Nursing Student Term 2, Day 1

Over the course of the last 2 weeks, I’ve felt anxious to the point where I just want to put my self to sleep to not stress all day. I remember the days leading up to my first day of Nursing school back in late September. I was so excited and it was still this big secret I kept from everyone I loved and I felt like I had so much newness to look forward to. Orientation didn’t freak me out, but it freaked a lot of others out because the talk was real and straight up. You heard a lot of, “this WILL be hard. At some point, you WILL get an F. You may have to repeat a course…” etc. All of which went in through one ear and out the other (in a good way). The day prior to the first day of the first term I was so excited. You know like when you’re about to take a flight to somewhere new or a place you love and you have all these jitters and you can barely sleep through the night? That’s kind of how going back to school was for me.

The Director of Nursing, Assistant Director, and the instructors (who are all RN, BSN’s +) were right. The first term was no joke. The group started with about 32 people and on the day of final I believe there were 13 or 15- some of which even at that point failed. I don’t know the reasons for seeing less and less people as the weeks went by. We are all adults with full lives and heavy responsibilities. The thing is the first term was the most basic. It consisted of a few prerequisites I needed like Anatomy & Physiology, Psych, Growth & Development, Nutrition, Math with allied health appliances. These classes are classified as basic, but basic is the very core. So the they were deeply structured- especially A&P. I thought math would be my greatest challenge, but Anatomy definitely was because it was so incredibly detailed. Our professor told us that while we felt that was the toughest course, we would look back in the upcoming terms and realize that was probably the “easiest” course. I thought, “yeah, right.”

The light in classes like Anatomy is that its pretty much black and white. It is what it is, however, nursing is not. Nursing is about critical thinking and rationale. And that’s what I’m in now. Fundamentals of Nursing with lab and clinical as well as Pharmacology. I like that my professor is extremely organized and structured from what I can tell in the syllabus and course outline. I actually need my books from last term (the A&P, human growth, and nutrition) because it’ll help us even more than the books we already have this term. There’s a lot of reading. A lot is an understatement, but to give you an idea: 20 pages from the fundamentals text book, 7 pages from the A&P, 10 pages from the nutrition (if it applies). But she was kind enough to find the exact pages we needed to go through for our reading assignments so that was nice. That’s just the reading assignments- aside from the actual homework, the writing, the studying for weekly quizzes and exams which are worth 40% of your grade.

So it’s intimidating. It’s overwhelming to think about and to sit and start. I hopped on IG Stories tonight to talk about my anxiety because I’ve never had nightmares and now those are invading my mental space, too. I had one last night and after school when I took a much needed nap. In both dreams I’m doing something horribly wrong (and getting in trouble for it), chasing something I can’t have, and I’m scared. Both dreams were paralyzing. I was afraid to get out of bed and come out of the room and that hasn’t happened in a long, long time. Another thing I forgot to mention in my Story was that I almost got into not one, but TWO accidents. On the way to school AND on the way to pick up my son. Both times they would have been my fault. Both times were so close. Close enough to make my heart drop and pull-over and talk myself out of my troubled-mind.

I have to take care of myself first and foremost. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe I’m just afraid of dissapointing myself and feeling “less” then. I reminded myself after that second nightmare that this was all under control. That I cannot worry about whatever is not under my control. Ok, I have 100 pages to read for homework? Read them in chunks. I have a paper to write? Start today so you’re not scrambling on day 4. I have case studies to review? Don’t wait until last minute. And so forth. We can have calm if we just take micro decisions seriously. I guess that’s the whole point of this. All the tiny moves we can make now will usually determine whether or not those monsters we fear come true. Worrying is but a waste of our energy and time.