NursingPersonal

I Survived the Hardest Semester. One More to Go.

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If you follow me on Twitter, you know that last week I had one of the worst days of my entire nursing program. It got me down. I was ugly crying in front of my classmates and instructors – and I felt like my credibility had been ruined from a few anxiety-driven moments.

I did my best to control the damage, but I cannot change what happened or how my instructors perceived me in that moment. All I could do is own my mistake (which I did), learn from it, and hold my head high.

Let’s just say, thank the Lord it was on the last week of school and I have an amazing support system lifting me back up when I literally wanted to walk away from it all and never look back.

That being said, I didn’t die of embarrassment and no one is whispering in the halls about me. I survived. Everything is going to be okay. Yesterday was the last day of the semester and Finals Week. I went up against some of the hardest content I’ve ever seen and came out victorious!

The hardest semester of the program is over, and I lived to tell you about. So let’s recap.

Did I live in denial as planned?

If you go back to mid-May, I told you my plan for surviving the semester was to continue living like it was summer break and simply be in denial it was all happening.

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And that’s exactly what I did. It worked for all of June.

Various people in my family were visiting the area throughout June so I was never alone. Every week was something new and I made it all count.

I started my new Pre-Friday Friday series which has been a great success. I studied enough to get by. I even got to go sailing for the first time ever (and probably the last). Every weekend was spent at the beach or running around with family.

Most of my days revolved around planning for my trip to California (which is in 3 days!!!)! I went shopping for cute new outfits, bought my plane tickets, and reserved some lodging. It was so productive!

Then July hit and all hell broke loose.

Honestly, my denial plan worked for June, but it wasn’t easy. My grades reflected my lah de dah attitude. In July, we started our maternal newborn clinicals and things got crazy.

I spent a lot of days at the library and Barnes and Noble coffee shop. We had a test in a different subject every week. By the end of July, I was actually worried about failing my Families class, but more on that later.

There was no time for “fun and frolicking” in July. I didn’t have a lot of time to workout, and my motivation for everything waned. I even stopped being excited about the break because the semester was just that bad.

Then on the week before finals – I had that super bad day in a simulation and I went into hysterics. That’s really the only way I can describe it looking back now – and I attribute it to extremely high anxiety that has manifested itself in many negative ways. Did I mention I went to the ER for chest pain towards the beginning of July?

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Final Evidence-Based Practice Project

The Semester as a Whole was a Total Disaster

I had the worst grades ever this semester – and I can’t say that it’s because the course material was difficult. It was more because my school in particular still seems to be trying to get things organized with their new summer session (we’re only like the third cohort to go through it).

There was a lot of miscommunication, lack of organization, and planning and it hurt our cohort a lot. My grades suffered partly because of that and partly because summer in Florida is just NOT a good time to be in school. Your frame of mind isn’t right.

This is where I ended the semester:

  • B in Families (barely missed that A)
  • B in Patient-Centered Care III (also barely missed that A)
  • A in Evidence Based Practice (barely a class – very easy)

I’m so glad it’s over.

This semester challenged me in ways I never expected. If I didn’t have an amazing vacation to California to look forward to, I don’t know how I would have made it.

Thank you as always for supporting me and encouraging me along the way. It really does mean the world and matter.

So that’s the recap. I’m excited to take a couple of weeks off. How was your summer?

13 comments

  1. i’ve been talking about loneliness among old people for some time now, but without statistical evidence to back it up. we always had at least 1-2 dogs growing up and then my dad died about 20 years ago so my mom was living alone in the country with not many people around. when her last dog died i encouraged her to adopt another one but she never did. this is in a place where pet care really consists of opening the door to let a dog out and again to let it back in and a couple of feedings a day. i think even if you don’t want the responsibility of owning a pet you could always pet sit when you’re old. they’re great company and never talk badly to you.

    congrat’s on getting through the hard part. well done.

    1. Hey Freddy! There was research that showed some detriment to owning a pet if you are unable to properly care for it, but overall, the emotional benefits were tenfold!

      It has been really hard being without Motley since I got back home. I wake up and look for him and he’s not there. He’s loving his time at my mom’s but it almost makes me cry. They truly are a part of the family.

  2. I won’t consider summer over until after my birthday on the 19th at the very least. Probably not until I leave for DC on the 29th, which I’m getting increasingly ex it’s about!

    But overall my summer has been good if sweltering. But that’s the norm here in Arizona so… I got on tinder and am having fun there with some young thangs. And one of them is even handy and has helped with a couple of projects around my house. So double the benefit!

    Mainly the summer just flew by. I’m startled that it’s August already (and not entirely ready for it to be my birthday honestly). But I guess there are worse ways for summer to go. Like supremely difficult semesters that tax one’s sanity.

    1. I’m excited for you! I love hearing about your accounts with the young thangs! HAHA! Summer did fly but I’m so glad it did! I am so looking forward to some fall-like weather, but I know neither of us will get that for awhile. :/

  3. Maybe not the best/most fun semester, but it’s OVER!!

  4. It sounds like it was an extremely difficult semester, but you prevailed. You’re such an inspiration! I am happy for you and happy for the people who will eventually be your patients.

    1. Thank you $76K. That’s sweet of you to say!

  5. It was tough, but you did it! Enjoy your trip to California.

  6. You did it!!!! Congrats!!!!! Have a fantastic trip!

  7. I went to school at UWF and recognize your poster template! I am so happy you’re at UWF for your BSN. Best wishes to you! I stumbled upon your blog by accident, but the small connections are ironic!

    1. Thank you! How small is this world!? I’m looking forward to finishing up this semester. Thanks so much for commenting!

  8. As a faculty member, I’ll just say that a semester without a student completely breaking down is… not a normal semester. It happens. Students are human. And school – particularly nursing school, and ESPECIALLY accelerated programs – is really, really hard. You are challenged in so many ways. You made it through, you held your head high, and you will be a better nurse because of it. Take care of yourself…

    1. Thank you Anne. That means so much! I did come out better for it in the end, and while I’m not glad it happened, it was a great learning experience for me. Very humbling. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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