How Many Extracurriculars You Have Doesn't Matter, Your Passion Does

How Many Extracurriculars You Have Doesn't Matter, Your Passion Does

I didn't know how important my interests were until I realized that they paved the way to my future.

I've written quite a few pieces about how I'll always long to return to the good old days of my freshman year, but I don't think I've ever stopped to "give" my younger self a helpful word or two. I think this may have to do with the fact that I believe that life goes on, but now that I've actually stopped to look back at the past year, there's one advice I had known sooner.

"Don't convince yourself not to be active outside of school because it's freshman year. It's important to start building your status early," people would say.

I'll admit that I'd always thrown those words in the back of my head with the rest of generic advice found on motivational calendars or in fortune cookies, so it really only hit me during the end of ninth grade how little I had progressed outside of school compared to some of my friends. Academically, I felt proud of where I stood, but my extracurricular category seemed to be, well... lacking. I listed out in my head how many clubs and activities I was involved in, and it seemed to be a comfortable number for me. But going back to how much my friends were doing, I suddenly felt that I wasn't up to their level.

Another side piece of advice: don't compare yourself to others. This method of comparing myself to people with completely different lives proved ineffective in motivating myself to do better because I was shutting myself down more than I was being encouraging in my pursuit of joining more extracurricular activities. There's a fine art to figuring out what's best for your future, and in this case, the number of clubs I was in meant nothing compared to how far I'd come in what I was currently doing.

I remember joining Odyssey for this very reason. A close friend had mentioned applying to the team, and the fact that she is an inspiration to me convinced me that maybe Odyssey was a good idea on my journey to finding more outside hobbies. My love for writing, which I had kept to myself for a few years, finally branched out once again and has made me feel happier in general.

So now that I have the chance to reflect on the one year I've been with Odyssey, I realize that yes, it's obviously important to start joining clubs early, but that's because continuity is key, not quantity of activities. Colleges like seeing you take on leadership positions in specialized areas of interest, not just joining a bunch of clubs across the board just to stand out in the extracurricular area.

I wish my younger self knew that knowing what you take an interest in is important, but I want to remember now that the key to success is working hard for what you love. My achievements are a direct representation of who I am, and it's nice to see how far you can come when you do what you love.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash // Ian Schneider

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12 Realities Of A Nursing Student

​​​Why being a nursing student is the best and worst decision you will ever make.

I am a nursing student. This is synonymous with lifeless, stressed, exhausted, compassionate, smart and a plethora of other words. If you are or were ever a nursing student (in which we can't blame you for switching majors, the struggle is real), you will completely understand these 12 reasons why being a nursing student is insanely painful and extremely rewarding at the same time. If you're debating becoming a nurse, then this might serve as a helpful list of pros and cons.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing Is Different Than Any Other Major

1. Free time is nonexistent.

There is always a test, quiz, care plan or clinical that is demanding all of your attention, all the time. Say goodbye to friends, say goodbye to fun and say goodbye to your sanity.

2. Your schedule is insane.

You need to pencil in time in between studying for multiple exams, going to class and clinical hours in order to sleep or eat. When a non-nursing major complains about their 8 a.m. class, you just roll your eyes because you've been up since 5 a.m. and probably won't go to sleep until at least 2 in the morning.

3. You feel extremely stupid.

You perpetually feel unprepared for tests and you're disappointed that your grades won't be perfect any longer. You feel straight-up confused all the time. That 4.0 you had in high school? Yeah, that's not possible in nursing school, boo.

4. You also feel insanely intelligent.

When you spew out healthcare jargon and your non-nursing friends have no idea what you're talking about, you feel pretty damn cool. Plus, you now understand what the heck is going on in "Grey's Anatomy," so you're basically Derek Shepherd IRL.

5. Your teachers are disorganized and make classes practically impossible to pass.

Most of them grade harshly and make your life a living hell. And they usually don't have any sort of education degree or experience. Solid.

6. The two or three teachers you actually like already are, or will be, your friends.

The ones that help you get through the torture that is nursing school are keepers. They'll probably write you letters of recommendation or go out for drinks with you once you're no longer their student.

7. You have to pay to work.

You pay tuition for clinical hours, which essentially means you pay to work. Sure, the experience is invaluable, but that's a lot of time and effort to do for free.

8. Your nursing friends will be your friends for life.

There is a special bond between nursing students friends. You've studied together, you've laughed together, you've cried together, you've drank together. No one can understand the pain and glory that is nursing school like your fellow nursing students. And you know you couldn't have done it without them. No nurse left behind.

9. You see some really cool cases.

Some of the patient cases you see at clinical are nothing short of amazing. Knowing that you helped with an interesting and complex case leaves you with an invaluable experience and greater confidence in your knowledge and skills.

10. You will also see some really gross cases.

There are some images you just can't un-see (or un-smell) no matter how hard you try. I won't go into details, but nurses see some really icky stuff on a daily basis.

11. You will learn useless information.

Just like every other major, you have to take stupid classes that won't ever help you in life. I know for a fact I will never use the knowledge I gained from Healthcare Economics or Computer Skills for Health Sciences ever in life as an RN.

12. When you do have "free time," you kill it.

No one can party like a nursing student. No one. You drink so you can save lives.

No matter how hellish nursing school can be, you'd never change it. You know that being a nurse is what you're meant to do. No other job can handle your crazy, your feels, or your brains. You've been trained for this. Keep trucking through this bitch of an undergrad degree, we are all in this together. Now go out there, it's a beautiful day to save lives.

Cover Image Credit: Katy Hastings

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10 Thoughts You, An Education Major, Have In The Shower

And various things to worry about.


Being an education major, I think about a lot of things whether it comes to assignments and other things. But the shower is where I do a lot of my thinking. Most of the time I think about school and things that associate with my major. So here are 10 things that in the past I have thought about when in the shower that pertains to my major.

1. Did I finish that paper?

2. I wonder if I did that assignment for assistive technology class...

3. OK, why is it funny I remember the answer key for that one quiz I graded?

4. Why do I have to learn APA? What's the point?

5. Who created the APA format? Did they have the idea of making students suffer?

6. What do some of the students do for after school extracurriculars?

7. I should start that project soon...

8. OK, Erikson and the psychosocial theory...

9. I should get out of the shower soon. I'm getting pruney.

10. Maybe in the future, I'll come up with lesson plans in the shower...

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