I am currently a sophomore student attending Creighton University who, amongst many things, is known for their health sciences programs. A big draw I found in Creighton were 3 things: community, basketball, and their nursing program. I was dead set on becoming a nurse--I had applied to all my schools under direct nursing and pre-nursing programs and had got into all of them but one (but later got put in their pre-nursing program instead of the direct nursing program I initially applied to). I felt really confident at that point in my ability to show schools I am can be an amazing nursing student--not only in the grades I got, classes I took, activities and volunteering opportunities I engaged in, but also in my love for helping others, social abilities, and heart for healthcare.
Now here came first semester--filled with so much hope and opportunity. The beginning of the semester only fueled the thought of me being a great nurse one day; I had done pretty well in my core and nursing concentrated classes and even got voted in on the nursing senate! But even with a great semester under my belt, towards the end of my first semester in nursing school and college, I felt an uncertainty in myself of what I really wanted to do. The path of nursing I wanted to do reflected my immense desire to help others, but it wasn't the best choice for me and I knew it. It was too early to completely redirect my education and career path based off a little confusion so I continued with nursing into my second semester.
However, entering the second semester of nursing became tough--not only because of the harder classes, but because of the continuous thought of doubt in nursing. I really loved the program, the staff, and the people in it, it just became more and more apparent about my heart not being in the right place. I admittedly didn't have as much passion to work hard in my classes because I wasn't fighting for something. I'd like to think I still worked as hard as I could in the position I was in, but I won't lie and say I did my best work either. I know so many people would have loved to be in my position educationally: whether because of nursing school or being able to go to a university/ to college--and it made me feel even worse about the thoughts I was having.
I started to honestly hate myself academically, and started to fall into bad mental thought patterns as well. I hid a lot of my internal confusion because I was hugely ashamed of thinking I could ever think about switching. For a lot of my life, I thought I wanted to be a nurse or doctor, able to help many people through healthcare and medicine. I grew up wanting to do missionary work in one of those positions and started gearing towards nursing for the social aspect of it. I wanted to help people but also be able to feel achievement in my personal growth, and I vocally advocated for my desires. I had people instantly love the idea of me being some kind of physical healthcare provider because that was all I knew--eventually me being a nurse is all people knew too.
I felt trapped between lifelong assumptions/expectations and my own inner questions, and I know I didn't want to feel this way...I knew it wasn't right. With the help of my boyfriend, I was able to talk to at least one person about what I was thinking about and helped me organize my thoughts on whether I should stay or switch. I talked about my concerns, passions, dislikes, doubts, and strengths I had and we came down to the idea that the only reason I don't want to switch is because I had no security. Nursing is obviously a very secure career in our society and a very fulfilling one too. I didn't know ANYTHING besides what nursing was and I needed to explore the career world beyond my small scope.
At first, I had a lot of hesitation in diving into the unknown, but as I grew more and more open to the idea that this was something I needed, I became more happy with the freedom I found in just researching different options for myself. I grew in love with the idea of Health Administration and felt not too far from what I was used to. The major helped me realize that there is so much more to healthcare and what goes into it--the inner mechanisms of the field only work with so many different kinds of people working together. And as I grew to accept myself for something different, not feeling ashamed of possibly disappointing others, or even job security, my biggest challenge came telling people how I was feeling and possibly what my next choices were.
Like I said, I knew all my life, I've told my family and friends that I was going to be a doctor or nurse. Everyone was so happy and impressed at my achievements and getting into all these nursing schools because of them (especially at a place like Creighton). I started feeling very nervous at what their possible reactions can be, but I knew it wasn't going to be the easiest conversation and had been able to build my confidence about it with the help of my boyfriend and friends at Creighton. I went through my grandma feeling concerned about whether I was well or not, mom asking what the major even entailed, my aunt feeling like it was a "waste" of my capabilities, and my dad questioning why I would even stay at Creighton. Even my adviser wanted to note that it felt like a hasty choice to change, as she thought I was ideal for nursing. I started feeling very heartbroken, lost, and of course a bit torn. But I did decide to stand my ground and, not to hype myself up, I found it to shine through all thoughts and show I wasn't just screwing around with the idea of my future. I had a lot of passion and just because it wasn't in the way that they had been used to, it didn't mean I wasn't capable of handling it.
And so here I am, more passionate about healthcare than I ever was in nursing. As the profession is wonderful and vital in it's own aspect, it didn't mean that I had to be the one to do it. I have the upmost respect for my friends who are in nursing school and people who I know are nurses--they give their lives to the health care system that I adore beyond words. But I found in myself a more true to me way to connect to something I want to work for and all it took was the one thing that I was scared of: doubt. Doubt in job security, income, abilities, fit, and everything in-between; I wanted to hide from my distress rather than explore what it could mean for me. Learning to be assured in my insecurity is probably one of the most backward ideas I can ever like, but I fully support growing with it. I found freedom in walking with uncertainty and I can't be more thankful for taking such a small plunge into the unknown (something I thought was so scary and bigger than it was). I was able to grow everything I set to do in nursing into something more amazing than I could ever imagine. Although I don't know everything yet, and nothing is set out like I had for nursing, I know I made the right decision. If I looked back and compared the stress I felt getting to where I needed to be to the flat line contentedness I had in the security of nursing, there is no competition: switching was for me.