Sometimes It's Okay To Throw Caution To The Wind

Sometimes It's Okay To Throw Caution To The Wind

Pause. Put it all into perspective. Piece together a present life that truly inspires you.
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I am a Type-A, perfectionist. Not to mention, I was raised by a father who attended Stanford undergrad and Harvard business and is now a self-made Venture Capitalist. Thus, I am notorious for working myself to the bone in the hopes of one day reaching the success I so crave.

I like to think of my resumé as a work of art and I’m constantly going over it to add a little marketing here, take away some school spirit there, shew in some creativity in that corner, and voila! Then a couple months later it’s back to the drawing board to see how I can revise once more. A masterpiece that will never reach its final form.

Now that I’ve painted the scene, you can imagine my utter distress, when on Valentine’s Day, my summer internship I had lined up was ripped from my grasp. Quite literally ripped as I ripped up the W2 form I had been meaning to fill out as I had in fact been offered the job and given the forms, signed a fucking non-disclosure agreement.

An impersonal email, stating the position had been simply “changed” in the two weeks since I was told “You’re hired!” To be quite honest, my initial reaction was to laugh and say ironically, sarcastically: You’re kidding. How professional! An email from her personal email and she signed it with the name of the company. No “Sorry we bullshitted you!” No “By the way, here are some tips for next time!” Not even the director’s real goddamn name. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

Within a minute of reading the email, I had overcome the fire in my belly to shoot off a nasty email response, and instead began a mental checklist of other companies I could apply for, how I would budget my time, which classes I could take, etc, etc….

A tearful phone conversation with my mother, all the while sobbing “I’m a failure,” ended in her saying “Izzy, get a hold of yourself and stop spreading yourself so thin. Live a little.”

It wasn’t until the next morning, I gave myself a good long look in the mirror and said:

“What the FUCK am I doing?”

What-the-fuck I was doing, was overextending myself. Burning out. Depriving myself of the satisfaction of being young.

What’s this satisfaction?

Not having any goddamn responsibilities.

Let me rephrase that: not having to have any goddamn responsibilities. I have created for myself such a large army of tasks-at-hand that I’ve all but forgotten what it feels like to not be stressed.

We’re all victims of our own inability to surrender to the pleasures of simply living our lives.

My mom is completely correct. I’m a sophomore in college, 19 years old, have hardly had the opportunity to dip my toes into the real world. I don’t mean the business world–I mean the world as a whole, planet Earth, the beauty, insanity, diversity of it.

I’m young and able and full of wonder, why am I trying to spend my summer days boxed in a cubicle? So I can maybe one day down the road have a job that I could potentially enjoy? I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know where I’m going, so how am I supposed to know what I need to do now to get to this figurative place?

Now I’m not throwing all ambition out the window and saying fuck it. I’ve had success. I go to a top-tier school, I have had internships and jobs, I have great skills, interesting hobbies, so why am I burning myself just to throw yet another string of letters onto a sheet of paper?

The point I’m trying to make is that in the grand scheme of things I don’t have to work myself raw so that I can set myself up 30 years down the road. No one has to.

It’s completely okay to take a breather, take some time to yourself. If you’re like me and are thinking “A month of no obligation sounds heavenly,” go for it! If a free weekend, a sick day, quitting your horrible job, dropping your backbreaking major sounds like it would make you the happiest version of yourself–then what’s stopping you?


Pause. Put it all into perspective. Piece together a present life that truly inspires you.
Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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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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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.

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I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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