By Olivia DeFilippo, ThriveAP Intern
It’s 8:00 am and I am walking to my Behavioral and Mental Health class while drinking an extra-large dark roast coffee. I was at the library last night until midnight, yet I still have three post-it notes filled with tasks that need to be completed. I tell myself to breathe deeply and slowly because it relaxes me. I begin to focus more on my breathing than worrying and thinking about everything that I need to get done. Obsessing over it only makes me feel worse.
This was not a particularly heavy day. I had to only attend two classes, after which I ate lunch while editing a paper in my room and then returned back here, to what seems like my second home, also known as “the library”.
Being a nursing student is no easy task. My to-do list seems to be growing every single day; caffeine is quickly becoming my new BFF and my greatest joy each day is crossing out a completed task on any one of my post-it notes.
I sit in the library and memorize the origin, insertion, action and innervation of what seems like an endless list of muscles. My phone beeps and an email pops up. It is from my Nutrition professor, with the results of yesterday’s exam and my final grade. My heart races and my palms get sweaty as I debate whether to open the email and check my grade now, or wait until later. “Ring”. Now a text message comes in from my friend claiming she got a 90% on the exam. A wave of relief comes over me as I check my grade and realize that I, too, got an ‘A’. This means I have maintained my ‘A’ average in the class.
Nursing school is highly competitive and usually accepts only a select number of new students each year. The nursing school I currently attend accepts only 90 students each semester, and they choose those few, fortunate students based solely on their nursing grade point averages. This adds a lot of pressure to maintain ‘perfect grades’.
It seems that grades alone will determine our futures, and it is for that reason I am forever uptight and committing 110% of my energy to doing anything and everything asked of me, even on the smallest assignments. While each and every day I may fret over my to-do list and feel like the weight of the world is upon me, I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
In the end, these are all challenges that come with wanting to reach my goal…so I have to be ‘all-in’, apply myself and commit to becoming the best that I can be each and every day. It requires me to always try my hardest and give my best so I can make the most of this opportunity and reach my goal of becoming a nurse. Sure, nursing school with all its demands is difficult and stressful and requires a huge investment, but the feeling I will one day get when I finally become a nurse will be my greatest reward.
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