To The People Who Show Up Late To Class After Getting Coffee

To The People Who Show Up Late To Class After Getting Coffee

Why would you spend time waiting in line for coffee when you know it is time for class?

I must admit that your kind had long been a mystery to me. I would watch you stride into class late and saunter to your seat, all with a full hot (or iced) coffee in hand. Why, I wondered, would you spend time waiting in line at Starbucks when you knew that you had to make it to class?

It is common for students to show up late every once in a while. Making small mistakes like that is human nature. Sometimes an alarm doesn't go off, there's an accident on the road, or a previous class ends late. These are all understandable reasons to fall off schedule. To show up late holding your freshly brewed coffee, though, is another story.

Every time I saw someone disrupt the class in such a way, I would mentally shake my head in dismay. The way that they justified showing up late to get coffee is something I thought I would never be able to understand.

That is until that person almost became me.

It was a Tuesday morning. I had woken up bright and early to get work done before my 9:30 a.m. class. Although I do not like coffee, I thought that some caffeine might come in handy to help me push through the busy day ahead. About forty minutes before class, I used an app called Tapingo to order a drink that I would pick up at a library on the way there. At least, that was the plan.

I showed up at the library well after my order was supposed to be complete. Alas, my iced white mocha was not prepared. Minutes ticked by and class time approached. My conscious grew conflicted-- do I head straight to class or wait just one more minute to get what I paid for?

Just as I decided to leave, my name was called, and I picked up my drink. I made it to class, but it was a close call. I was so close to becoming one of the students that I had never before imagined I could become.

While I used to draw conclusions and make judgments of such students, I now understand why I was wrong. The choice between caffeine and class is a difficult one. To those of you who think the way I used to, I advise you not to so harshly judge the latecomers. You never know-- that kid who walks into class late with his coffee could someday be you.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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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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Elaborative Encoding Needs to Overtake Rote Memorization in Academics

It is time for the age of repeating and deleting to come to an end and the era of lasting learning to finally begin.


I imagine, at some point in the time of your schooling, you have been told the same things as me.

You are anxiously awaiting the arrival of an exam, trying desperately to cram the information into your head in whatever fashion it'll stick. Unsure of your footing in the materials, you are still puzzling through your own study habits in an attempt to figure out the best ones for you. You have been told simply to know the information, right? Your teachers told you to write down everything they said and give it back to them in various forms, right? So you simply write and rewrite and rewrite until your fingers become sore, your eyes have to blink out the exhaustion, and you have a few times the number of copies of notes.

And likely only a dismal amount of information in your mind.

The plain fact of the matter is this: rote memorization, otherwise known as a learning technique based solely on repetition, is ineffective. And oh, I mean wildly ineffective. It is the least likely of the possible study methods to be any kind of beneficial because it will never allow for understanding. It will simply allow you to obnoxiously regurgitate descriptions or formulas and have no idea how to use them.

What can you expect? Rote memorization is based on a surface level understanding of materials and will thus give you a feebly shallow grasp on concepts that are more likely to disappear on the day of the exam than it ever will be to assist. It does not allow you to engage with the knowledge you seek. It is like looking at objects through glass and only through glass - you'll be able to see what is in front of you and can describe it at length, but you will never get a hold on it, and once you walk away, the memory will steadily fade from your brain.

That, my friends, is where elaborative encoding comes along.

Have you ever used a memory device to help yourself learn? Something like a song to remember the states, an acronym to remember music notes names on a staff, anything of that nature? Your mind combined several different areas of study and of your own personal interest and attached them to concepts you previously had nothing to do with. It is not much of a step to make up the difference between repeating something to memorize it briefly and putting random words to a tune to keep them in your mind, but oh my goodness, the outcome of each is vastly different.

Elaborative encoding is a system of learning in which a person connects information they don't really know yet to already existing set of memories or thought processes. By actively connecting what you don't know with what you know, you are forced to truly learn the information and be able to apply it to whatever concepts you choose. You have to know what something means to relate it to a part of your life, and once it is related to a topic or memory that is important to you, it sticks in your brain to the point where you can refresh it with a single thought. With a single phrase! You can tell yourself stories and make the concepts characters, you can write music, you can discuss the framework of a class in the context of your favorite movie. There is no limit to what you can accomplish in learning when you attach information to things that matter to you. And it stays! Oh my goodness, does it ever stay.

Simply repeating information cannot get you anywhere. It will not help you learn, and it will certainly not motivate you to continue on in whatever area of study on which you have set your eyes. Unfortunately, academia is oftentimes not very set on teaching the ways to learn information. For some reason, we are taught mainly what we should know and never how we should know.

And I think that that should change.

It is never too early an age to learn how to learn. It is never too early an age to learn how to function well in life. It is never too early an age to learn how to know what you know, to stave off stress, to build good habits. It is never too early an age to get a running start in what you can one day love.

Elaborative encoding. A mixture of what you know and what you love, unlocking a world of understanding beyond. Have the courage and the know-how to give it a try.

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