happiness in college

3 Things To Prioritize In College, Other Than Books And Homework

Believing in yourself is half the battle.


Go back in time to when you were twelve-years-old. Almost every day you were either playing baseball in the street or trying to help your mom cook dinner. The most you had to worry about was remembering to pack your lunch for school the next day. Life was great back when we did not have thousands of things to worry about and millions of people to impress on the daily, but that's life. One day you wake up, and everything and everyone has changed. No one can actually pin an exact date on when this happens, but I wish life had prepared us all for it.

Luckily, I am here to tell you all some secrets I have learned from being in college. Your family, yourself, and your attitude are the three main keys to going in and out of college a stronger and overall, happier person.

I kid you not, you learn more about yourself through these four years than you will your entire life.

Just because you might be having a bad day, week, month etc. does not mean that the universe is trying to tell you to give up. No, the universe is preparing you for something much greater than what you may be expecting, and that is what makes life worth living!

1. Your family

Most of us have played at least one sport in our lives, and some may have played even more. At every game, no matter where or what time it was at, our families were always there. Families do not just teach one another how to walk and talk, and then run away. No, these are the people who will love you unconditionally, no matter what the circumstance. These are the people you WILL need when in college.

College gives us the freedom we have been waiting for our entire lives, but it also gives us time to think about things. There will be many days that are very lonely, and you are going to wish that you were back in your loud and crazy household. These are the moments that make us feel weak but will mentally grow us stronger.

All of us will eventually miss those stupid fights, the embarrassing moments, and the long, deep talks we got from our mom. She honestly becomes your best friend, or a better word for it, your long distance pen pal, in college. Use it to your own advantage and thank your family, call your mom, and tell them you love them as often as possible.

2. Yourself

I know most of us has probably seen the movie, "Narnia." Think back to the scene when the little girl is walking through all the clothes in the closest, and she crosses over into Narnia for the very first time. The expression on her face tells us how surprised and confused she was. Well, this is exactly what being in college for the first time is like.

A lot of times, people think that college is all about the parties and drinking whenever you want, but that cannot be farther from the actual truth. College is a very unique time in our lives when we finally realize what our purpose is.

Sometimes you will find yourself drifting off the path, and this is when we get a reality check. I got this after my first semester, and decided to get involved with more things around campus, make it a priority to go to church every Sunday, and put school first. By the end of my second semester, I was getting better grades, meeting the right people, and overall happier.

3. Your attitude

Have you ever gone to a festival or a concert really upset? Obviously, if you have done this, I can probably guess that you did not have the greatest time. You cannot have the time of your life if your attitude is always negative. You can try and try telling yourself you will be fine eventually, but until you change your perspective on things and yourself, you will start to become a broken record, every day is the same dull outcome.

The best way to meet new people is to put yourself out there and try something new every day. However, when doing this, you must go about it in a positive way. No one wants to be friends, or go up and talk to someone who looks like they have something better to do with their time. Having a positive attitude helps people to see the real you, and good things start to head your direction.

This goes in saying, we all are going to have our bad days, weeks, and even sometimes years, but that does not mean that this is our time to give up on everything we have worked so hard for up until now. You have to remember that you got that acceptance letter into college, and you graduated the four years of high school. Remembering that your family, yourself, and your attitude are the three key secrets in furthering your success in life. You have made it this far, why stop now?

My dad used to always say to me, "Everything in life happens for a reason. We may not know what that reason is right now, but everyone has a specific purpose in life, and we are all on our journey to find it." This world was not made for everyone to just get everything handed to them. We were taught that we must work hard for what we want in life.

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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.


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.


The nursing student with just one year left.

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To The Big-Hearted Girls Who Just Can't Hit The Block Button

Your compassion for others knows no bounds, and that's why you can't seem to let them go.


Not everyone is worthy of your good heart.

It might be hard to accept that, but it's true. The ones that don't deserve your attention and your care always out themselves. Maybe they take advantage of your kindness, maybe they use you for your love, or maybe they hurt you because they envy some aspect of you or your life. Whatever the case may be, I know you feel the pain from it. I know you are not naive enough to believe that they don't mean the hurtful things they say or that the awful things they put you through are only mere accidents.

Your problem is that you have too big of a heart. You love giving second chances and when they screw that chance up as well, you just can't help yourself from giving them a third, a fourth, or a fifth. Far too easily you are swept up in this cycle of forgiving and forgetting, only to have it blow up in your face time and time again.

You know better.

How many times have you sworn you wouldn't help them again, that it was the last time you'd speak to them, only to snatch up your phone the second you see their name pop up across the screen? How often have you cried over someone who only wanted to be a part of your life when they needed something from you?

Stop giving your all to people that don't care.

Trust me, I know it's easier said than done. It's a difficult habit to break, but once you do you are completely and utterly free from the toxicity. If you're looking for a sign to block that boy who has done nothing but break your heart, or if you were waiting for your cue to finally end that friendship that does nothing but make you feel small, here it is.

Unfortunately, not everyone is going to treat you with the love and respect that you so freely give. Most of the time the people that treat you like crap are just crappy people. It's not your responsibility to save every troubled soul, and you've probably learned by now that not all of them want to be saved.

There's nothing wrong with looking for the good in people, but when they start to drain you of your light you need to have the strength to let them go.

To the girls gifted with hearts too sensitive and ready to burst with compassion, it's OK to cut ties with those who hurt you time and time again. It doesn't mean you've stooped to their level; it doesn't mean you're a bad person. You tried your hardest, but toxic people rarely change their ways. You don't deserve that kind of pain.

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