stairs obsolete, and you contemplate staying in bed rather than trying to get up. But, let's keep in mind, that this is all during dieting. Not only are you making your entire body hate you, but you are eating foods that you would never eat, you're portioning what you eat, which just leaves you hungry, and are essentially making yourself miserable all for the sake of losing weight.

After a few weeks, you're starting to look like the old you, you're not starving, clothes start to fit again, and it's like everything is back to normal. Isn't dieting great?

Cover Image Credit:

Paramount Pictures//Mean Girls

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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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2019 Is Moving Too Fast, And I Have No Idea What To Do

Time needs to slow down.

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Holy damn, we are closing in on almost half the year being over, let that sink in for a second. This 2019 has been a strange one. Alabama loses the national championship, another government shutdown, Tiger Woods winning another major after an 11-year drought, this year has been crazy, and it's moving way too quick.

Seriously, folks, I could remember New Year's like it was a week ago. Also, I am somehow still here, making dismal amounts of money writing for a website that college-aged women dominate while somehow surviving on my last legs, ah what a life.

I have been asking myself, why do I keep writing here, why do I do this to myself? I thought I have written about everything and anything the last (5)! years on this website and I didn't think there couldn't be anything else, but hell, here we go again.

The top two in our writing locations are graduation and a new top two will be in charge of soonish. I will give credit to the two up top here at UCF (you know who you are) for trying to making this more team oriented. All good and all, but after being a lone wolf for over 5 years, I might as well stick to it, not very many friends in my neck of the woods, but what can you do, right?

Here's the thing though, as the year progresses, it's becoming more and more apparent that I should not be writing anymore. For some odd reason, you guys still read my stuff, bravo and brava, I am still surprised you care about my opinion that much because I certainly haven't. I still have over 12K reads per month, and coming from a guy that's nearly not as passionate as I was when I first started this little gig, I am honestly impressed. Trying to produce 500 words on a page when you've sort of lost the passion to write is strange, but you tell yourself to keep going because it's always been this way and I guess 500 more couldn't hurt, right?

So where do we go from here, in the last year of the 2010s? So much as changed since I have joined this website an undergraduate degree ago, and I am not sure if I still have a place here, but considering the views, I guess I still do. Maybe release another controversial opinionated article to get people talking, or an article about puppies because we care about puppies more than humans, who knows at this point. Just like life, I am trying to figure it out just like you folks are, and I have no idea what will come next with myself and this insane website.

Whatever it is, I hope it will be positive because right now it sounds like I am the total opposite of that, but then again, it could be a wake-up call that maybe I should start caring again.

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