It is that time of year again—final exams. For some students, it is the best part of the semester because it signals the end. For nursing students, it is only the beginning.
So, here’s to the nursing students who will all experience these feelings at some point within the next two weeks.
1. When your professor tells you that the final is comprehensive:
For a nursing student, hearing the word ‘comprehensive’ sends you into complete panic mode. We start making lists of all of the pages we need to read, making study guides that are ten pages long, and making stacks of notecards taller than our books.
2. When you read words in your textbook that look like a bunch of letters thrown together:
After we start reading again, we come across words like “nissen fundoplication”, “anisolyated plasminogen-streptokinase”, and “paracoccidioidomycosis” and begin to wonder if we are reading a nursing book or a foreign language book.
3. When you begin to question if you have learned anything:
Studying for finals makes us feel like we have learned nothing. We do review questions and get them all wrong, we take practice tests and fail miserably, and we eventually start to believe that we have learned absolutely nothing all semester.
4. When you begin self-diagnosing yourself and your friends:
The more we learn, the more we self diagnose. When we study for finals, we begin to give ourselves every disorder in the textbook, hoping one of them would keep us from taking our final exams.
5. When you realize that you haven't eaten or showered in 12 hours:
After long nights of studying, what sleep we can get is necessary. The next morning, we wake up and start again, completely forgetting to shower or eat.
6. When you can’t study anymore so you give up:
There comes a point where exhaustion takes over, caffeine does not work, and it is not physically possible to keep your eyes open any longer. You stare at your book and people often ask "are you okay?" Yes, we are okay, we just show no emotions after being overloaded with information.
7. When you see a “select all that apply” question on a test:
For nursing majors, these are the worst questions. Every answer looks right and you second guess your second guessing.
8. When you look at the exam and don’t know the answer to the first question:
This is the worst feeling. When you open the exam and realize that number one is hard, and know that the test will just get harder, your heart starts racing and you skip to the next one, and the next one, and the next one, until you are on question 50 of 50.
9. When your teacher tells you they will add points back to the exam:
After walking out of test review, you know your grade. But, sometimes miracles happen and your test grade on blackboard is 10 points higher than what you thought it was. If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.
10. When you turn in your last final exam of the semester:
After you turn in your last exam, you finally feel like you can be a nurse again and realize that all of the stress, crying, laughing, and sleep exhaustion are over—until next semester.