Dear Perfectionists, It's OK To Drop A Class

For The Perfectionists Out There, It's OK To Drop A Class

There are a million reasons why it is OK to drop a class.

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Since I can remember I have prided myself on my academics. In grade school, I would get perfect attendance and tons of kind remarks from my teachers. In middle school, I would get unbearably flustered if I forgot even one homework assignment at home. In high school, I loosened up a bit when it came to the marks I received, but would still study for long hours into the night.

My habits haven't changed much now that I am in college. I study hard and strive for a 4.0 every semester. I have always been under the impression that I needed to be perfect.

Though I have come to terms with the fact I will never be physically or emotionally perfect, one thing has remained the same: the need for perfect grades.

I am not sure what it is about getting good grades that make me so proud. My family has always told me to just do my best. They have never reprimanded me if I disliked my teachers or did poorly on a project. My biggest critic is myself in my academics, no one else.

With that being said, this is the semester I have been the closest to a 4.0 GPA than ever, but it didn't begin that way.

At the beginning of the semester, I decided to take the max amount of 18 credits. I took the remainder of my prerequisites, my major classes, and even decided to take a course to continue my minor in Marketing. I have LOVED all my classes this semester.

I was thriving, doing really well. Still getting A's on exams, turning in all my homework and going to every class until suddenly, I asked myself if the classes I was taking were actually something I liked to participate in.

I noticed I loved all of them more than ever this semester, besides one. It was the class that was going to help me achieve my minor in Marketing. Don't get me wrong, I really like marketing and the concepts involved in it.

However, the past two semesters each Marketing class I have taken happened to be my least favorite. You wouldn't think it looking at my grades, however, it was the truth.

Compared to all my classes, these classes just seemed like a chore. Instead of being excited to head to class I felt exhausted and unenthused. The creative juices weren't flowing and the classes were not what I anticipated.

I thought to myself that I couldn't just withdraw or drop the class, I needed to push through.

Until I realized, I didn't.

I took a good hard look at the minors offered at my university and the requirements I needed to fulfill my marketing minor. After reading the descriptions I knew it just wasn't for me anymore and I needed to come to terms with that.

Although I was thriving in all my courses, including my Marketing ones, I just didn't have a passion for it anymore. I just didn't want to conform and do the normal minor for my major in Communications.

So, instead of pushing my limit and taking on 18 credits, I decided it is OK to drop my minor. It is OK to drop a class.

There are a million reasons why it is OK.

Maybe it would help your GPA if you dropped a class. Maybe you just don't have the passion for that minor anymore, like me. Maybe your workload is already too heavy to continue you the suggested courses.

Whatever the case is, you are not a failure for dropping a class. It doesn't make you dumb or "less than." It is not embarrassing knowing what you can handle and what you cannot, I think it makes you stronger.

Ultimately, every student is different. We all learn differently, interact differently and can handle different workloads. I for one could not handle walking into a class every day that was no longer going to serve me or my future degree.

So, if you have found yourself feeling disengaged or unchallenged or discouraged by a class, maybe it is time to consider taking a step away, no matter how much a perfectionist you are.

Focus on your required courses and find out the number of credits that work best for you, not what you have convinced yourself is best to do. Society tells you that you have to take a full semester worth of classes, you have to graduate in four years and you have to have a minor.

In reality, you don't. Take an extra semester if you need, drop that minor, take classes you're interested in so you can find what you actually love, and for God sakes, it IS OK to drop a class.

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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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11 Things I Definitely Will NOT Miss About Living In A Dorm

ResLife was lit, but it's time to say goodbye.

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As most college students do, I have spent the first two years living in a dorm. This has definitely come with its ups and downs, but for so many reasons, I am so excited to live in an apartment. Granted, I was lucky enough to get a spot in a suite-style dorm and missed the nightmare that is communal bathrooms, but nevertheless, there are some unique challenges that come with living in a residence hall.

1. Community laundry

There are so many things that I won't miss about the community laundry room. While I appreciate that I don't have to pay for it, I hate that other people have no concept of how to responsibly use a washer and dryer. I hate people who leave their stuff in them until the dawn of the age. I hate people who take your things out before they're done and throw them somewhere (or keep them). I hate people who throw entirely filthy things into the washer and dank it up for the rest of the world. I hate when you have a specific time you planned to do laundry and everyone and their brother turns up to do their laundry at the same time so you have to stalk washers and dryers with Black Friday shopping intensity. Community laundry is the actual worst and you can't disagree.

2. Other people's use of community spaces

I would like to issue a special thank you to those that are incredibly loud in places that people go to work on things. Lounges, computer labs, working areas... y'all can really be the worst. People really have no regard for anyone else when they're using common spaces and it shows.

3. Midnight fire drills

The other night I was up late studying and went to bed at 1:30 a.m. to be awoken 15 minutes later by a fire drill. Whoever was blazing it at 2 a.m., I just wanna talk...

4. Paper-thin walls

Forget any semblance of privacy. All of your roommates can hear all of everything you say and so can everyone passing your room in the hall. Better not talk badly about anyone because they'll probably hear you from a floor away. This also leads to some other, uh, situations that can be painstakingly heard through the walls. Rest in pieces, residents with rowdy neighbors.

5. Broken elevators

Inevitably, one of the building's elevators is always down or taking forever. In addition to the people that ride the elevator up to the second floor, this is a real pain in the butt.

6. Messy people going out

While I can't say I've never been part of a group that got messy after a night out, they always respect community spaces. I can't say the same for the person who puked in the drinking fountain. Or the person who puked in the elevator so that I had to walk up five flights of stairs. Y'all are real ones.

7. Checking in guests and checking in late

While I appreciate the concern for the building's safety, it is so inconvenient to have to check into the building after midnight. A lot of nights it's cold and I'm coming back from a long day of work and it's really frustrating to have to go into one of two doors that are nowhere near my room and interact with people. All I want is to go to bed at that point.

8. Fire safety rules

Again, I appreciate the concern for the building's safety. I really do. However, why in the world would they sell extension cords or outlet splitters or toasters if they were so hazardous to the public? With a grand total of maybe 4 outlets per room, it's quite bold of them to assume that everything can be plugged in at those strange various points around the room without a little help.

9. Parking

I have yet to find a dorm with parking that's reasonably close to their building without having to get to the building at a very specific moment on a very specific day to try and fight for a parking space. I can't wait to be able to use my car without having to make the trip to get it an entire event.

10. Faraway mail

Package pick up is a whole trip away. I can't wait to be able to receive mail in a reasonable place. I really thought I was going to get arrested one time because I received a jury duty questionnaire in the mail and had no idea when it actually got there because my mailbox is nowhere near where I walk.

11. So. Many. People. All. The. Time. 

It can be entirely frustrating to have to deal with so many people all the time. If I go to fill my water bottle, I might be subjected to a conversation and on some days, all I want is to be alone. There is nowhere you can go in a residence hall where you are Truly Alone.

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