Small Life Changes That Can Make A Big Difference

5 Small Life Changes That Can Go A Long Way

The little changes you make can change your whole outlook on life.

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Life is a roller coaster. It is full of ups and downs and comes with many obstacles. I feel like college is a time where life can become extremely overwhelming. Lately, I've been feeling like I need to have everything figured out right now and that if I am not working 24/7, that I am not progressing. I have taken the time to sit back and realize that this is not true and there is more to life than stressing out all the time. There are certain things I have started doing that have made my life a lot easier and have reduced my stress levels significantly.

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed during this semester, take a look at this list to see if any of the changes I have made can be implemented in your life.

1. Meal Prepping

I used to watch YouTube videos of people meal prepping and while I thought the idea behind it was nice, I thought it was impossible to do with a hectic college schedule. Recently, I have started meal prepping every Sunday afternoon with my boyfriend. We buy the foods we want to make at Publix, then cook for about 3 hours. Three hours later, we have healthy meals for the entire week and we don't have to spend extra money on fast food during the week. Meal prepping has saved me time because I simply have to heat my food up and it's ready all week, money, and the risk of becoming unhealthy from consuming fast food every day. Setting aside a few hours during Sunday to cook has made a huge difference in my life.

2. Working out

I'm not a fitness guru, I'm nowhere close to being one. I don't work out every day, but I do make time to work out as much as possible during the week. I have realized that when I'm feeling down or stressed out, working out helps alleviate my worries and tensions. I get all my energy out, burn calories, and feel great. It is important to try to stick to a workout schedule or to at least make sure you work out a few times a week. Treat your work out times as scheduled meetups with your friends. If you wouldn't bail on your friends, don't bail on your body and your health.

3. Painting

Art has never been my strong suit, but I enjoy it anyway. I find painting to be therapeutic. I bought a few paintbrushes, paint, and canvases from Walmart and I paint whenever I have time off from school work. This may not work for everyone, but I think a lot of people would enjoy painting for fun. I don't feel stressed when I paint because I don't have a goal to make the painting a work of art, I simply paint to paint and relieve stress.

4. Organizing my work for the week

Time management is vital to doing well in college. I like to write down my due dates in a planner and have it to refer to throughout the week. I feel like keeping a planner keeps me accountable and keeps me on track to finish all my work on time or even ahead of time.

5. Finishing my work for the week before the weekend

I cannot describe how amazing it feels to be completely free from due dates on weekends. A lot of my classes have due dates on Sundays, which would sometimes cause me to procrastinate working on those things until the weekend. Ever since I started working ahead and finishing all my work before the weekend, I have time to relax and do things I enjoy. Being able to go to a park or a movie theater on the weekend without the worry of due dates in the back of your mind is great. Having weekends free from assignments is liberating because you can take time for yourself or you can take time to study for future exams so you won't have to cram the week of the exam.

These life changes may seem simple, but they have made a major difference in my life and they might make a positive difference in yours!

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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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