Junior Year Is Almost Over And Excuse Me, But I’m Not Ready To Be A Senior Yet

Junior Year Is Almost Over And Excuse Me, But I’m Not Ready To Be A Senior Yet

Senior year… Say what???
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Looking at the calendar in my planner, I am mind blown that it’s almost the end of April and there is only 1 week left of my junior year before finals begin and I will officially be a senior. WHAT?!? Did you say…SENIOR?!? Oh god, my stomach just dropped. I’m not ready. Where the heck did this year go? How am I 1 week from being a senior? Wasn’t it just last month that I was relaxing by the CopperBeech pool during Frog Week without a care in the world?

Fast forward 8 months and I am in the core group of classes for both of my majors, stressing about my 6th round of final exams, trying to sort out my summer plans with internships, and preparing to have major separation anxiety from my friends for a third summer. Everything is coming to an end and I am in a state of nostalgia. This year was full of amazing memories that have made my college experience even more enjoyable. Yet at the same time, I am relieved and prepared for the most stressful semester of my college career to come to an end.

I stepped foot onto this amazing campus 3 years ago as a scared freshman 10 hours away from home. THREE WHOLE YEARS AGO. WOW. I MUST’VE BLINKED AND TIME SPRINTED AHEAD. Could I pass as a freshman again? I look pretty young. Most people take the cliché for granted but it really is true.

College is the quickest four years of your life.

I couldn’t have made a better decision to go out of my comfort zone and put myself in a completely different environment.

I have always been independent but attending a school so far away, knowing I would only be able to come home during school vacations, made me realize I had a lot to prepare for. Not for a second, though, did I think twice about choosing the right school.

I am beyond proud to call this place my second home.

I have grown so much since that first day when I pulled up to my new home in my mom’s minivan, unable to see out the window with all of my belongings obstructing my view.

Seeing all of the seniors on the quad this week, taking their graduation photos is both exciting yet TERRIFYING. I keep thinking about what I’ll wear when it’s time for me to graduate and how I’ll decorate my grad cap. I am also sad because I’m not ready to be a senior yet and have to prepare for leaving this place! I can’t get it through my head that in one week, when people ask me what year I am, I’ll have to answer “a senior.”

The words will taste awful in my mouth, as I will have to force myself to say them. Just a few weeks ago, I registered for my last fall semester of classes and despite all the stress of deciding your schedule, I know I’m going to miss it a year from now.

In the last three years, I have made friends that will one day be my bridesmaids, experiences that I will never forget, and one more year that I will cherish with everything I have.

Wish me luck!

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey McEvoy

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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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Sometimes, Having A Crush From Afar Is Better Than Acting On It

Sometimes, just the idea of something is better than the reality.

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I've been in college for almost a full year now, and I have seen a lot of new people. There are so many boys here that I have talked to, seen, or even just heard about. With this comes a lot of crushes.

I've been known to get crushes fairly easily. Whether it's because they were nice to me, if they play a sport I like to watch, or even if they're just hot, I have been known to fall very easily into the trap boys put out there.

In college, it's been very easy to act on crushes that I've had. In high school, if I had a crush, I would suppress it so deep down that no one ever knew about it. My way of showing someone I liked them was ignoring them or being mean to them, which obviously didn't work out in my favor.

Now that I am in college, I feel a lot more confident to make a move on someone. Sometimes they reciprocate it, sometimes they don't and I look stupid. Is this a better plan than what I had been doing in high school? Maybe, maybe not.

Either way, I mess things up for myself quite often. I always embarrass myself in front of crushes that I have and then get nervous and ghost them. Does this make me a jerk? Absolutely.

One crush I had I ended up hooking up with one time and he was really weird after that and he just wanted to hook up. I take responsibility for hooking up with him on the first night, but I thought that this could lead up to us talking, which it obviously wouldn't. I learned that day that in order to find my someone, I had to move past the people that only wanted me to hook up.

I obviously have stopped doing this due to the fact that I make myself look dumb and I know now that I don't always have to make the first move.

I liked making the first move because it really made me feel powerful in a sense. This was my way of switching the gender stereotypes and I loved it.

However, I have learned that whatever comes will come. Being laid back when it comes to relationships has NEVER been my strong suit. Seeing all my friends hook up with boys and date boys has always made me feel inferior because the attempts I made were either short-lived or never happened.

From that point on, I have decided to stop acting on the crushes I have. Whatever comes will come and I will find my perfect person one day. Whether that's tomorrow or ten years from now, I know he'll come. Until that happens, I still want to have fun and enjoy my college experience. However, I will not be acting on every single crush I have anymore.

Sometimes, just the idea of something is better than the reality.

Your imagination is something that you need to keep throughout your life because without it, the reality of life will set in and it might just eat you alive. Keep dreaming about that boy in Math class and that boy on the Baseball team and think of any scenarios you want. Your perfect someone is waiting out there for you, and he'll be here soon.

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