We Are All Struggling To Tread Water, Yet We Need To Fight With A Smile

We Are All Struggling To Tread Water, Yet We Need To Fight With A Smile

The one where it's important to remember what's good, despite the self-deprecating jokes all around

At the University of Washington’s Odegaard Library, there’s a whiteboard next to the stairs with a different question every week.

Whenever I would read the responses, they range from the normal complaints of CSE142 and bad dormmates to the absurd ones featuring pop culture references, memes, and existential crises. All using different colors of ink supplied in a black mesh basket.

Recently, I found the board with the question, “What is one of your most epic failures in life?”

The same answers went abound, from failed classes to starting to play League of Legends, from not getting into their major of choice to believing that an omnipotent God controls everything.

I even wrote something down: how I procrastinated without end, losing opportunities from the palm of my hand.

However, two responses stood out which made me quite sad: one lamented on their decision to go to the University of Washington, with another calling it “being bounded”—an inversion of UW’s promises to be “boundless.” Another commented, albeit jokingly, about being born.

Regardless of how sarcastic or serious these were, it implied that their lives were filled with undying misery and woe.

When I look at UW’s Boundless Memes page on Facebook, I also note this cynicism. One of my favorites was one featuring somebody knowing they may not be able to get accepted to the Computer Science major, so they would end up trying to take Canadian Studies instead, to justify they’ve got a “CS” degree.

Naturally, I understand. It took a lot of work to get into college, and a lot more work to get a degree, a job, and dignity. I find myself struggling to get readings and papers done, trying and failing to get a decent job, and wondering if I should’ve chosen the path I engaged in.

My father warned me that I needed to get into the hi-tech industry instead, with its myriad of opportunities, a golden door towards wealth and general prosperity in the modern age. Yet I enjoy my major, in that I get to learn so much about the world I’m living in and hopefully developing writing skills so I would use them in a future research job.

However, throughout the nonsense that’s going on in the school, whether its classes, the cafeteria food, or the national politics of the day, one thing which keeps me afloat is a sense of optimism.

Everything ends at some point, for the better or the worse, but it will all be worth it in the end.

I know a bunch of people who are engaging in different internships, jobs, and experiences. They discuss how they are tired every day with doing such tasks, yet are always enlightened by it.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to take away the fact life isn’t always going to be like that on social media. As the cliché goes, one has to crop, edit, filter each photograph before it gets sent to publish, like this article.

Every word is curated like fine art, grapes for wine, or a new piece of technology. I’m not one to post something on social media without having something of significance, yet this is a frequent phenomenon.

At the end of the day, why not find something which is worth the suffering?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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12 Signs You're A Nursing Student

Other than the fact that you're constantly seen in scrubs.

Nursing school is...an adventure. There is nothing quite as exciting or draining as going through the process of becoming a nurse. Some days you're helping to care for tiny babies, and then other days you're off doing wound care for pressure ulcers. Nursing school is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you're gonna get.

There are some key signs in people that show when they're in nursing school. I know my friends and I definitely have these characteristics (whether we want them or not).

1. Your body has no concept of time. Night shift, day shift, there's no time for sleeping. There's no time for anything but studying and work. What day is it? You don't know unless there's an exam.

2. You're addicted to coffee because of the lack of the whole time concept. You can drink coffee and fall asleep right after finishing the cup. Does coffee even work anymore? Does it matter? Oh well, still going to drink the entire pot.

3. Nothing phases you. Poop? Vomit? Yeah, no. I have cleaned up a friend's vomit without even questioning it.

4. You freak out about exams like no other. What do you know? What do you not know? What is pharmacology and why does it hate you? Why doesn't your brain understand neurology? How do you study 10 lectures in one week? WHAT WILL BE ON THE EXAM, JUST TELL US, PLEASE.

5. You can talk about anything during a meal without getting grossed out. Except your non-nursing friends do get really grossed out. You have to filter your conversations when you're at lunch with them. All your friends say things to you like:

6. Your friends never see you. You're either hiding in your room studying, going crazy in clinicals, or working your life away. "Hey, want to hang out?" "Yeah, I'm free next month...actually, next year is better for me."

7. You have two forms: study hyper-drive super-human and half dead maybe-human. "Ahhhhhhhh, gotta study, gotta study! *stays up until 5 am studying*" versus "How am I still living? *passes out facefirst into bed*."

8. You have a very odd habit of complimenting people's veins.

9. You use therapeutic communication during regular daily life. But you don't ask why. "How does that make you feel?"

10. You spend a lot of time during lectures wondering if anyone else is as confused as you. Somebody explain endocrinology to me? Hemodynamic stability? Anyone?

11. You constantly ask yourself why you chose the major you chose, but you know you care too much to change majors. There's no turning back for you.

12. But most importantly, you understand that no matter how much school sucks, you're going to be making a major difference in so many lives. And that's what really matters.

Cover Image Credit: Elissa Lawson

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"


Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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