The Sometimes-Scary Truth Of Your First Semester Of College

The Sometimes-Scary Truth Of Your First Semester Of College

College is a mess, but it's the best mess.

The day is finally here. You wake up before the sun has even peaked, pack up your whole life into a car (or three cars if you're like me.) The drive is nerve-racking. You spend hours with your mom decorating your new home and the excitement is unreal. Then comes the goodbyes, and everything you've ever known for 18 years drives off & suddenly, you're just standing there all alone in a completely new world.

Scary? I know it was for me. I'm a little over two months in on this new chapter and I have already learned so much, so here it goes:

1. You're going to fail a few times.

If you're anything like me, high school was a breeze. There wasn't that much studying and you made easy As. Now, I will stay up all night studying for a test just to make a 60% on it. Obviously, we shouldn't be comfortable with that, working hard is important because you do have to pass to stay here. I'm just here to say that you're not alone, most of us are on that same struggle bus and for those few who can make all As in college.. you are a superstar and could you please teach me your ways. College is hard, and we are not perfect, it's OK to mess up.

2. FOMO is too real.

Who remembers being grounded in high school and having to miss out on a Friday night with friends, it was rough right? Well now, there is no such thing as being grounded. We're "adults" and can come and go as we please. It's now my decision if I'm going to stay in and study for a test or if I'm going to go out with my friends instead. The fear of missing out has increased tremendously. At least at home it was the "Ugh, my parents said no," and now it's on me to decide when I should go out or not. It's a struggle because there's always something going on. My advice, find the balance. If you know you're not missing out on t-shirt Tuesday at Rounders, then make Monday a study day. Sometimes you're going to be responsible and sometimes you're not. But hey, it's college.

3. Don't forget about your Faith.

It's so, so easy to come to college and not keep God in your life as much. At home, we're kind of spoon fed the gospel; church on Sundays, praying before meals, the dos & don'ts... but now we're on our own and it's on us if we're going to keep God as a center of our lives. I challenge everyone reading this to take one step to greater your faith. Whether for you that's just getting back in the habit of praying at night, not sleeping in on a Sunday and going to church or taking that extra step and joining a small group. I'm not a perfect Christian by any means, I mess up, I stray away, but I always keep Him in my heart and do what I can to better myself.

4. Call your mom.

I thought this would be a good note to end on because I think we all can relate; she misses you. Whether you just left home or you've been gone for a few years, she still misses you. I call my mom at least every other day to fill her in on all the latest gossip, drama, or the occasional mental breakdowns when I am just not capable of staying in college any longer and should probably drop out. (Yes, I have been told I am a bit dramatic.) Don't forget about the ones who love you from home while you're out living your new life!

I love UA. I love the people I surround myself with and I can't wait to see what the rest of my time here will hold. To everyone in the same boat as me, I think we can all agree that college is a mess, but it's the best mess. Hang in there, y'all, you got this!

With love,

Taylor Thompson

Cover Image Credit: Taylor Thompson

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10 Reasons Working As A CNA Has Been So Rewarding

I am so thankful for the experiences I have each day I work as a certified nursing assistant.

1. Bonds

I have heard so many stories, learned life lessons, and stepped into many different roles. As a caretaker, before you know it your family seems a lot larger.

2. Rewarding

Knowing that I am offering the best care possible, I sleep well at night knowing my residents are well looked after. I have the blessing of getting know each resident, their families, and their other caretakers. Constantly looking out for my residents' best interests, safety, respect, and health- I feel rewarded for having the honor of looking after such deserving people.

3. Experience

As an aspiring physician's assistant (pre-med student), gaining hours upon hours of experience in the setting of a nursing home or hospital look GREAT on applications. Most medical programs require an extensive amount of hours of direct patient care. Thankfully I am earning these hours while also being paid.

4. Connections

Working alongside nurses, doctors, therapists, etc. allows me to make many beneficial professional connections. Not to mention, their advice is SO helpful. Finding where you want to end up in the medical field is challenging, as there are so many options. Narrowing those options to what best suits you is a fun journey.

5. Staying Fit

Being a certified nursing assistant is a VERY physical job. Feeding, bathing, transferring, etc. residents takes a large toll on the body. However, I generally obtain at least 11,000 steps just within one 8 hour shift (reaching the 10,000 step daily goal). Gaining muscle is not something I ever thought I would experience, however it comes along with the job.

6. Knowledge

I have the opportunity to learn on the job every single day. Learning to recognize symptoms of various different health conditions, the process of treating those conditions, and the plan of recovery for each condition. A good amount of the residents generally have a chronic health condition, ranging from diabetes to chronic pain. Paying attention to prognosis, diagnosis, symptoms, etc. I recognize patterns in people outside of the nursing home. Knowledge is such a powerful tool.

7. Preparation for the Future

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10. Peaceful Goodbyes

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