Winter Break Summer Break Compared

The Last Day Of Winter Break Feels Nothing Like The Last Day Of Summer Break

The last day of winter break is as heartbreaking as the last day of summer break, but they bring about two different types of sadness that are difficult to decipher but easy to feel.

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Compared to summer break, winter break was extremely productive.

This is still a relative comparison, meaning I was also unproductive during winter break. Just... not as unproductive. Whatever sleep I had completely lost during the last few weeks of first semester I was able to make up over break. In fact, I couldn't recall the last time I had slept so much until I realized that summer break existed.

And as the days have gone by and winter break has come to a close, I've realized that the sadness that comes with the end of winter break is much different than the blues that come with the end of summer.

Within literature, we are often taught that summer represents rebirth while winter represents death, and while I understand the interpretation to a great extent, both summer and winter can represent both birth and death. In a less philosophical statement, for me, what sets the two apart from one another are the memories that make up each, whether these are clear-cut, classic examples or reasons why each season stands out.

The last day of summer means jumping headfirst into a pool full of books and deadlines. It means giving up combating humid weather for staying inside, reading and writing as the weather transitions from warmth to freezing cold. The weight of sadness on that last morning before school begins can almost be considered dull. Yes, it tugs with that everlasting reminder that nothing lasts forever, but it's not sobering.

SEE ALSO: What The Last Day Of Summer Break Feels Like

You're stuck in a haze of brushing your teeth, double-checking your backpack to make sure you still have everything you need, and then going back to watch TV. It hits you that school is starting, but it doesn't wake you up from the cycle you've instilled in your brain in the past two months. Which is why the next morning, when you wake up at 7 a.m. (and the sky is still dark outside), you're confused at how you got there. How your last two months sped by in a flash.

And when you think back to that last day of summer break a few months later, you remember absolutely nothing. It's as if the day is meant to be forgotten.

Could this state of being forgotten parallel with the fear of being forgotten after death? Maybe summer is widely considered a time of rebirth, but do you not feel more in despair at the end of summer than excited at the thought of having had time to rebuild yourself?

Fast forward from August (or September) to December, and semester one is finally over. Midterms are thrown in the back of one's mind as every single study session is out of memory, no longer necessary to remember now that break has begun.

Winter break for me (and even the midterms season right before it) is my favorite time of the year. It's cold outside, coffee shops become hot spots for study groups and everyone seems happier. Plus, the holiday season is well underway, so the holiday spirit is still hanging in the air.

Which is what seems to make that one week of studying, stressing and test-taking so memorable. I spend entire nights cramming for midterms but walk in the next morning seeing everyone holding bags with presents in them or holiday cards to give to their friends. There's this feeling of contentment hanging around that makes the late nights worth it. It's a wonderland disguised as a week of pain, which is one of the most fascinating things to me.

So once midterms are finished, all that's left for the year is break. The first time in four to five months that school is truly out. The memories of winter break are always so fresh in my mind because by this time, everyone's minds are racing with activity — ideas and plans for meeting up with friends and packing for vacations, among other things.

But once New Year's Day is over, the happiness vanishes. It's sobering.

You're slapped with the realization that whatever dream you've been in for the past two weeks is over, and it's time to prepare for second semester. The morning you wake up and realize it's the last day of winter break, your heart sinks. You can't watch anything on TV that day because you're thinking about the next day and the entire semester that comes with it.

You can't really think about much besides school starting again because you're not ready to jump back into the pool of books and deadlines. With the new year, you've told yourself you'll be a new and better person, but now that you're confronted with an opportunity to improve yourself, you're not willing to change.

The rebirth that you're forced to undergo as part of the end of winter break is the one thing that prepares you for the new semester. The sinking of your heart in your chest is only a side reminder that it's time to get back to work.

And as you compare the end of your summer break to the end of your winter break, you realize there's not much to take from the end of summer besides the cartoons playing on TV those final mornings. But the end of winter break? You remember everything that has somehow prepared you to dive back into the deep end of the now-frozen pool.

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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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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college

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Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

https://picjumbo.com/strawberries-with-yellow-background/

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

https://kaboompics.com/photo/9447/planners-organizers-in-bed-women-s-home-office

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

https://stocksnap.io/photo/JUC6R3PPLE

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

https://pixabay.com/photos/scale-diet-fat-health-tape-weight-403585/

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

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If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

https://cdn.cliqueinc.com/cache/posts/216319/-2084176-1487185433.700x0c.jpg

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

https://unsplash.com/photos/sGSBkfK1hJU

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at biology...you can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

https://jimsomerville.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/girl-looking-in-mirror.jpg?w=640

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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