The Rocky Road of Nursing School
Behind the Scenes of a Nursing Major
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a clear image of what I wanted to be when I grew up. There was always a satisfying picture of the future in my head, doing what I love and being where I love. I could see myself dressed in scrubs, walking down the halls of a hospital, stethoscope around my neck, and a clipboard in my hand. A huge smile on my face as I showed up to work each day and treated the patients. The satisfaction I would receive as I made a small difference each and every day. I could see it all—at least I thought.
What I didn’t picture was all the nights I’d spend sitting in my room accompanied by a ten-page study guide I had spent the entire previous day making. The 1000-page book was filled with hundreds of bookmarks, marking all of the overwhelming information I would need to have memorized and mastered. I didn’t picture the headaches caused by all the stress, the sleepless nights caused by all the anxiety, or the tears caused by the failures. Nor did I picture the “best years of my life” to be cooped up in the library, four coffees and 40 powerpoint slides deep into the massive amount of knowledge expected to be absorbed in such a little amounts of time.
When choosing to become a nursing major, you need to realize that you are not going to be able to act in a way that the majority of the majors can. Those Friday mornings, where you'll see students rolling out of bed at 11 AM, you'll be on your way back to your room after a three hour 8 AM that your program was required to take. That well-known slogan "C's get degrees" absolutely DOES NOT apply to you, as getting a C on an exam could single-handedly destroy your chances of continuing in the program. And those weekend nights where everyone's biggest worry is what outfit they're going to wear to the frat party that night, yours is how your possibly going to remember 52 microbiology vocabulary words before the big exam you have scheduled on Monday morning.
When people told me going into it that nursing school was a challenge, I never took it seriously. I thought that it was an over-exaggeration and that I would experience college the way most people did/would. Nursing school is like a full-time job, and high standards need to be met. This is not meant to scare you but to prepare you. The reward at the end is going to be nothing less than amazing, and being able to impact the lives of all of the patients will be 100% worth the struggle. Not only will you be graduating with a degree, but a new perspective on life and a much, much stronger person than you were when you came in. You will learn many valuable life lessons and overall become a better human being.
And for me, each and every day I go back to that happy image in my head and immediately feel determination run across my body. I get reminded of compassion I feel towards the profession and my focus strengthens and my motivation soars. I decide to look past the missed parties and football games. I look past the long nights losing sleep trying to pack Anatomy and Physiology into my brain. And I look past all the times that I have doubted myself during my learning experience so far. Being a nursing major has really taught me that nothing worth having comes easy and that everything will get easier with time.