Privilege and me

It’s Easier To Point Out Privilege Than To Recognize Your Own

Each and every one of us has some level of privilege.

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No matter the situation, we all were granted some level of privilege. Whether it is that your family roots are entirely Caucasian, or that your parents completed a college degree, or that your immediate family members aren't immigrants or the fact that you were granted a scholarship, or that you've had a mentor willing to guide your way. It is all a type of privilege.

The point of this article isn't to debate which privileges aren't really the stereotypical "privilege." I'm not saying that the competitive scholarship you acquired on your own merit was easy or without many obstacles. I personally know that it isn't easy. It isn't easy as a first-generation college student. Nor is it easy coming from a stereotypically privileged home. Hard work is hard work. And I also know it's not fair to compare certain privileges to others. It's not fair fighting grounds. I know this.

However, we all- in some way, shape, or form- are privileged. We are privileged to have the air in our lungs, to have working limbs, a cognizant mind, the ability to learn more information, the ability to express our own opinion, the ability to Google, even the ability to be reading this article right now.

We as humans love to look at others and think, "Wow, it must've been so much easier for them." And I get it, some people do have an easier path paved. Some people are privileged enough to know if they fail or fall, there is something and someone to help them bounce back. Some of us have to work hard to ensure there is a raggedy, old cushion to help ease our fall. Some of us had a guiding hand, some of us had to be our own guide.

Comparison kills. I'm sure you all have read this a thousand times over. But even still, it is so utterly important to know and to realize how privileged we are with the life we have been given. We are privileged to have a family, we are privileged to have friends, we are privileged to have the capabilities to pursue our education, to pursue a career, or even just simply work a part-time minimum wage job.

Even if you were your own guide to reaching where you have today, you are still privileged. You are privileged to have the strength to face adversity, to find resources and mentors. Realize that some people in your exact same situation don't make it as far as you did.

Privilege is always a tricky word. It is often used negatively. There is the belief that having any sort of privilege is a "free pass" or it disregards all of your hard work. I questioned using the term privilege for this article for that sole reason. I considered using fortunate, blessed, or any other synonym of the word. But I didn't. I didn't because making it as far in our lives as we have when many others don't is a privilege.

Some of us were handed all the cards needed to be successful, some of us were handed a few, and some of us fought for the few that we had. Yet, we all managed to obtain some of those cards. And that, my friends, is so important to remember. We are all incredibly privileged, in one way or another.

Remind yourselves to be grateful for what and who you have- for all the cards you have been given. Because while someone may have had it "easier" than you, some had it much more difficult than you.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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