Why Nursing School Friends Are So Vital

Why Nursing School Friends Are So Vital

No pun intended.

When I started nursing school, I knew it would be difficult. I wasn’t naïve. 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 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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College Life: Getting a job to Survive or Suffer to get a job

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." -Confucius (Yeah Right.)

To work to pay your bills or to work to begin your career path? Although this is a question that haunts most working people, it's most obvious to the struggling college student.

Being a college student doesn't only mean stressing over papers or eating ramen noodles everyday, but also trying to find ways on how to make it day-to-day with the continuous increased cost of transportation, food, and essential (and sometimes not) products. And with being able to pay for all of these everyday needs comes the questions on how broken, tired, and often ready to give up students are going to be able to afford all of this. The answer seems simple: go find a job! Anywhere will do as long as you're still in school, still living under your parents roof, and if you have no desire to do anything beyond that job.

Oops, that last part slipped out, but now that we're talking about it, it's true. By no means do I mean that you can't find a rewarding job/career in a retail or customer service job, especially since they will most definitely help you pay your bills, but you will have spent all this time in college and, possibly, graduate school just to stay and end up in the same job that has been helping you pay your bills since day one of freshman year? This is the problem: it's ingrained in society and in our minds that to get a well-paying job in the field that we studied we have to get an internship (mostly unpaid or for credit), be able to show that we were busy by either volunteering and/or getting involved on-campus (again all unpaid for), and even going above and beyond with that one professor that you work so closely your work becomes an independent study (again unpaid for).

Do you see the pattern here? Everything that requires us to get a well-paying and rewarding job after four years of stress, contemplating dropping out, and the occasional hiding away from the world is UNPAID! Which, just to bring us full circle, means we can't pay for our everyday necessary things that, you know, only keeps us alive. (Insert sarcastic and obvious eye roll here).

There are so many memes about applying for an entry-level job but needing 6+ years of experience. That's one part of the job-market problem, but even if we're able to get that job that can pay enough, it usually takes a toll on our school and study time. Now, if you're that type of person that can ace an exam without studying or write a twenty-page research paper right before class, congrats. But that's not the case with most of the student spectrum, so what's your decision? Getting a job to be able to live or get a job that is going to add some spice to your resume?

My answer to that is I don't know. What are we supposed to do? When someone finds the answer please let me know! But in the mean time just hang in there. Figure out what your priorities are and what you can do to make sure you're still taking care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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What I Learned After My First Year Of Adulthood

I would lying if I said nothing has changed.

This month, I will be turning 19. I am no longer an adult novice nor yet an expert to adulthood. It is a time where I get to enjoy the last few drops of childhood and say "Hello world, it's Pareena Sharma".

You will always be able to find me watching Disney princess movies, singing "Let It Go", and studying to the soundtrack of every Pixar movie. But, there is no hiding it; I have my own credit card, a job, a car and I no longer have to put Mister or Miss before the name of every adult I encounter.

I have inevitably transitioned a lot this year. So during this time of reflection, I would like to share what I have learned about adulthood during my first year of being an official 'adult'.

1. You gotta toughen up and start calling the shots

When you were a kid, most likely other people were making decisions for you: what to eat, when to sleep, maybe even what to wear. It is easy to forget that you are the one calling the shots now and just follow along with others. But when you are an adult you gotta make decisions for yourself. You have to remember that your opinions are of value and that you and your health come before all else.

2. Take initiative, but be mindful of other ideas

As much as you should learn to take initiative for yourself, you should also learn how to mindfully consider other ideas. Being a young adult can be empowering and sometimes this empowerment can turn into stubbornness. One great part of becoming an adult is that people are willing to listen to you, and with that comes the responsibility of listening to others. If you come across a disagreement, rather than being determined to prove the other side wrong, open your mind to all the possibilities.

3. Respect is earned by how you carry yourself

After reaching adulthood you may find that people respect and notice you more. It feels fantastic when other adults consider your input and presence for a change. But do not give all the credit to your age. As you get older, it is not just the number you have been assigned that deems you this new street cred. It is the experiences you have gained and the actions you present that convey that you have reached true adulthood. People respond to how you carry yourself. So, be confident but not conceited. Be humble but not dismissive.

4. Mistakes are a-okay

This is a lesson I keep learning again and again. Mistakes, as cringe-worthy as they are, are not the end of the world even as an adult. Growing up is a messy process and there is no final grade or evaluation to worry about failing. So, go out and don't be afraid to make mistakes, they are a part of life. In the words of John Green, "The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions, that when taken together, make your life yours. And everything- EVERYTHING - will be on it"

5. There is no end to adulthood

Unlike your childhood, adulthood is seemingly endless. There are millions of types of adults at different places in life with different responsibilities. You may or may not feel like a true adult right now but as you get older your duties and role in life will change and expand. So, don't try to grow up too fast unless you really have to. Being a child is a luxury and you have your whole life to perfect the whole 'adulting' thing.

6. Everyone is a child at heart

Truthfully nobody asks to become an adult, it is just something that happens. Adulthood is liberating and exciting but is also a lot more complicated than being 'just a kid'. You will find that it is hard to outgrow things like being silly for no good reason and irresponsibly eating pounds of sugar. So do not be worried if you find yourself indulging in the simple pleasures of your childhood.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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