Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day of School!

I felt like a high school freshman again. I've been taking classes on and off at the community college for 11 years, but I still felt small and lost going to my class yesterday. I tried to glance at my schedule to get the room number without having anyone see me do it. I've been in that same building thousands of times, probably even had classes in that same room, but it felt so foreign, as though it was a new school.

Going into class and picking a seat was different too. I got there in plenty of time to grab a seat in front (Yep, I'm still quite the non-trad student), but this class was different, because I know I'll be spending the next year or two with all these people. I can't just put up my walls around me and ignore everyone. I started getting nervous and took my ipod out of my bag, but put it back and forced myself to make some awkward small talk with the people behind me about the reading. Just like high school, everyone seemed to know each other already. Between that and knowing that I very well could be the only person in the class without experience working, I struggled to stop the feeling of doubt and anxiety that swells up right at the bottom of your throat.

The instructor arrived, and started unloading books and the syllabus and schedules and setting them up all over her table. She seemed eccentric for a second, but then again, I was an English major at a Liberal Arts college... now those professors are eccentric... This instructor does wear reading glasses over her regular glasses, but she assures us she has an eye exam coming up.

She put most of my fears at ease. Once she started talking, I started to see that she was different from other instructors, as this really is a occupational program, not just another class to pick up a few credits, she has to be different. Her job is to make us nurses. If we fail, she fails. I can see how much she cares about her students even in the way she makes eye contact and talks to us.

At one point, she took off one of her pairs of glasses and looked around the room at us reassuringly, "If you ever feel like dropping out, you all have to promise to come see me first, OK? Promise?" Yes, I think I'll like her.

And, the people that were sitting next to me asked at the end of class if I'd like to be in their study group. Not like high school after all... that's a good thing.

In other news, my mom has 3 days sober. If she made it through the night last night, it will be 4 days. More about her to come... right now, selfish or not, I have to focus on myself.

Friday, August 15, 2008

School Starts Next Week

I don't know if I'm ready for this whole endeavor. I had my orientation on Monday, where they emphasized over and over again how horrible our lives are going to be for the next year. I think there is going to be plenty of support also, from school and at home, but still, I'm wondering what I got myself into.

I want to avoid this being the nursing student blog that drones on post after post about how hard school is, and how unfair my instructors are. Those things may be true, but those things are up to me to deal with, and whining about it won't get me anywhere.

I am worried about my work/home/school work load balance and how I'll deal with all that. I'm going to need to find some creative time management ideas.

I'm apprehensive about clinicals mainly because I don't have any experience aside from my CNA clinicals last summer. Most of the other students work in medical settings already, but again, here I am fixing cell phones. I might be the only nursing student that can solder a microphone on an LG, but that doesn't do me much good come time to take vitals accurately.

I'm trying to remain confident, while at the same time realistic about my abilities and worries. The voice of doubt is getting louder, but with only a few days left to go before class starts, I'm trying to give my ego a boost, and work on positive self-talk.

I can do this.

Millions of other people have become nurses before me.

I can be a good nurse.

I have all the school and people skills in place.

I have an excellent support system.

I can do this.