Thank You, To My Girlfriends

Thank You, To My Girlfriends

I don't know where I would be without you.
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They say that the people you surround yourself with impact who you become. I'm lucky enough to have such an amazing girl group that supports each other. Whether we are having wine nights, going to concerts, or just sitting in a parking lot eating Wendy's, we always have fun. Of course it's important to have guy friends, I actually have many. However there is something extraordinary about female friendships.

I didn't find my "tribe" until college and I can't imagine my life without them. As soon as we were all together, I really looked around and realized that this is where I belong. Actually, I have Odyssey to thank for it because that's how we all met. If I was never a part of this wonderful organization I would have never met them.

We are so close that we can detect the slightest change in each others mood. According to WebMD, women with strong female friendships may also have less pain and stress. At the end of the day, we are there to support each other. Through heartbreak, stressful days, boyfriends, breakups, etc. Women listen, empathize, and even rage when you need it. Thank you, iMessage group chats.

"Women understand. We may share experiences, make jokes, paint pictures, and describe humiliations that mean nothing to men, but women understand. The odd thing about these deep and personal connections of women is that they often ignore barriers of age, economics, worldly experience, race, culture — all the barriers that, in male or mixed society, had seemed so difficult to cross.” — Gloria Steinem

In movies, women are often competing against each other. This catty behavior should not reflect real life. When I'm speaking with my female friends, I don't see drama witches, I see role models and a great support system. Whether we like to admit it or not, this world is male-dominated. We have to stick together. Be there for your friend every step of the way, celebrate them, and be their #1 fan. There's also nothing like having a deep conversation in a face mask with your best friends.

My friends have been there when I doubted myself as a student. They chose to be a part of and supported my films even though they weren't the best. They don't get annoyed when I take out my camera everywhere we go. We travel together. We go on adventures together. I love seeing all my friends succeed. Nothing can break the bond of a group of strong females.

The truth is, life is hard and it's awesome having some kickass ladies to help you through it. Here's to all my friends that are slaying!

Cover Image Credit: Brittany Graffeo

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Why Nursing School Friends Are So Vital

Pun intended.

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When I started nursing school, I knew it would be difficult. I wasn't naive. I heard the stories. I knew what I was getting into…to a certain degree.

It was everything I thought it would be and more. The highs were higher and the lows were lower. The thing you realize quickly in nursing is that it's not something you can achieve on your own. You have to have a support system. It's how you survive. It can feel like you're on your own because you have to perform the skills and make the grades, but really, there are so many friends standing behind you pushing you through.

I've seen it over and over again. I've been a part of it, witnessed it and had help myself. The truth is, even the most intelligent students need help in some sort of way. It might be hard to realize it when you're so inwardly focused, but when you look around you, everyone is walking the same path. They just have different strengths and weaknesses. It's an incredible thing when others use their personal strengths to offset your weaknesses. Nursing friends see in you what you don't see in yourself. Nursing friends share your passions, sleepless nights, early mornings, stress, panic attacks, victories, and failures. Nursing friends are your own personal cheerleaders.

It's no secret that we deal with some pretty gross stuff. Who else can you count on when you're walking down the unit trying to find an extra pair of hands to help you change the clothes of a morbidly obese patient who's covered from shoulders to ankles in their stool? Your nursing buds.

What about when your patient goes into v-fib (ventricular fibrillation), and you need someone to relief on chest compressions? Your rock star nurse friends are there to lend a hand or two.

Or what about when you are scrubbing into a C-section for the first time and you're kind of, sort of, secretly concerned you might get queasy or faint? Your nursing squad will remind you how tough you are. They'll assist you as quickly as possible and when you are finished washing your hands a thousand times, they'll make you laugh or smile. They'll always be there to help you with dignity, support, love, and encouragement.

Your nursing friends know which supply closet you go hide in when you are about to lose it or when class is so long it's giving you a headache so they pass you some Tylenol. Nursing friends are the backbone of your nursing school experience. I always love it that whenever I need hand sanitizer, Tylenol/Advil/Motrin or even a Band-Aid, someone always has it.

Even if you don't talk every day, or you take different class times, there is always someone waving hello or asking how you're holding up. You are all so different, but at the same time, you feel like you're surrounded by so many who are just like you. They care as much as you do. They love as much as you do. And the best part? They just love you. Even on your worst days. There will be times when you trip up on the easy stuff you know that you know, but they'll be there with open arms telling you about when they were in the same place. They are the ones who “fight in the trenches" with you. They'll carry you when you can't keep going, and you'll do the same. No woman or man left behind.

Nursing friends are incredible lifelong blessings. So, remember to thank them every once in a while. Keep cheering each other on, keep fighting together and keep reminding each other that the end goal is closer than it seems.

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Cagle

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Every Girl Who’s Ever Tried On Jeans Knows Thick Calves Are Just Problematic As Thick Thighs

They're arguably WORSE.

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I understand the issues with thick thighs. Your pants split at the seams, wear down between the thighs due to rubbing, and when summertime comes, the chafing can be so bad it can result in rashes (life hack: spray deodorant works great to prevent this!). Not to mention the struggle of finding shorts that don't cut off the circulation to the rest of your legs. I don't have the thickest of thighs, but I'd say that in proportion to the rest of my body, they're a decent size.

The issue I want to talk about, though, is thick calves. As a girl, I would argue this is an even bigger problem than thick thighs, at least at times. Don't agree? Let me shed some light on my situation.

One of the biggest issues that come to mind when I think about my thick calves is finding jeans (or pants in general) that fit properly. I hate jeans, I think they're very uncomfortable, and I've realized that my body proportions play a big role in this opinion. I prefer skinny jeans to any other style and I wear a size 5, which is the same size both of my older sisters wear.

If you know all three of us, you know that we have similarities in our body types, but we also have very different bodies. My oldest sister is shorter than me but has wider hips than I do. My middle sister is taller than me and has wider hips than I do. It doesn't make sense that I would wear the same size, does it?

This could have to do with the sizing system of women's clothing, which is a whole other article I could write, but it largely comes down to this: If the pants don't fit past my calves, I cannot wear them. Period. If I force it, they end up being the most uncomfortable things ever, not allowing me to even bend my knees due to the tightness of the fabric on my legs. Taking off jeans that are too small means you pretty much have to turn them inside out to do it, which gets frustrating.

So the simple solution is to just go up a size. The issue I then might face is finding pants that fit over my calves comfortably, but then are too loose around the waist because I don't have very wide hips. The simple solution then? Wear leggings and sweatpants in colder weather and skirts or dresses in warmer weather...

I have four years of marching band to thank for the thickness of my calves. Not to mention my adoration of high heels (I wore them a lot in high school, alright?) But when all is said and done, I would much rather have my toned legs than thin, potentially fragile legs (not that there's anything wrong with that either, bodies are built differently and I fully understand that!). I don't have a very feminine body to begin with (narrow hips, small chest, minimal curves), so it's actually really great to have nice legs because then I have something to feel good about.

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