From High School To College, It's Been A Wonderful Journey

From High School To College, It's Been A Wonderful Journey

It's quite the adventure.

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Does the title sound click-baity? Good. You and I both know it wasn't the greatest adventure. Nonetheless, throughout my times I spend alone I often think to myself about my own life. Often through the times of thinking about time travel and non-existence as mentioned before in previous articles, I often take a look into my main span of growth known as high school. I know it's cheesy and corny to say the least, due to the fact that almost everyone does this. High school is a big step in life. Many people would often believe this as well.

Personally, I believe high school is the biggest part of growth from childhood to adolescence into becoming a young adult. I could sit here all day typing away on how high school messed me up or how great or terrible it was and sum it up like that. But honey, that's not what I'm going to do. Instead, I'm gonna break down my reflection of high school, and what I've gone through in it (this is not including programs outside of high school).

9th Grade Freshman Year:

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Okay, let's be real here, freshman year of high school was like the crash test year of high school. You either don't know everyone there, or you do, but what you do know is that you're not prepared for the next 3 years of bullshit. I'm sorry I meant adventure and all of your high school fantasies. Anyways, freshman year for me was definitely the crash test year of my high school career. I didn't know many people and I was instantly regretting my choice of being in this school.

However, that changed when I started making friends and getting into the course I wanted to graduate with. Mind you I went to a vocational school, so I was able to pick a major course and graduate with that qualification (yeah no stress there). So freshman year was a way to swift on through all the major courses as a test drive and see if I actually like one of them. Luckily for me, I did and was able to go right on through to sophomore year.

10th Grade Sophomore Year:

I'm not gonna lie to you, I only vaguely recall any of my sophomore year. I don't know why, and it's funny since I am writing about my high school reflection but I frankly recall mostly 30% of it. But even then, sophomore year is like the follow up OK or bad sequel of any movie that did well the first time around. Only because the producers became greedy and wanted to stretch the franchise out a little more (I'm looking at you Shrek and Percy Jackson).

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Okay okay, sophomore year wasn't as bad from what I recall but it did spark a lot of things you'd normally expect from a bunch of awkward, sweaty, and diverse group of teens. From weird love interests and squabbles, to still making new friends, to having to take PSATs you haven't even studied for. While also trying to maintain a social life and homework. Personally, from what I recall, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I had my fair share of cruel and unjustified teachers who graded a bit unfairly, alongside weird love parallelograms, and nearly flunking math every cycle but it was alright.

11th Grade Junior Year:

Ah yes, the third sequel that actually ends up being the arguably the best in the franchise (still talking about you Shrek, and I'm staring at you Spider-man(yes the Sam Raimi version)).

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Okay, maybe not that scene but its still a good movie. Anyways, junior year was what I believe a great time and a stressful time in my high school career. It's the year you start planning your life out, take the SATs and ACTs, what colleges you're considering to apply to next year and worrying about taking AP classes. I don't know I guess for me it felt like it was honestly a great time to plan out your future before it's crunch time to do so. Plus junior year was the year of love in my opinion. The year you found someone you were either really interested in or a partner that lasted till the end of high school or more. Personally, it was the year I made a special bond with all of my friends and even found love throughout the journey.

12th Grade Senior Year:

Senior year, it felt great to be here, didn't it? The 4 years of mental, and emotional trauma was almost over and then it's smooth sailing to adulthood. Honestly, everyone and their mother's could agree, senior year was the best year of high school. Yeah, you had the stress of whether you're graduating or not, and whether or not a college accepted you, but overall it was all worth it. As you sit through the boring speech on graduation day just thinking to yourself, "Man I really am gonna miss it here. It was well worth it."

As you watch your friends and fellow classmates get up on that podium and get collect their diploma, as you leave the ceremony and go on through your own separate lives, or stay in touch in the end, we can all agree senior year, could be one our favorite years. Having taken the SATs and ACTs and already having my college acceptances, it literally was a smooth ride from here on out. I recall cutting classes to check out colleges I was accepted to just to grasp the feel of the campuses and spending long nights with my friends watching movies or driving around. But that's just me. Overall, high school was an adventure, whether you wanted to make it one or not. I don't necessarily miss it but I do miss the best of times I've had in it. So cheers, from an alumna of the class of 2016!

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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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I Never Wanted To Go To College

I never wanted to go to college, but I stayed because I learned some things along the way - who knew.

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I went because it's what the family expected from me. It's a step towards a successful career path. And obviously because it's a natural progression from high school. But deep down I never wanted to go because I really found no reason to be there.

In my view if you weren't going into traditional career fields, going to college was an expensive long shot. I was also careful to pay attention to all the people that attended college only to work in fields different from what they originally studied.

I was wary but didn't care so I don't put much thought into it. I applied to a handful of schools and attended the one that was more convenient. Once there I found the whole process disheartening.

I relied heavily on financial aid and felt the interaction and choices I was making were more transactional then enriching. It was just like high school again. Go to class take notes, read the book take the test, rinse and repeat until you get the degree.

That was until I fell into a philosophy class that was really challenging. It was challenging in a way that I hadn't been experienced in a while. I was having trouble understanding the material but desperately wanted to learn it. I read books over and over until the concepts were crystal clear. It also helped that I had a teacher who was passionate about the subject as well.

It kind of changed my whole approach to picking classes. Sure I'd visit the advisors and get their take on how to follow the quickest path to graduation. But I also wanted to be intentional with my course selection and take classes where I would learn as much as I could in topics that interested me.

Whether or not they fit my major. That's the only thing that made going to school worth it. Learning topics that change how I approach life and challenged my thinking. Then I was growing intellectually and not just checking boxes for a degree.

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