It's hard sitting around trying to think of things to do. It's even harder when I am stuck on the Eastern Shore in BFE. The only thing to do around here is eat, which also happens to be the one thing I can't do.
So I thought I'd take the time to reflect on what I've learned this semester, and how far I still have to go.
1. Time management is key. Get a planner. Your life is mapped out for you and the only possible way to stay on top of school is to know exactly when things are due, how many are due in one day, and how many will be due but which the professor won't ever mention again. Keeping up with what was due was the main way I reduced stress. I was constantly busy and overwhelmed, but I always knew what I had to do so nothing was a surprise. Also, I never left anything until the last minute - which was a huge change for me. I love to procrastinate, but it just isn't possible in an accelerated nursing program.
2. Be an overachiever, at least at first. Try to get the best grades possible on the first round of tests. If that means studying every spare minute you have leading up to the test, do it. The grades you get on the first test help determine what your grades will be in the class, and it's tough to swing an A or B if you're trying to recover from a poor first test. Also, finals are stressful enough without having to worry about passing. If you work hard throughout the semester, it will pay off.
3. Social lives don't exist. Get over it. Sure, I have friends in school and we spend a lot of time together. But much of that time is spent discussing nursing or studying. The local bar on Thirsty Thursday? Not happening. The campus club you've been in? Can't go. It sucks that I don't get to hang with friends as often as I'd like. But I know that sacrificing 18 months of social life will make me a nurse. That payoff is well worth it. Besides, I do fun things occasionally - just not on an every week basis. How do I squeeze in fun stuff in this hectic schedule? Time management!
4. Love what you are doing. No matter how many ridiculous care plans, busy work assignments, weekly quizzes, exams, study sessions, movie assignments and skills checkoffs you have to do, remember one thing - you'll be a nurse when it's all over. This semester is over and I realize that all the hard work I put into is has paid off. I retain information, I know how to study, I critically think, and I've learned skills. I still have a long ways to go but I'm making progress and I'm loving every second of it. I can't wait to be a nurse!
*This blog post is not written very well. But cut me some slack, because I am on pain meds and I'm having trouble concentrating on this computer screen right now. CNS sedation? It's true.