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First Semester of Nursing School

14 May

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I have the month of May off from school. I’ve picked a couple of extra shifts at the vet clinic, but essentially I’m lazing around my apartment. Lots of late morning cuddles with my cat, staying out till one with friends, laying in parks reading, cooking healthy meals and grabbing unhealthy meals with friends I haven’t seen in months. I look back at my first semester of nursing school and wonder lazily to myself, “Did I imagine all that?”

It’s a shock to go from something being an all-consuming force in your life to having almost NO presence in your life. At orientation for my program back in January, multiple professors and deans emphasized that the first semester of nursing school is the hardest, the most intense, the one that some students struggle to survive. In just three months, the school strives to give you an entire medical foundation on which to build a nursing practice and reshape the way you approach patients and people in general.

I can honestly say that I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life. The weekend before finals, my classmate/friend Lauren and I camped out at NYU’s Bobst library and studied from about 10am till about 8pm both Saturday and Sunday. I’ve never studied like that for anything in my life. During my original undergrad, you would never find me studying for more than three maybe four hours on a given day, let alone 20 hours in a two day period.

For the last three months, pretty much everything in my life fell by the wayside. My life was school, clinical, and studying. And I loved it. Absolutely loved it. As every week of this grueling semester progressed, I became more and more certain that nursing is what I was born to do, and I am so excited for my career. It’s the perfect profession for me, and NYU was the right school for me to attend. I feel like I have so many stories, experiences, and revelations that I want to share that I’ve had a hard time even starting. It was three intense months that simply cannot be condensed down into five or six paragraphs. Perchance I will find some more time in my following weeks off to talk about some of the big topics that came up in nursing school and some of the major experiences. And if any of my dozen or so readers want to hear about anything in particular or have questions about nursing school, please feel free to let me know!

Until then, all I can say is that nursing school is absolutely fantastic, and I’m hoping if the next couple of semesters are easier, I can return to writing some more about it. But right now, it’s sunny and about 70 degrees outside, so I’m going to grab some books and a blanket and go lounge in Astoria Park and NOT think about diabetes or peripheral vascular diseases, or pressure ulcers.

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NYU Meyers

20 Nov

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About a month ago, I found out that I was accepted at NYU Meyers school of nursing. I was at work at the animal hospital when I checked the website. I was so nervous that my brain couldn’t even process the letter I was reading. My eyes floated over the paragraphs looking for that key word. Congratulations.

I’m so happy. I’m so excited. Partially because I worked so so hard for this. I made a lot of sacrifices with my free time, with my money. I had to balance work, school, and moving three times. I was so happy to get that letter, but I also just felt like, “I damn well deserve this.”

One of the first jobs I had in New York was working as an office manager for an endodontist who was a sociopath. He was bizarrely strict and demanding and often belittled me. I wanted to quit, as even getting ready for work in the morning gave me full anxiety attacks. But my boyfriend at the time discouraged me, told me I had to suck it up and find a way to pay my share of the rent. I finally found something to replace it and told the evil endodontist I was leaving. He told me he felt sorry for me, because I was just an unhappy person.

I was so mad and offended. He didn’t know me. At least I wasn’t the egomaniac. But even though he as a jerk, he was right. I was deeply unhappy, and I would remain unhappy for a long time. I went through an dark couple of years. I lost 30 pounds, only holding 95 pounds on my 5 foot 7 frame because I was too depressed to eat. I struggled to make it two, three days without sobbing in bed, unable to get up. I blamed it on bad luck with men. I blamed it on not making a lot of money. I was so frustrated because I didn’t know how to fix it.

Now, I’m happy. I’m so happy. Not just on a “I had a good day” level or even a “life is so much fun” level. It’s a deeper, all-encompassing peace that comes with knowing where my life is going. I’m going to help people. I want to heal people. I want to learn all the secrets of the medical universe. I want to meet other people that are as passionate about science as I have become. I feel so solid in knowing that it’s all coming together, and I wish I had a way to go back and tell that crying 25-year-old how happy she would one day be. How things would settle out and be okay.

I’m beyond excited for my journey to begin in January, and I’d love to write about it. But let’s be honest, I’m not that reliable with my posts! Either way, all I can do is say that I will try. That’s all I’ve been trying to do these last seven years anyway. Trying. That’s all we can ever do.