Making The Most Of College

Making The Most Of College

Always focus on the good vibes - and in Charleston, that's easy.

If you know me personally, you’ve probably heard me say this a million times — my life is crazy and so much has changed all at once. I feel like the theme of everything I write is: it’ll be fine, things get better and life is crazy. I believe in trying to make the best of where you are. Whether “where you are” is referring to your state of mind or the actual state or city you’re living in, either one applies.

During my first semester at the College of Charleston, I learned not everyone tries to make the best of their situation. I’m so fortunate to live in a happy city which I love. I'm thankful that the college I chose was the perfect place for me. Some people don’t like The College. It’s either that the south is not for them, they want to transfer to a larger school, they’re too far from home or they just don’t want to live in the city. I understand the college someone chooses might not always be the place they need to be or the place they’ll be the happiest. During freshmen year, everyone is trying to find the right group of friends, pass the first semester of classes and figure all this “adulting” sh*t out. I don’t blame people who do not like the place they’re in right now, but I do believe your attitude about the situation makes all the difference.

I felt such a warm welcome from The College when I first arrived— I felt like my professors genuinely cared about me, my classes weren’t in giant lecture halls full of 200 students (all my first semester classes had around 30 people) and all of my advisers, RAs and peers were always there for me when I needed someone to talk to or someone to listen to me while I was adjusting to my first semester. I sincerely felt like everyone cared about me when I was having a hard time, and I felt personal connections to most people I met whether they were faculty or students. Before college, I always heard horrible stories about professors being really rude to students or not caring about getting to know their students on a personal level. My experience has been completely different, and I have never felt so much love from teachers who hardly know me. I believe people really care here and when people hate on The College it makes me really sad because this is the place for me. It makes me upset because I didn’t have a perfect first semester, but I wanted to make the best out of my time.

Sh*t happens — people are mean, you fail a test or miss an assignment, you stay out too late or just don’t do what you’re supposed to do all the time. In the grand scheme of things, life is very short so enjoy your time right now even when everything doesn’t go the way you thought it would. I think Charleston is a good-vibes-city in general — whether you’re going out at night or taking a stroll to the Battery after classes. I’m really happy here, and when things don’t go my way, I’m still going to be right here in Charleston living it up and making the best of where I am.

Cover Image Credit: College of Charleston School of Business MBA

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10 Reasons Working As A CNA Has Been So Rewarding

I am so thankful for the experiences I have each day I work as a certified nursing assistant.

1. Bonds

I have heard so many stories, learned life lessons, and stepped into many different roles. As a caretaker, before you know it your family seems a lot larger.

2. Rewarding

Knowing that I am offering the best care possible, I sleep well at night knowing my residents are well looked after. I have the blessing of getting know each resident, their families, and their other caretakers. Constantly looking out for my residents' best interests, safety, respect, and health- I feel rewarded for having the honor of looking after such deserving people.

3. Experience

As an aspiring physician's assistant (pre-med student), gaining hours upon hours of experience in the setting of a nursing home or hospital look GREAT on applications. Most medical programs require an extensive amount of hours of direct patient care. Thankfully I am earning these hours while also being paid.

4. Connections

Working alongside nurses, doctors, therapists, etc. allows me to make many beneficial professional connections. Not to mention, their advice is SO helpful. Finding where you want to end up in the medical field is challenging, as there are so many options. Narrowing those options to what best suits you is a fun journey.

5. Staying Fit

Being a certified nursing assistant is a VERY physical job. Feeding, bathing, transferring, etc. residents takes a large toll on the body. However, I generally obtain at least 11,000 steps just within one 8 hour shift (reaching the 10,000 step daily goal). Gaining muscle is not something I ever thought I would experience, however it comes along with the job.

6. Knowledge

I have the opportunity to learn on the job every single day. Learning to recognize symptoms of various different health conditions, the process of treating those conditions, and the plan of recovery for each condition. A good amount of the residents generally have a chronic health condition, ranging from diabetes to chronic pain. Paying attention to prognosis, diagnosis, symptoms, etc. I recognize patterns in people outside of the nursing home. Knowledge is such a powerful tool.

7. Preparation for the Future

Within a few decades, as much as I hate to think about it, my own parents will be geriatrics. Knowing what I know now, having the experience that I have, I will now be able to take care of them myself if need be. I love my parents so much, and want to know that they will be getting the best care. The only way I can be 100% sure of that, would be if I was their caretaker.

8. Greater Empathy

I was already extremely empathetic before becoming a CNA, but I am now empathetic in ways I never could have predicted. I realize that families may come into hospitals and nursing homes with frustration and speculation, and I have learned to keep my emotions in check. Most often, those emotions are the result of a negative experience their loved one endured at a past facility.

9. Tolerance

Encountering many different bodily fluids each shift, I have a very high tolerance for pretty much anything at this point. In the beginning I just didn't sweat much about it, knowing that it was going to just be a part of the job. I still feel just about the same, doesn't quite phase me. We are ALL human.

10. Peaceful Goodbyes

I have lost a lot of close friends throughout my teenage years. For once I am surrounded by natural death. In which goodbyes can be delivered before it's too late. Rarely are goodbyes unexpected or undelivered. Closure is more consistent in my work setting. I have many beautiful angels looking over me now.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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