Going through college, I was busy with college athletics and sometimes I would even have a job. I would never put my wants and needs first, I would just try and get through the day. Hour by hour, I would check off the list I created each day and complete the impossible. Eventually, time was limited and my social life took a toll, next my athletics, and before school could be compromised, I quit my job. Thankfully, I managed to keep my grades afloat and keep my dreams of becoming a nurse alive.
There were multiple days that I would wake up dreading the day I had ahead of me, or nights that I would stay up until 4 a.m. studying or completing homework. Things just kept piling up to the point where I had no control of my own life anymore. I had become a robot.
One fine day, my professors let us have a longer break than usual from the eight hours of class that was held in a room without any windows, might I add. With my time I would usually call my parents, or figure out practice times that worked with my schedule, or even try and get some homework in; however, this time was a little different. I looked at the list I had created for myself and felt my heart begin to race, and my stomach move up to my throat. This is a normal feeling of anxiety that I am used to, but the feeling did not go away. With four more hours of class remaining, I began to feel more and more anxious and could not even eat lunch.
Finally, as the minutes passed like hours, I made it through my school day, yet still had to make it to practice and through a strenuous workout. I remember having to start practice at 6:00 p.m. and getting home at 8:30 p.m. with a clinical rotation the next day, complete with assignments due, comprised of quizzes and a checkoff (a way for an instructor to test your skills to make sure you are able to give patients care).
At 11:00 p.m., I still had nothing in my system, not even water, and I was not even halfway through my homework. I knew I had to be up at 4:15 a.m. to leave with my clinical partners to a hospital. My anxiety then rose even more. I was not able to get anything done and I started getting pains in my stomach, with the urge to get sick (for me, this is a normal feeling). I rush to the bathroom and begin to dry heave, but unlike previous times, the dry heaving continued. I began to puke blood and have an increased pain in my stomach.
After this puking spell had passed, I laid on the floor in the bathroom and started to cry. This was the last straw. I had absolutely nothing left to give, I was ready to throw in the towel and leave everything that I had created for myself. After contacting my boyfriend and telling him what had happened, he told me something that I will never forget, "only worry about the things you can control."
This hit me pretty hard, not only did I need to get everything on my list done to my standards, but I needed everything to be perfect. From every workout, to anything I ate, to how I folded my laundry. However, this statement made me think about how no matter what I do, a patient cannot be controlled, much like the weather. This made me think of other parts of my life as well: my running, my teammates, my friends, my family, pets, etc. As awful as this experience was, I am so happy I learned how to prioritize my time on important things, such as school and the lives of others. Everything else, I would give my all, but I knew I could not always control everything.
There is no need for everything in life to be perfect. Life is like going for a run: it can be fast or slow, easy or hard, but with practice and consistency, you can improve. As in life, it will go by fast at moments, and slow in others; it may come easy, or it may be difficult, but if I work hard and become consistent there is no telling what I am capable of doing. To do everything to my full potential is my goal, but I must choose my battles and never forget to take a breath of fresh air and live.