Thoughts After Finals Put Into Words

Thoughts After Finals Put Into Words

It can be easily described with a meme, but have you ever thought about how it really feels?
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Finals week of college can be incredibly daunting. The pain you endure is almost indescribable sometimes. It can be shown through pictures. It can be shown through videos. Yet, have you ever really thought of how you feel after taking a final in words? Maybe Katy Perry said it best in her song, Firework. "Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?" Or, maybe there is a better way to describe this sensation.

The feeling of finishing a final can feel like the last day of being sick. Suddenly your stomach stops hurting, your sinuses clear up, and coughing stops being so powerful. It feels good to be done with one final; almost like night and day.

Yet, what if you still have another final after? Instead of feeling relief, it's almost as if you feel the slightest relief of pressure. It's kind of like when you have wanted food all day and get that first bite of pasta or a taco (whichever you prefer). You feel relieved yet not totally satisfied. It is almost as if your friends let you take the first bite then dump your spaghetti on the floor. That's when you go back to your room to lock yourself down within the books and study just all night long.

The feeling after your last final is magical. It can be similar to the feeling of getting home at night. You go up to your room, take off your shirt, take off your pants, also alas: the best part. You get to take off your bra. After that annoying mechanism being attached to your body all day, you finally get to just throw it on the ground for good. Then, you get to slip into your pajamas, turn on Netflix, and enjoy your Christmas break that you earned after a stressful finals week.

Cover Image Credit: Bartacademy

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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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4 Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd In College And Why You Should Try To

Think your large class size is an excuse for you to not stand out to your professor? Think again.

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Many have the perspective that college means survival. Attending class, finishing homework and paying the bills is about all you can handle. In a sea of students, most are experiencing the same struggles and you can easily fade into the crowd.

In reality, college is a time of unique opportunities and resources. Yet some students don't realize what's at their disposal. Transitioning from a high school to a university campus is a shock and this change of venue contributes to the feeling of invisibility.

To build a beneficial foundation and optimize this experience, remember that standing apart from the rest is crucial.

Making yourself noticeable may seem risky but it's in your best interest for your future. As you gain recognition from your professors and peers, you're establishing a positive reputation, showing your potential and growing in your field of study.

Your first point of contact, your professor, is a key player in your career efforts.

When you've made a connection, they'll be more likely to write convincing recommendation letters for you and give you input on how to excel in your profession.

Your peers are also vital, as they'll be your colleagues or at least part of your network after you graduate. Strong connections with other competent people can open up doors later on and help you reach your goals. When you graduate, interviews for internships and positions will put you in the spotlight.

The workplace will inevitably place pressure on you to perform well and confidently interact with others but according to McGraw-Hill Education's Future Workforce Survey, just four in 10 American college students feel sufficiently prepared for their chosen careers.

To take your career seriously now and correctly position yourself, you can engage in the classroom and increase your chances at advancement.

Check out the following four ways to stand out from the crowd in your classes or as you start your first job.

1. Get some one-on-one time in office hours

Especially in massive lecture classes, your professor won't be able to identify you from the other 200 faces. You could go the entire semester without saying hello and they wouldn't know the difference. But even the largest classes offer an opportunity for face-to-face time — office hours.

A significant portion of college students don't stop by their professor's office during the posted hours but to stand out, you can take the time to introduce yourself to them and carry on a conversation.

Many university professors, including those at Harvard, find office hours useful in gauging the understanding of the class and getting to know students. Before you leave college to enter the real world, you should know the value of personal connections and people skills.

2. Participate in class discussions

During classes, you may find it intimidating to speak up with so many eyes on you. But answering or posing questions to engage in the topic shows your interest and curiosity. Once you chime into a discussion, you'll start to cultivate your communication skills and hold the attention of the room.

Asserting yourself as a leader is a reliable way to set yourself apart. Your presence in a big classroom or organization can substantially influence people. Present deliberate and persuasive qualities in large groups to develop an authoritative air.

Practice exerting confidence and steering class discussions and it will be difficult for others to ignore you. Try to contribute thoughtful observations rather than simply throwing out comments but push past the fear of being wrong or making a mistake.

3. Sit in the front of the room

Who you're friends with somewhat depends on who you encounter on a regular basis. It's easy to form relationships with people you run into often.

This idea — what some refer to as the proximity principle — means that location can help you draw attention if you use the right strategy. In class or at a new job, place yourself in your professor or boss' line of sight. Taking a front and center seat increases the possibility that you'll make a worthwhile connection.

Also, a front-row seat can benefit your education, as it eliminates distractions and allows you to listen attentively. According to a study on physics students, the students' grades were connected to their distance from the front of the room, showing a link between seat location and learning. Pick a prime seat to boost your knowledge and create a familiar, professional relationship with your professor.

4. Practice engaged and attentive body language

As you attend class, exhibit dedication and alert behavior. Keep detailed notes as you listen to the professor but attempt as much eye contact as possible too. Professors pick up on which students are listening and expending effort.

Displaying responsibility and concentration while your classmates scroll through social media timelines can impress your professor. Respect your instructor's time by tuning into class and you can reap the rewards of your investment.

You can create your own review material during class with valuable note-taking techniques. With a better handle on the information, you can improve your performance and demonstrate that you care about learning.

Set yourself apart.

Standing out means you're not forgettable or easy to overlook, which can enrich your career after you graduate. Start bolstering your foundation so that you can succeed in your field with the right connections.

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