I feel like ****...

  1. 0
    I'm a nursing student but again posted this topic in this section because you are all very experienced and intelligent. So here it goes:

    I attend a university for nursing, and I absolutely love the program. The faculty members are phenomenal and they also have tremendous support for me to succeed in this program because I have a hearing disability. I'm beyond grateful to have their support. I was born deaf in both ears and got a Cochlear Implant so I can hear everything now.

    But in the school, it's almost over (two more weeks until exams) and I still have not made any friends. Not even a single friend. Let me elaborate. I've added the new friends I've made on my Facebook and whenever they are online, I would initiate a conversation to, you know, make new friends. That works but the problem is that they NEVER initiate a conversation with me. Never. Not even once. Sometimes people would come up to me and say, "hi" and that's it. They would walk away and sit in a different seat. Because of my hearing disability, my speech sounds a bit different (it's now worse but I will have speech therapy soon to rectify the problem) and I've noticed that when I'm in school and I go up to people to chat, they are like, "what?" As in they don't understand me a bit and they seem to be a bit lazy. For example, I asked a girl beside me in a lecture, "is that our professor?" and she said, "yea....wait what? What did you say?" People don't seem to be putting in an effort in making a conversation with me with my hearing loss.

    Also, every time I go to lectures, I've noticed that when my nursing classmates are with their circle of friends. Always. I have seen a few nursing students who come in alone but they will end up sitting with their friends in the lecture. I've always sat alone. There's one girl who I like and we are kinda "friends" but whenever she sees me sitting alone, she would say "hey how are you? blah blah blah" and then sit next to me. I would be so happy until HER friends come in and then she moves to a different seat to be with them. This happens to me every single time. Everywhere I go, I see nursing students with their circle of friends and I have no one literally. I'm a HUGE introvert but nonetheless I always make an effort to make new friends or talk to people.

    I think it's because of my hearing disability.
    Last edit by Meriwhen on Mar 9 : Reason: TOS: Please don't attempt to partially mask profanity. Thanks.
  2. 26 Comments so far...

  3. 7
    I'm sorry you are going through this, I know it doesn't make nursing school memorable. Remember, there are people out there who aren't going to care a lick if you have a hearing disability and that's what you need to focus on. So you didn't meet the right friends in school, you'll just meet them when you start working. I would rather hold out for a good friend then settle for a bunch of mediocre acquaintances.
    alrighThen, mama.RN, poppycat, and 4 others like this.
  4. 3
    Just wait until you get a job. Plus see if your area has support groups for disabled healthcare workers. There are other deaf nurses and aids. Also some that are visually limited. Just don't put too much effort into acquaintances. Real friends are rare.
    jadelpn, vanessaem, and LadyFree28 like this.
  5. 0
    But how long am I going to wait till I get a job to find real friends? Because I am almost done my first year, all nursing students will have a clinical placement once a week and I don't live in the same city as the placement. I commute to save money and someone suggested that I sleep over at one of my friend's house before the clinical placement every week. What friend?
  6. 1
    There are social sites out there that you can join (for free) and help make social connections.

    Right now, the best thing for you to do is remain friendly and continue to focus on your studies; your thinking that it's due to your disability may have a factor in you making inroads now, at least IMHO.
    Lev <3 likes this.
  7. 1
    Unfortunately finding friends, good friends, can be tough. I'm an introvert and I have found in general it is hard to find a good friend. You see some people who have a group of friends they've had forever and they are close and you wonder how they do it. What outlets do you have aside from nursing school? Some of the best friends I've made, after years of searching for good friends, came from my running group. You aren't going to want to put all of your eggs in one basket and focus just on friendships at school or at work. Look at a site called meetup.com and see what is interesting to you. On that site you can mention your hearing disability if you want and I would just flat out say you wonder if it impacts how people respond to you?
    LadyFree28 likes this.
  8. 1
    You will have to plan your commute accordingly to be to clincals on time. It is not always necessary to sleep over.

    Are there other students in the college who are hearing impaired? If so, why don't you start a social club or support group? You may not be the only one who struggles with these issues.

    To go from a non-hearing world to a hearing world can be very overwhelming I am sure. As you may find with your speech therapy. Which would be incredibly awesome if part of your speech therapy was small group. That would be another way for you to connect with people who may feel just as left out.

    Be that girl who goes to the group, says Hi, and "can I sit with you"? Give it some time. Often commuter students regardless of a disability or not have a hard time when a number of the students are in dorms.

    Are you involved in your community outside of school (I KNOW, slightly laughable as school takes up a LOT of time). Even if you did every other Saturday volunteering it could get your conversational language going as well as your introverted personality moving the other direction.

    Good luck to you in your endevours. This will come together for you. It is a whole new world for you and I wish you nothing but the best!
    LadyFree28 likes this.
  9. 3
    I don't know if you've seen the Exceptional Nurse website, but I find it reassuring that nurses do work despite disability, including deafness.
    It is hard to make friends in school. Nursing is competitive. Have you made connections with students from other majors?
    OCNRN63, jadelpn, and LadyFree28 like this.
  10. 0
    I know I shouldn't blame this on my hearing disability alone, but I believe it's the culprit. I'll explain why: when I attempt to make a conversation with someone, I would notify them about my hearing loss first so that they would talk slowly and clearly. This goes well. Two minutes into the conversation, I would miss something out and ask them to repeat what they said again. You could see a bit of frustration in their facial expression and they repeated what they have just said. I would say, "oh wow! That's great! blah blah". As I mentioned before, I have a bit of an accent so I can easily pinpoint (based on personal experiences) whether or not people are putting an effort to understand me or communicate with me with my limited hearing.

    This is a different topic but there's one girl whom I met in my nursing class and we added each other on FB. Then she asked me a question about some science course or whatever and kept asking me questions about gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, EVERYTHING. It seems that she wanted me to teach her the whole course, so I didn't mind. Now she stopped asking me questions and whenever I see her in lectures, she wouldn't even bother starting a conversation with me. She would say, "hi how are you?" and that's it.
  11. 0
    Quote from jadelpn
    You will have to plan your commute accordingly to be to clincals on time. It is not always necessary to sleep over.

    Are there other students in the college who are hearing impaired? If so, why don't you start a social club or support group? You may not be the only one who struggles with these issues.

    To go from a non-hearing world to a hearing world can be very overwhelming I am sure. As you may find with your speech therapy. Which would be incredibly awesome if part of your speech therapy was small group. That would be another way for you to connect with people who may feel just as left out.

    Be that girl who goes to the group, says Hi, and "can I sit with you"? Give it some time. Often commuter students regardless of a disability or not have a hard time when a number of the students are in dorms.

    Are you involved in your community outside of school (I KNOW, slightly laughable as school takes up a LOT of time). Even if you did every other Saturday volunteering it could get your conversational language going as well as your introverted personality moving the other direction.

    Good luck to you in your endevours. This will come together for you. It is a whole new world for you and I wish you nothing but the best!
    Yes, there are other hearing impaired students at my university but I haven't met them (they are not in nursing; in fact, a faculty member told me that I'm the only nursing student with a hearing disability).

    I have to admit that I can be reluctant to start a conversation sometimes. Based on my past experiences with how people get frustrated when communicating with me, I completely avoid socializing with people at all.


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