Incoming Freshmen, I've Been In Your Shoes And I Understand You

Incoming Freshmen, I've Been In Your Shoes And I Understand You

The excitement, the joy, everything — I know how it feels.
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Last year, I was in the same position you are right now. I was still debating which college would be the one in my future. I was mourning the fact that I had not been accepted to my dream school. I was also celebrating that I was accepted to college when many people said I wouldn't make it.

Last year, just like you, I was excited to venture into this journey everybody has pumped into this big adventure you get only once in your life. Trust me. It is okay if you are nervous. It is okay if you are scared of the college experience. It is okay if you still don't know what to major in. It is all okay.

I'm almost done with my first year at UCLA, and I still don't have the barest idea of what I want to study. Sure, I tell people which major I am interested in, but in all honesty, sometimes I'm not feeling that anymore. I still don't know what I want to do with my life. One day, I want to be a news reporter; another, I want to be a journalist; another, I want to be a novelist or a poet; others, I want to be an actor. I feel so lost in this case.

Still, I shouldn't let this discourage me. Neither should your doubts about your future. They say that during these four years is when you find yourself. No need to haste when you don't know what to do at the age of eighteen. I mean, who really has their life figured out at this point? Nobody, right.

And neither should you let other people bring you down. A lot of people in my family questioned why I was applying to major colleges. I was just a punk from a different country who had come to the US in search of a bigger life. According to them, I wasn't going to get anywhere. On March last year, I got my acceptance letter to UCLA, and right now I am writing this article in one of the cafes on campus while drinking a smoothie. I flicked mental middle fingers at my entire family for days after I got my acceptance letter.

If I was able to get into the nation's top public school, I don't see why you can't do well too. Sure, my first quarter wasn't my best one. I got my first F ever here, but I am slowly bringing myself up. Supposedly, only the top of their classes attend this school. I decided that I should step up my game and become the student they accepted into their prestigious university.

And if I can do it, I'm sure you too.

But let me warn you: as cool as it may sound, college is a heavy place. There'll be a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of stress because of papers and homework and midterms and finals. Every day, it will be a constant between "Do I want to go to class or not?" It will not be easy, I can assure you that. You need to put more effort than you did back in high school. The quarter here barely started, and I already skipped a class and dropped another.

At college, many things can happen within the span of three days.

Cover Image Credit: Jared Godoy

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.
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College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University



Cover Image Credit: stocksnap.io

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Crossroads

Trying to figure out what to do in life.

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I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]


[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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