The Week Of A Stay-At-Home Spring Breaker

The Week Of A Stay-At-Home Spring Breaker

Then the most rational thought that you have had in while comes to light – “what if I just quit college and live here with my family??”

Spring break is a saving grace. It happens just after midterm exams to give you some well-deserved rest and the opportunity to restart. A lot of people travel somewhere with their friends or family. They expose themselves to new places and people that they will never forget.

Yet, there are also those who just want to have a calm vacation at home. I am one of those people. For those who haven't experienced a 'staycation', it may sound boring. In order to help you understand how eventful our spring break will be, I have written a little bit about what each day could hold for you.

As for my fellow stay-cationers, our break is usually not eventful enough to post on social media so it feels like we are alone. This daily schedule may seem familiar to you, because we all are going through it, too.


You are finally free from classes. You know your brain has already started its vacation and you can’t wait to join it! Hopefully, you are heading home and don’t have to wait a minute longer to be free of all the stress that your campus brings you. If you have a pet waiting for you at home, you anticipate the moment you get to see your excited animal welcome you. An entire week of relaxing, recuperating, and having time to yourself awaits you. Or so you think…


You (hopefully) slept in and realize it’s already past noon. The panic sets in for a split second that you missed your first class, but you quickly remember that you are on break and safe at home. The classes can’t hurt you here. It’s like you are your academic responsibilities are constantly playing tag, and they are much faster than you. Luckily, before the game began, you declared home to be the safe zone where you can catch your breath after running a while. But you know for a fact that they are "babysitting" and ready to get you the second you let your guard down.


A much more relaxing day comes as your body and mind start feeling the relaxation of just spending time with your family and friends from home. You finally have the opportunity to do what you want to do. So, you start making plans to get together with everyone that you miss. Whether you haven’t seen them in months or two days, the excitement is the same. But here is the best part of being home - you get to eat your first real home-cooked meal since the last time you were home... whenever that was. You get to catch up with your family; which will make you realize just how long you were away.


The first weekday of break often feels strange. If you have siblings, they may not have the same break as you. By the time you wake up, they will already be in their classes. If your parents work, they won’t be home either. You are going to feel this urge to be responsible and productive, but you have to decide whether you are going to act on it or not. Of course, there are a lot of pros to getting things done, but it’s your break! Especially since break is a noun meaning “a pause in work” – enough said.


By now, you have probably adjusted to being off campus and in a more familiar setting. The familiar smells, sounds, and sights have put you in a state of ease. Another day to spend in paradise. Binge watch Netflix? I think yes. By now, you have also probably been scrolling through social media out of boredom. Be warned - it will feel like all you are seeing is pictures of people on the beach and in swimsuits. But keep in mind that a sofa is ten times more comfortable than sand. AND there are plenty of puppy accounts to follow and break up your feed with some cuteness. :)


It's hump day!! Today, you begin thinking about ways you can be productive without stress. You could read a book that you normally wouldn’t have the time to. Maybe you can begin a healthier lifestyle by exercising and eating better. All of a sudden, you feel happy and optimistic about where your life is headed.


Then it hits you: you only have three more days before you are back at school. Panic sets in and you finally open your backpack. As you cringe at the pages staring at you, you start to plan what all you must get done before you return. Do you need to catch up? Do you need to study for upcoming exams? Can you get ahead in your classes? All of these questions and more pop into your head. Your brain and body just wants to go back to that nice, carefree state of mind.


This is the moment you realize that you let your guard down. Your stress has been waiting for you to leave the safe zone, but you forgot that you can't stay forever. When classes are in session, Friday is the day you look forward to. During break? It's a day of dreading what is to come.


Last full day at home. Your stress hits you hard. It could reveal itself through crying, being overly frustrated, etc. Your fight-or-flight response kicks in. Then the most rational thought that you have had in while comes to light – “what if I just quit college and live here with my family??” Everything would be perfect. If you vocalize your brilliant idea, your parents will say no. “Can I just lock myself in my room and never leave? Please?


Before you know it, your break is over. You’re back where you started. Anxiety at an all-time high and your sanity diminished. It was peaceful while it lasted, but were you ever truly calm? It’s back to the grind. Maybe the next break will feel longer…

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.


To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.


The nursing student with just one year left.

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.


I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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