I'm The Girl Who Goes Home Every Weekend 2.0

I'm The Girl Who Goes Home Every Weekend 2.0

So this topic is no longer debatable with me because I will tell you how wrong you are for shooting down my journey of going home every weekend.
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Last year was my freshman year and yes, even though I live two hours away from my college I went home every weekend. I wrote an article about why I went home last year. Personally, I do not care if you think that college is meant for independence, parties, making friends and living on your own because let me enlighten you.

Independence is a key factor in life, and yes, I go home every weekend but that doesn't make me less independent. In fact, I'm just as independent here at college as I am at home. I do things for myself and pay for my own things. I do not rely on my parents for that stuff because I am capable of doing it on my own, I will be 20 years old in October of this year. I have always been independent since high school.

Also, I did not come to college to party. I would never pay 14,000 dollars a year just to party, if anything, that is insane. I came to college to get an education and to learn. I feel like that should be the goal when signing up to go to college. I have never been a party person either so that is just out of my element. Quite frankly, that is all college kids do on the weekends is party.

Making friends in college is actually an important part but people seem to think that just because I go home on the weekends I cannot make friends. This is absolutely false, I can make friends during the week.

There is just enough time to make friends on a week day just as there is on the weekends. Leaving to go home on the weekends does not cause you to miss anything except parties, if you are one of those people.

Living on your own is the college experience and it's great at times. But sometimes it gets boring because it is really just you and your roommate. Going home there are more people around and more people to talk to.

There is always something to do and something that needs to be done. Going home every weekend still does not take away from the "living on your own" experience. I get that experience during the week, where I also take care of my responsibilities as a college student. I have my whole life to "live on my own" and at this time I do not choose to "live on my own" on the weekends here at college.

So here is the scoop, I do not think you should be able to tell me that I should not go home because I am missing out on the independent factor, making friends and living on my own while being in college. I balance my life out to where my family plays a big part and my schooling to get me further in life is the other big part.

It is truly the best of both worlds and I would not trade it for the anything. So this topic is no longer debatable with me because I will tell you how wrong you are for shooting down my journey of going home every weekend.

It's my life, not yours.

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Lynn

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5 Things I Learned While Being A CNA

It's more than just $10 an hour. It is priceless.
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If I asked you to wipe someone's butt for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to give a shower to a blind, mentally confused person for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to simply wear a shirt stained with feces that was not your own for 12+ hours for $10 would you do it?

You probably wouldn't do it. I do it every day. During the course of one hour I change diapers, give showers to those who can no longer bathe themselves, feed mouths that sometimes can no longer speak and show love to some that do not even know I am there all for ten dollars.

I am a certified nursing assistant.

My experiences while working as a CNA have made me realize a few things that I believe every person should consider, especially those that are in the medical field.

1. The World Needs More People To Care

Working as a nursing assistant is not my only source of income. For the past year I have also worked as a waitress. There are nights that I make triple the amount while working as a waitress for 6 hours than I make while taking care of several lives during a 12 hour shift. Don't get me wrong, being a waitress is not a piece of cake. I do, however, find it upsetting that people care more about the quality of their food than the quality of care that human beings are receiving. I think the problem with the world is that we need to care more or more people need to start caring.

2. I Would Do This Job For Free

One of my teachers in high school said "I love my job so much, if I didn't have to pay bills, I would do it for free." I had no clue what this guy was talking about. He would work for free? He would teach drama filled, immature high school students for free? He's crazy.

I thought he was crazy until I became a CNA. Now I can honestly say that this is a job I would do for free. I would do it for free? I'd wipe butts for free? I must be crazy.

There is a very common misconception that I am just a butt-wiper, but I am more than that. I save lives!

Every night I walk into work with a smile on my face at 5:00 PM, and I leave with a grin plastered on my face from ear to ear every morning at 5:30 AM. These people are not just patients, they are my family. I am the last face they see at night and the first one they talk to in the morning.

3. Eat Dessert First

Eat your dessert first. My biggest pet peeve is when I hear another CNA yell at another human being as if they are being scolded. One day I witnessed a co-worker take away a resident's ice cream, because they insisted the resident needed to "get their protein."

Although that may be true, we are here to take care of the patients because they can't do it themselves. Residents do not pay thousands of dollars each month to be treated as if they are pests. Our ninety-year-old patients do not need to be treated as children. Our job is not to boss our patients around.

This might be their last damn meal and you stole their ice cream and forced them to eat a tasteless cafeteria puree.

Since that day I have chosen to eat desserts first when I go out to eat. The next second of my life is not promised. Yes, I would rather consume an entire dessert by myself and be too full to finish my main course, than to eat my pasta and say something along the lines of "No, I'll pass on cheesecake. I'll take the check."

A bowl of ice cream is not going to decrease the length of anyone's life any more than a ham sandwich is going to increase the length of anyone's life. Therefore, I give my patients their dessert first.

4. Life Goes On

This phrase is simply a phrase until life experience gives it a real meaning. If you and your boyfriend break up or you get a bad grade on a test life will still continue. Life goes on.

As a health care professional you make memories and bonds with patients and residents. This summer a resident that I was close to was slowly slipping away. I knew, the nurses knew and the family knew. Just because you know doesn't mean that you're ready. I tried my best to fit in a quick lunch break and even though I rushed to get back, I was too late. The nurse asked me to fulfill my duty to carry on with post-mortem care. My eyes were filled with tears as I gathered my supplies to perform the routine bed bath. I brushed their hair one last time, closed their eye lids and talked to them while cleansing their still lifeless body. Through the entire process I talked and explained what I was doing as I would if my patient were still living.

That night changed my life.

How could they be gone just like that? I tried to collect my thoughts for a moment. I broke down for a second before *ding* my next call. I didn't have a moment to break down, because life goes on.

So, I walked into my next residents room and laughed and joked with them as I normally would. I put on a smile and I probably gave more hugs that night than I normally do.

That night I learned something. Life goes on, no matter how bad you want it to just slow down. Never take anything for granted.

5. My Patients Give My Life Meaning

My residents gave my life a new meaning. I will never forget the day I worked twelve hours and the person that was supposed to come in for me never showed up. I needed coffee, rest, breakfast or preferably all of the above. I recall feeling exasperated and now I regret slightly pondering to myself "Should I really be spending my summer like this?" Something happened that changed my view on life completely. I walked into a resident's room and said "Don't worry it's not Thursday yet", since I had told her on that Tuesday morning that she wouldn't see me until I worked again on Thursday. She laughed and exclaimed "I didn't think so, but I didn't want to say anything," she chuckled and then she smiled at me again before she said, "Well... I am glad you're still here." The look on her face did nothing less than prove her words to be true. That's when I realized that I was right where I needed to be.

Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, I needed caffeine or a sufficient amount of sleep. My job is not just a job. My work is not for a paycheck. My residents mean more to me than any amount of money.

I don't mind doing what I do for $10; because you can't put a price on love. The memories that I have with my patients are priceless.


Cover Image Credit: Mackenzie Rogers

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Things To Do When You Need A Break From Stu-DYING

You've been rereading that paragraph for the past five minutes and your eyes are glazed over, it's time to put down the textbook.

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College students are kind of known for having lots of homework. Sure, we spend a lot less time actually in class, but all the extra free time we usually get sucked into our studies. But it's important to make time to relax and take care of yourself too.

So, here are some activities to do when you've been studying excessively and really need a break:

1. Take A Nap. 

Your eyes are burning because you've been staring at that book or computer screen for the past three hours. Don't sleep the whole day away, but a one hour nap is a really great way to recharge.

2. Find A Show To Get Lost In. 

When your brain has been working like crazy to process all the information you're studying, it can be nice to take a break by watching some TV! Lately, I've been enjoying watching the Marvel shows on Netflix, but the past few days have been spent watching "America's Next Top Model." Just turn on the show and let your brain rest for a bit!

3. Get A Snack. 

Chances are if you've been studying for a long time, you probably haven't eaten in a while, so take the time to stop and grab a snack! Try not to go for something super sugary, but something that actually has the protein to get you through the rest of your studying session!

4. Take A Shower. 

Studying can make you really tense, so taking a shower is a really good chance to relax! Just be warned that it might make you a little sleepy.

5. Listen To Some Music. 

Like watching TV, listening to some music can be a great way to just let your brain chill out for a few minutes instead of having to focus on something.

6. Take A Walk. 

You don't necessarily have to go outside, especially if it's raining, but even just walking around in a hallway helps get the blood flowing and will help you feel more revitalized!

7. Meditate. 

Meditating can be a really great way to reorient your mind and get your focus back, and there are lots of options out there! There are tons of free apps and websites you can use, but I like using Headspace because they have meditations specifically meant for students!

8. Call Your Mom. 

I don't know about you guys, but when I'm really stressed, hearing my mom's voice can really help me out, especially when I'm really missing home.

9. Get Out Of The House!

If you've been studying for a really long time, it can be easy to get a little sick of your surroundings. So you could go run an errand, or even just go for a quick drive. Anything that just gives you a change of pace!

10. Focus On One Of Your Hobbies. 

This is a dangerous one because it can be ridiculously easy to just give up on studying and keep going on with your hobby, so don't do that! But it's definitely okay to take the time to do an activity that you really enjoy doing, just make sure you do go back to studying if you need to.

11. Look For Some Memes Or Funny YouTube Videos. 

Honestly, sometimes we all just really need a laugh, and it can definitely help lower the stress levels. So by all means, look for the memes!

12. Grab Yourself Some Caffeine. 

If you're feeling really low in energy and you just need a little pick-me-up to get you through the rest of your studying, go grab some tea or coffee! The little bit of caffeine will give you just enough of a boost to power on through!

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