All Aboard The NaNo Express!

All Aboard The NaNo Express!

The REAL Best Time of the Year, Explained

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Disclaimer: This post is tailored more to non-writers, but writers should read this as well! Also look for more updates for NaNoWriMo! NaNo is basically the best time of the year for me. Even though I write throughout the year, having an entire month dedicated to it is a beautiful time. It puts a deadline in my face and gives me something to look forward to. It also makes me think and plan ahead because I only have 30 days for the actual writing of my story.


If you're reading this and you've never heard of Nano, I'm sorry. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is exactly that. The entire month of November is dedicated to writing a novel. Wait, before you run in terror, take a second to listen! It's not as scary as it sounds. At its core, NaNo is a month where you set a goal, and make time to achieve it. Typically the goal is 50,000 words, but you can set it wherever you think is right for you. You're also not writing a final draft, so the point is to ignore your mistakes (if they bother you, make some notes on what to fix), and push through. It's difficult, but you'll feel great (and a little exhausted) at the end, even if you don't make your goal.


Nano is beneficial for everyone, even if you're not a technical "writer." The novel can be set your favorite genre, fictional or real. This international event helps further existing skills that are necessary in all aspects of your life. Creativity, grammar, and functioning under pressure are all skills that are furthered through this experience. Participating in this can help you discover a passion you wouldn't have realized before, and open opportunities you didn't know about.


You, a 'nonwriter,' are probably asking yourself 'why?'. "Why should I stick this unnecessary book into my busy schedule?" I'll tell you why. Nano is a much more rewarding experience that people give it credit for. Besides coming out with an amazing and unique document, you also come out more creative and more capable of working under pressure. After nano is over, I get a ton of ideas for a second/third book, or a short story, or even a completely new project! Creativity is something that we lose more and more as we get older, and face "the real world." Nano is a good place to earn some of it back. You're no longer restrained to society's rules. You're no longer restrained to the laws of what's possible! You're no longer restrained to the laws of physics, even! Nano helps regain creativity because you don't think about what can be done. If you're writing this story for yourself, you can make it crazy, disconnected, and just the story you want. Without an audience, it's up to you, and what you want. You'll get more and more creative throughout the month, as your writing skills develop, and you start getting deeper into your story.
Now, it's the how. How do I sign up? How do I actually write a novel in a month? How do I protect my mind from snapping like a twig when I'm scribbling away at four in the morning? Well, to sign up, you can either go online to campnanowrimo.org and make an account. Next, you "announce" your novel and set it up. The website administrators put you in a virtual cabin with others like a support group. You can get inspiration from them, chapter title ideas, even proofreading. If you don't like this method, check out your library, it may have an adult or teen level NaNoWriMo 'club', which will do the same thing as the virtual camp, only in the real world. There's also the choice where you can do it solo, writing on your own, but I find it helpful to write in a group, as they challenge you to stick with your schedule.


Writing the actual novel is not as intimidating as it sounds, though there are times that you may want to quit. When you've hit a block and can't come up with ideas, or when you're novel isn't looking as good as you thought, or even when your sleep deprivation is catching up to you (ignore all of the above until after nano). I'll be here throughout the month, posting updates and strategies every week in November. I'll also be posting prep tips, problems writers encounter, and how to overcome them, as well as answering any questions you might have (Send questions to TheMidnightWriter@gmail.com). Other people aren't going to write your story. That's up to you. Go. Write. Conquer.

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23 Actual Quotes From Nursing Students

Behind the scenes at clinicals.
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Many nursing students actively complain about the tortures of nursing school, but those on the outside may not know how stressful it is. Here are 23 fun quotes from actual nursing students that can give you an idea of what nursing school is really like:

1. "If I died and went to hell, it would take me a week to realize that I wasn't in nursing school anymore."

2. "My GPA is higher than the number of hours I sleep at night."

3. "Is it weird that I love nursing school, but it also makes me want to cry at the same time?"

4. "Can't I just learn everything I need to know from watching Grey's Anatomy?"

5. "I laid my practice catheter on my bed to scare away my roommate's boyfriend."

6. "My clinical badge picture actually makes me look like I am a serial killer."

7. "We are literally a cult, guys. We wear the same things and in order to be a nursing student, you have to pass certain tests that involve manipulating body parts and such."

8. "We only worked 12 hours on our 12-hour shift! This is a miracle."

9. "Wouldn't that be cool if we initiated IV bags full of Starbucks coffee into each other's bloodstreams?"

10. "Are you a pulmonary embolism? Because you make me breathless."

11. "I am never getting married because I stopped talking to boys when I entered nursing school."

12. "Everyone else gets to go out, go to the bars, go on dates, work out, go to the lake, but I am just sitting here trying to pass nursing school."

13. *Holds up blank piece of paper* "This is a picture of my current social life."

14. "I just want it to be the weekend so I can have free time to work on homework."

15. "For our tests, all the answers are correct. You just have to pick the BEST answer."

16. "All I want for my birthday is a lavender stethoscope with my name engraved on the bell."

17. "On a pain scale from 1-10, I would say that nursing school is a solid 11."

18. "Do these scrubs make me look fat?"

18. "I love the pockets on our scrubs! You can literally hold anything and everything. Maybe even a puppy so that you can take it out when you start to feel sad."

19. "It is really sad how I refer to life outside of nursing school as 'real life.'"

20. "Finals week is literally every week in nursing school. We haven't gone a week without a major test this entire semester."

21. "People only respect me when I am wearing scrubs."

22. "I have my friend groups clumped into two different groups: sorority friends and nursing friends."

23. "How is school going? Yeah, nursing school sucks, but it is so worth it."

Although a lot of these quotes seem to be negative, you need to remember that it is easier to complain about the bad than it is to praise about the good. Nursing school is pretty time-consuming, as well as mentally and physically exhausting, but I would not trade it for any other major. I am blessed to call myself a nursing student, and my nursing friends have turned into one of the biggest support systems that I have ever encountered.

Oh, and all these quotes are actually quotes from me, ha.

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Education Is More Than What You Learn In The Classroom

You're so much more than your grades.

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We have a huge tendency in Western society to completely judge our self-worth based on our grades. As a sophomore in college, I can tell you that I definitely feel the pressure to maintain a perfect GPA and get As on every test. And while rationally, I know that one B wouldn't be the end of the world, I, like most college students, am conditioned to feel like I am inferior if my grades aren't in a certain percentile. Our learning is measured on a scale from 0-100%, which totally negates the majority of learning.

The most important things we learn aren't in the classroom.

That's right. For all our colleges' advertising and marketing slogans about how they are preparing students for the real world, they forget the most important part: we learn to be who we will become for the rest of our lives by making our own space and coming into our identity due to the world around us, not the tiny microcosm that is our classroom.

Invaluable experiences like travel, trying new things, "adulting," laughing and even reading books are much more educational than we would ever realize.

I've often complained that my high school and college don't offer classes on how to do your taxes, or do laundry or how to change a tire. But what I've realized is just because it isn't offered in the conventional atmosphere doesn't mean it isn't important to learn and doesn't mean I can't learn it on my own.

Teaching yourself is just as important as being taught.

Taking charge of your own education is something that advisors and parents often preach, but not necessarily in the way I mean. I'm not talking about getting yourself a tutor or going to supplemental help, I'm talking about learning the things you want to learn, regardless of whether you can take it in a classroom.

Like the main character in my absolute favorite movie, "Good Will Hunting," says, "You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library." While this is definitely an exaggeration and a college degree is by no means a waste of money, he does have a point. If you rely on professors and powerpoint presentations to provide your entire learning experience, you'll seriously miss out.

Studying every day isn't the way to learn.

So if it comes down to an extra hour of hitting the books or having those spontaneous life experiences and college adventures, always pick the adventure! In the end, you won't remember every single exam you took and what percentage you got, you'll remember the road trips, the nights you spent wheezing with laughter and the time spent making friends who will last a lifetime.

The stories you tell your kids and grandkids are more of an education than hours spent in a lecture hall. If you become the best and most educated person you can be of your own efforts, your grades will follow. And even more importantly, you'll realize that the little letters and numbers on a transcript don't mean much after all.

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