Spring Break With The Smiths!

Spring Break With The Smiths!

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It's been a rough week. It's been a rough month. It's been a rough semester. It's been a rough year. Six months down and three more to go. While finals are starting to seem closer than ever, there is one thing that we can all look forward to before we think about all of the sadness that is final exams. Spring break is here, and in good timing because we all know that it is much needed! Midterms have passed (and hopefully so have you!), and we couldn't be happier. Now, it is time for us to head home, let loose, and enjoy the nights that we won't remember with the friends that we won't forget! And who better to help you channel your inner spring-breaker? None other than the Smith family!


Spring break is the time to make plans. Are you going away? Taking a big trip? There are so many options... Miami? Europe? A cruise? Either way, take the time to make plans, because this week should be all about relaxation and enjoyment.


If only for this week, you've got to be true to yourself. Do exactly what you want to do! But don't be disappointed when you take a look at your life and realize what you're hoping spring break will consist of!


And if by the start of spring break week you're still stressed out, just take it day by day...


Remember not to make commitments. This is your week to take a break from school. You get to relax: sleep in, go to bed early, and not wear pants. Don't make plans, and more importantly, don't make plans, instantly regret them, and then break them.


Have no regrets. This week is about Y-O-U, so do what you want to do while you have the time to do it. Whether it be partying, sleeping, or exploring- get it done, and be happy about your choices.


Don't be ashamed to do nothing. Okay, so maybe you'd prefer to be on vacation on a tropical island, but you can have just as much fun as all your friends, even if they're going to Jamaica and you're going to... bed.


Have fun. Be silly. Be a kid again. Or just be you. You can go to Disneyland, or you can go to a museum. Find some friends, make a plan, and have fun doing it!


But if you can get through spring break without looking like this...

Then just maybe it's time for you to treat yourself.


So whether you're planning a week that you won't remember...


...Or a week you won't forget...


...Remember to make the best out of the time you have. Enjoy having no homework, partying like it's 1912, sleeping in late, and going to bed early. Take advantage of the time while you still have it, and I'll see you back on campus in a week ;-)

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Not My Michigan

A Michigan student-athlete turned Registered Nurse on the Michigan Medicine contract negotiations in 2018.

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It's May 1st, 2016. I'm bright-eyed, eager, and graduating from the University of Michigan as a Nursing Student and Student-Athlete.

I am ready to take on the world the way that Michigan taught me how: fearlessly, compassionately, and wholeheartedly. I bleed blue. I know what it means to be a Wolverine and to represent the Michigan Difference in everything I do. I wear the block M on my School of Nursing scrubs and my Michigan Dance Team uniform well aware that it represents goodness, tradition, and excellence. I am determined. I am inspired. I am ready.

It's Monday, September 17th, 2018. What does Michigan mean to me now? I used to be so sure. Now, I simply don't know. So, what's the deal? How did my view on an institution become so indifferent in recent months?

I chose U of M to start my nursing career because it had the widely known reputation of putting its patients first, respecting its nurses, and providing the best care to patients in the state (5th in the country, to be exact). In my first year, as I was clumsily learning how to push patient stretchers, titrate intravenous vasopressors, and to communicate with the medical team, I proudly participated in our hospital's effort to achieve Magnet status.

When Nursing earned Magnet Status, an award given by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center and indicator of the strength and quality of Nursing at Michigan, I felt that same pride as I did in May of 2016.

I knew in my heart that I picked the best institution to develop my nursing practice and to give high quality, patient-centered care to anyone who walked, rolled, or was carried through the doors of Adult Emergency Services. The hospital's goals were aligned with mine and those around me. We put patients first, and more specifically, we put patients over profits.

I am lucky enough to work at a hospital that has been unionized for more than four decades. When I started working, the concept of a union was foreign to me. For those who may need a refresher, unions promote and protect the interests of all employees. They collectively bargain with employers to secure written agreements for employees regarding pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Collective bargaining agreements are legally enforceable contracts holding employers and employees to mutually agreed-to workplace rules and process to provide a fair and just workplace. The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association, has been working diligently since January to bargain with the University of Michigan to protect me, the 5,700 nurses who work within the institution, and our patients. I'd like to think they're the good guys in this story.

Here's where things get sticky: David Spahlinger, president of our prestigious U of M health system, has publicly stated that Michigan is "committed to maintaining current staffing levels," but will not make this commitment in writing. Common sense is reflected in the most high-quality research on the topic of nurse-patient ratios and its direct effect on patient care.

Appropriate staffing allows me and my coworkers to give the quality of care that I know we have the ability to provide. High staffing levels are associated with reduced mortality, falls, medication errors, ulcers, restraint use and infections. Unregulated staffing is a significant barrier to nurses' abilities to provide optimal patient care and prevents Nursing at Michigan from providing what we know to be the Michigan Difference in healthcare.

UMPNC held voting on a work stoppage for unfair labor practices last week. Out of 4,000 votes cast by nurses at the U, 94% authorized a work stoppage in protest of the University's unfair labor practices. No date is set, but our elected nurse bargaining team now has the authority to call for action.

Thank you to Katie Oppenheim, who chairs our union, for reiterating in an article to the Detroit Free Press that a work stoppage is not our goal. "Our goal is a fair agreement which respects nurses and guarantees safe staffing. The university can remedy this situation immediately by stopping their unfair labor practices and bargaining in good faith."

I am proud to be a nurse and I hope that our efforts to keep Michigan a patients-over-profits institution are recognized at the community, state, and national level. Anne McGinity, David Spahlinger, and those who have the power to make Michigan the magical place I once thought it was, make like Nike and just do it. For the love of patients, nurses, and our great University. I know we are better than this.

(Stay Tuned, folks).

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13 Signs You Really Need To Get Your Sh*t Together

Because there's being a hot mess...and then just being a mess.

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With jam-packed schedules and loads of homework, college students are commonly depicted as walking train-wrecks of people. Sure, it's okay to be a little bit of a mess, but you don't want your entire college experience to be one giant jumble of chaos. Here are some signs that you really need to get your act together.

1. You're constantly late to class...but always manage to find the time to get coffee

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If you walk into class with Starbucks and you are on time, then that means you really have your act together. You left early and had the time to get coffee on the way, good for you! But if you decide that a caffeine boost is worth being late, then you may want to set your priorities straight a little bit.

2. You own a planner...but only used it for the first week.

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If you're anything like me, you still carry it around in your bag because it makes you feel like you have your life together. But do you really use it?

3. The word "free" catches your attention every time

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Maybe you don't need another t-shirt, but it's free! Better yet, free food. Because who doesn't like food, and who actually wants to pay for it.

4. You've already spent your budget allowance...for the next three months

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It felt amazing making a budget for yourself. Honestly, I was considering switching to a finance major I felt so put together. Yet, actually sticking to said budget...didn't really happen. Unless I manage to not spend a penny for the next 3 and a half months I don't think it's going to work out.

5. Never actually working out in workout clothing

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Buying a bunch of workout clothing always gives me inspiration to actually workout. The only problem is that the inspiration doesn't really last long, but they're comfortable to wear to class. At least people may think I'm planning on going to the gym after class when really I'm going to be on my bed with a bag of Doritos's.

6. When the only sleep you get is through naps

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There's nothing better then taking a quick nap once you get back from class...but the problem arises when that quick nap ends up being five hours long. There's nothing truly more nerve wracking then waking up at ten o clock at night and remembering you had a paper due at midnight.

7. You can't remember the last time you drank something that wasn't alcohol or caffeine

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Because what's the point of taking the time to drink something if it's not going to either make you wake up or make you forget all your problems, right?

8. Replacing sleep with Netflix

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"Okay, if I just watch one more episode, then I can go to sleep after and still get three and a half hours of sleep in." But, does anyone really ever just watch one more episode?

9. Constantly shifting stuff between your bed and desk

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During the day, you move all of your stuff from your desk onto your bed, and then at night you move it back onto your desk to make room on your bed to sleep. It's just the natural cycle of things.

10. Greasy hair don't care

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The one thing that is easier to procrastinate on then homework is showers. Especially with the creation of dry-shampoo, sure it's not the same as washing your hair but it's a whole lot quicker.

11. You're behind on laundry...like really behind

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Not only does it take up your precious time, but you have to pay for it? Sure, your hamper is overflowing and you're running out of clothes, but will that motivate a college student? Probably not.

12. Taking days to actually email someone back

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With your busy college schedule, who actually has time to check their email every day?

13. Putting off homework until the very last minute

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Because you know it's not going to get finished when you tell yourself you'll wake up early in the morning to finish it then.

Overall, are you really getting the college experience if your life isn't sort of a giant mess? I mean, things always end up kind of working out in their own way, so don't sweat it!

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