You're In College Now, So It's Time To Grow Up And Be Your Own Person

You're In College Now, So It's Time To Grow Up And Be Your Own Person

"Mind your business and do you."

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The other day, I was in class watching a film. The scene we were on was pretty goofy, so the room was filled with a lot of laughter. At an especially goofy part, the majority of the class roared with laughter, that is, except one girl who turned to her friends and said, "this literally isn't even funny." Just like in a bad high school drama movie, all of her friends stopped.

I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. It couldn't have been more annoying if it had been scripted. We're in college, and literally, no one in that class is a freshman. These are all seasoned college students that are acting like insecure high schoolers. It got me thinking about identity and when a person feels confident enough to be their own person.

I think college is a great place to start practicing this. For the most part, you're on your own anyway. You're away from your parents, you get to make your own decisions, and you've begun planning for the rest of your life. College should be a time to get to know yourself. You should take an interest in hobbies and join clubs. You should date and see what's out there. You should take time for yourself and your mental health.

Please don't allow yourself to be defined by others, that is such a high school move. College should be a time of confidence. You shouldn't try to mirror what others are doing. Mind your business and do you.

This spectacle of high school nonsense I witnessed could've totally been avoided had these girls not cared about what their friend was thinking. Not everyone is going to agree with your tastes, so who cares? If you think a song is good, listen to it! If you think an outfit looks good, wear it! And, of course, if you think a movie is funny, laugh!

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Why Nursing School Friends Are So Vital

Pun intended.

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When I started nursing school, I knew it would be difficult. I wasn't naive. I heard the stories. I knew what I was getting into…to a certain degree.

It was everything I thought it would be and more. The highs were higher and the lows were lower. The thing you realize quickly in nursing is that it's not something you can achieve on your own. You have to have a support system. It's how you survive. It can feel like you're on your own because you have to perform the skills and make the grades, but really, there are so many friends standing behind you pushing you through.

I've seen it over and over again. I've been a part of it, witnessed it and had help myself. The truth is, even the most intelligent students need help in some sort of way. It might be hard to realize it when you're so inwardly focused, but when you look around you, everyone is walking the same path. They just have different strengths and weaknesses. It's an incredible thing when others use their personal strengths to offset your weaknesses. Nursing friends see in you what you don't see in yourself. Nursing friends share your passions, sleepless nights, early mornings, stress, panic attacks, victories, and failures. Nursing friends are your own personal cheerleaders.

It's no secret that we deal with some pretty gross stuff. Who else can you count on when you're walking down the unit trying to find an extra pair of hands to help you change the clothes of a morbidly obese patient who's covered from shoulders to ankles in their stool? Your nursing buds.

What about when your patient goes into v-fib (ventricular fibrillation), and you need someone to relief on chest compressions? Your rock star nurse friends are there to lend a hand or two.

Or what about when you are scrubbing into a C-section for the first time and you're kind of, sort of, secretly concerned you might get queasy or faint? Your nursing squad will remind you how tough you are. They'll assist you as quickly as possible and when you are finished washing your hands a thousand times, they'll make you laugh or smile. They'll always be there to help you with dignity, support, love, and encouragement.

Your nursing friends know which supply closet you go hide in when you are about to lose it or when class is so long it's giving you a headache so they pass you some Tylenol. Nursing friends are the backbone of your nursing school experience. I always love it that whenever I need hand sanitizer, Tylenol/Advil/Motrin or even a Band-Aid, someone always has it.

Even if you don't talk every day, or you take different class times, there is always someone waving hello or asking how you're holding up. You are all so different, but at the same time, you feel like you're surrounded by so many who are just like you. They care as much as you do. They love as much as you do. And the best part? They just love you. Even on your worst days. There will be times when you trip up on the easy stuff you know that you know, but they'll be there with open arms telling you about when they were in the same place. They are the ones who “fight in the trenches" with you. They'll carry you when you can't keep going, and you'll do the same. No woman or man left behind.

Nursing friends are incredible lifelong blessings. So, remember to thank them every once in a while. Keep cheering each other on, keep fighting together and keep reminding each other that the end goal is closer than it seems.

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Cagle

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To The College Girl Who Doesn't Know Where She Fits In

I'm right there with you, but we will find our place. I promise.

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Finding my place in this great big world hasn't been easy in the slightest. In fact, I am still growing and trying to see where exactly I belong. Coming to college seemed like it would be the perfect time to discover where I fit in, but it's still extremely difficult to find my place. With everything being on my time now, it's hard to find the groups, organizations, or friends that I mesh with the most. While I have friends, both old and new, part of me still doesn't see the bigger picture. Where do I truly fit in?

To you, the person reading this who may feel the exact same way, this is normal.

Not knowing exactly which direction your life is going toward, on top of feeling like you don't quite fit in anywhere yet, sucks to no end. I never really understood why people expressed feeling so lonely in college, but the truth is that it does happen. More time on your hands leads to more time alone with your thoughts, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Sometimes you really just want to be home because at least you fit in there. Sometimes you just want to be alone in your room because it feels better that way. Sometimes you feel so alone surrounded by so many loving people who care about you. And that's okay. You're allowed to feel, but don't let those feelings dictate everything you do. Don't fall victim to your thoughts, don't let the loneliness swallow you whole. Because you're not alone.

You don't have to find your place right away. Give it time and I swear it will happen.

I'm a firm believer that everything falls into place just as it should. Not knowing how things are going to work out is scary at times, but it always happens for the best. Go looking for things that interest you, do what makes you incredibly happy, and live without regret. People who see the light in your heart will radiate toward you. We will find our place, and we will look back and wonder why we ever spent so much time worrying about where we fit in. Open your mind to new opportunities and allow yourself to let others in. You have so much talent and worth to offer the world, and it's only a matter of time before you find that one group that recognizes what you have to give.

Express yourself to someone, anyone. I promise there is at least one person willing to listen.

Let people in. Talking out your emotions and thoughts truly does wonders and will help you feel a million times better. It could be a stranger, friend, relative, anyone you think will listen. Let them know that you don't feel as though you have a place in your new surroundings yet. Confessing your worries doesn't make you weak, it shows your strength. Becoming part of something new is scary yet exciting, so it's okay to be slightly worried about the unknown. Trial and error is a good test for most things, so allow yourself a chance to test the waters.

I know not feeling part of anything is brutal on your mental state right now, but I promise there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to open your heart to new experiences.

Sincerely,

The girl who's in the exact same boat.

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