Dear College Students, It's OK To Be Broke

Dear College Students, It's OK To Be Broke

I wish money grew on trees, but even if it did, that money would be going straight to my tuition.

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College is not cheap. No matter where you go to school, you'll find yourself piling up in debt and expenses.

It's not even the big stuff like tuition or housing that will render you penniless sometimes. No, it's the small stuff like toiletries, gas money, textbooks, money for food, streaming services (some might say that you can cut this expense, but Netflix is quite literally the only thing keeping me going right now), and laundry.

A lot of the time, you are expected to handle all of your expenses the same as an adult with a full-time job would do. But you aren't. You are a struggling, busy college student with crappy part-time jobs where most of the money you earn going to tuition.

So it's no surprise that week after week most college students find themselves barely making ends meet. But that's OK.

Most of the time, I drive myself into even more debt by trying to pretend I am not strapped for cash. I'll go out with friends even though my bank accounts will probably hit the negatives if I do so. If I'm out shopping with my friends, I'll buy something I don't even want just to make it seem as if I am some high-earning adult who can afford to splurge every now and then, but I'm not.

It's OK to admit to people that you aren't doing well financially. Because chances are with the extreme rates of tuition every college student is paying, they are probably in a similar boat.

I used to hide my financial status by buying new clothes instead of wearing my old hand-me-downs from my sister. I didn't want to have to see that look of pity on their face whenever I told my friends I couldn't go out with them because all there was in my bank account was a bunch of zeros. But now, in a way, I have come to accept and be proud of my less-than-satisfactory financial status.

It's no secret why I am always strapped for cash. If anyone has the nerve to ask you why you wear such outdated clothes, you can go ahead and direct them to Google, where they can look up what the average cost of college tuition is in the U.S. How would they like to be shoveling all that money out every semester with absolutely no financial aid while still trying to keep up with all the other expenses that come with living?

You don't have to keep up a facade, it's no secret where your money is going.

You are putting what little money you have into your future, and there is nothing wrong with that. So it's OK to miss a few night outs with your friends if it means that one day in the future, you'll have a job that pays you well enough that you'll be able to make up for all those missed dinners and then some.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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12 Things Only People Under 30 Fully Understand

Only young millennials and Gen Z will know

Jenn
Jenn
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Being a young adult in 2019 is full of a lot of random stuff that our parents and grandparents didn't have. We have more opportunities, different lifestyles, and just really weird stuff we didn't normal.

1. Our obsession with avocados

A super food with a huge place in our hearts.

2. College debt

An actual representation of me giving colleges my money, with no questions asked.

3. Buying jeans with wholes in them.

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4. Memes

The hero we needed, but don't deserve

5. Gifs

A sort of sibling to the meme, but powerful in its own right.

6. Spending five dollars on coffee

Not a want, but a need

7. YouTube/Instagram influencers

They make the world go round.

8. Mason jars as cups, decorations basically anything that isn’t for their intended purpose.

So versatile

9. Our love of succulents

Why have kids when you could have ten cute succulents that don't talk back.

10. Renting instead of buying

Besides have like no actual financial stability, we prefer to live less conventional lives than our predecessors.

11. Our imminent downfall as a society

We never grew up in a time of prosperity, and also know the earth may be dying unless we make a significant change to how we treat it. I guess that’s what happens after we treat it like shit.

12. Being non-binary or gender fluid

A new concept where people don't have to conform to gender norms or even acknowledge them.

Jenn
Jenn

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