Why Being A Student Is One of the Hardest Things You Can Be

Why Being A Student Is One of the Hardest Things You Can Be

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For everyone who has ever been a student, you know how hard it is to be one. You are always trying to prove yourself to people who know more about a subject than you do. There is the relentless evaluation and testing of how well you know something you might not even care about, the pop quizzes on the reading you accidentally procrastinated on because you were busy with every other class you were in, and the not-so-kind teachers who hated you for no reason at all.

Its the hardest job in the world. You have to understand, and learn, and learn how you learn, to get the best grade in the class that you can get. Even if this is your blow off or easy course, you still are in there being judged on how well you know what you consider to be complete garbage and a waste of time.

All those A.P. classes, all the summer school sessions, and all the 5.0 GPA honors, what are they really worth? All the extracurricular clubs, volunteering, sports, and a job, will those matter in the long run? Not at all. They were short-term goals to get into a college you wanted. Now that you're there, it's what you do at this university that matters for grad school. So it really didn't matter that you worked so hard for that "A" in Calculus, or that you had a high GPA sophomore year. That class rank won't even be noticed when that was a big worry for some of your friends freshman year.

Because 10 years down the road, will it matter what you got in your Visual Arts class your first year of college? Or your advanced writing class? It might have gotten you somewhere, but looking back on your college years, you are not going to be able to remember the exact point value you had in American Lit, or the Life102 test that you got a D on and were so frustrated about. These numbers mean so much to you right now. The sad thing is, they won't even matter a few years in the future. They might help you get to where you want to be, yes, but all the effort, consistency, and the all-nighters you pulled to get that good test score, won't even be on your mind.

It's a constant struggle to organize, keep up, and truly understand what you are being told you need to learn to be successful. The general education classes and so-called "required" courses aren't all going to be beneficial to you--whether that's for a career, a personal interest, or just to get an elective out of the way. Not every class you take will help you, not every score you get will affect you, and not every job offer you get you will want.

It's difficult to stay focused and determined when the odds are stacked against you, you hate the subject, or your teacher just doesn't understand that their way of teaching is not how you learn. Its a cruel cycle of lecturing, practicing, studying, and testing that "society" says we need. That "society" claims to be the only way to secure a job or have one near the field you're interested in is to get a college degree.

The idea of STEM has become a huge phenomenon in the education world. Science, technology, engineering, and math--those are the jobs that will be recession-proof, they are the "future" of the nation. Is that necessarily true? Is that something that you should additionally be "required" to learn when you have enough on your plate already? Maybe you just aren't a math person, or you don't ever want to be near chemistry labs, or you can't stand writing English papers. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so why are you being forced to prove yourself in other people's strengths? There will always be someone smarter than you, who has a better grade than you, and who is your competition. That doesn't make you want to learn that subject any more than you already have.

Being a student is a tough, demanding job. Hours of studying for every hour in class. A job to look good for a resume. Joining a club to look well-rounded. Not to say that some of it isn't fun, but you will constantly be taking trips on the struggle bus. The taxing repetitiveness of turning in one assignment after the other with no breaks from any class is exhausting work to get through. It never ends. There is always a due date quickly approaching, a research requirement to be fulfilled, and a big test coming up in your worst class.

For all the students out there: the night classes, the online courses, the studying abroad programs, the struggling freshman, the undecided majors, the seniors hunting for internships, and the graduates struggling to find jobs, the high school junior with straight C's, all and any students, know that you are one tough cookie, that you can do this, and that you can finish and graduate. You already know you have the hardest job in the world, so all those "careers" everyone else has gotten themselves are just a piece of cake compared to what you have done.


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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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