Failing classes & discouraged..3rd year. Need honest advice

  1. 0
    Here's my story (it's not as long as it looks!!)- I'm a Junior student at Case Western's FPB nursing school; however I only have sophomore standing in the nursing school because I withdrew from classes the 2nd semester of my freshman year due to depression and had to wait a year to re-take the classes. Before withdrawing I'd started to skip full days/classes/meetings/exams because I cdnt handle the pressure. It was hard to concentrate whenever I didn't do as well as I wanted because I'm a perfectionist and was used to being able to do things well so I slipped into depression. It took a lot of self humbling and make-ups, but I took this setback, got counseling, and managed to make it to the end of the sophomore nursing year.

    Now I am struggling in my classes for a different reason... My school has a 4yr BSN program where we start clinicals freshman yr. Lately I have been struggling with simply making it to clinicals either on time or at all. I sleep late and don't hear the alarm or turn it off and tell myself I have time to lay there for a minute- it's always something. Because of this I missed (and made up) 5 lab days in med-surg II, then missed a mandatory lab day and 1.5 days in Psych clinical which means instant failure. So I will have to make up both classes next year (putting me back by ANOTHER year :/ ). I feel soo bad because I've been given so many chances. I've talked to advisers, counselors, other nurses, instructors, other students, etc. and still struggled with this. My boyfriend even called me early most mornings to make sure I was up, but I would often still find some way to stop myself from making it to class.

    The classes I missed were usually classes I didn't feel comfortable in or see a point to (psych clinical), or felt like a failure in so I think I just subconsciously avoided them. I think my problem is psychological or I just don't want to be a nurse as much as I thought. I really feel I want to be a nurse-midwife though.. I love natural birth, advocacy and babies It excites me. I'm going to spend the summer trying to shadow a midwife of NICU nurse to get a better idea and hopefully re-motivate myself to do what I need to in my classes. I need to figure out why I keep putting up roadblocks for myself and stop it, or find out what else I want to do with my life..

    What I'm wondering from you guys is what impression you get about me from hearing my story? If you're a nurse do you think I can even get hired after all of these struggles? Have any of you had similar experiences or have any advice for me?? Please any advice can help! I'm really discouraged about this. thanks
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  5. 2
    Quote from JJStudent
    The classes I missed were usually classes I didn't feel comfortable in or see a point to (psych clinical), or felt like a failure in so I think I just subconsciously avoided them. I think my problem is psychological or I just don't want to be a nurse as much as I thought. I really feel I want to be a nurse-midwife though.. I love natural birth, advocacy and babies It excites me. I'm going to spend the summer trying to shadow a midwife of NICU nurse to get a better idea and hopefully re-motivate myself to do what I need to in my classes. I need to figure out why I keep putting up roadblocks for myself and stop it, or find out what else I want to do with my life..
    Here is my impression, based on what you wrote. You will have to become an RN and work as an RN before you can get an advanced degree. So on your list of tasks for becoming a nurse-midwife, getting your RN is definitely one of them.

    You wrote that you didn't see a point to your psych clinical. ME TOO! But unfortunately you are going to see psych patients all the time, in all areas of nursing. My first patient in my OB clinical had major depression and her husband had just left her. While she was pregnant with twins. My day was full of psych issues. My psych (ours was called mental health) lectures were really helpful for this type of situation.

    In your exploration this summer, have you considered shadowing a doula? One of my friends is a doula and she also loves natural birth, advocacy, and babies. This is not a nursing position, but it may be something you are interested in doing while you pursue your RN/nurse-midwife.

    I think that feeling discouraged is normal, but that you need to seriously consider the challenges of what you are attempting. You already know that you need to find the motivation within yourself to do this. What are goals you've accomplished in the past, and how did you keep yourself motivated when things got tough? You mentioned that at one point you slipped into depression. What are you doing to nurture yourself as you go through nursing school? How are you keeping yourself healthy and happy?

    I hope you can find a path that works out for you!
    cheri1859 and JJStudent like this.
  6. 6
    @JJStudent - Don't take it wrong but I'm going to be blunt and and hit the nail on the head. I'm not saying anything that you don't already know. I would like to see you succeed and reach your goals.

    Well it does seem like you're sabotaging yourself, that you lack discipline and are immature.

    The pyscho babble is this, You're doing everything you can to sabotage yourself so if you fail you can still feel ok with it saying oh but I'm better than that it was just X circumstances, and if i only applied myself i can do it. Brain doesn't want to face the painful possibility of what if I am truly not capable and this is the limit of my intellect so it will do all it can to prevent that reality from happening even at the cost of losing the goal of nursing. Brain fears that its true that I am a failure.

    Solution: Do some soul searching, Look deep in to yourself, ask yourself what do i want in life, why nursing, what else would i want to do if not nursing, what am i afraid of? face your monsters. How far will I go to make my dream of being a midwife reality? Wanting something and will power will only go so far it is discipline that will drive the rest on days you aren't motivated.

    Discipline is a muscle that needs to be trained. Start with something simple of waking up at 6am every day whether you need to or not . Buy 2-3 alarm clocks with extra loud settings, set em at 5 mins apart. Go to sleep earlier, stay up all nite, doesn't matter how you do it you will get up at 6am. After being able to wake up at 6am everyday, you do add to it your study schedule of X chapters/topics per day. This way on days you don't feel like studying you will still be able to do it whether you like the job or not.

    Maturity - I define it as ability To do something because you say you will. To accept responsibility for your actions.

    Your story sounds very familiar because that was me at one point. I procrastinated, overslept classes, late to clinicals, exams forgot to do important things .. and nearly failed nursing school because it. I fixed most of those problems, went on to mentor/solve student issues, took on a leadership role, graduated, passed state boards, so am licensed RN, will start RN-BSN in summer, and now looking for work as nurse. Future = ER nurse, Doctorate in DNP and teach nursing.

    Anything is possible because I can wake up at 6am every day .. just because I said so. Good luck and I wish you the best.
    Last edit by Inori on May 6, '12
  7. 7
    My impression from hearing your story is that you make excuses, avoid things you don't "feel" like dealing with and are extremely immature. There is no excuse for tardiness. None. Doesn't matter if you are a heavy sleeper. Doesn't matter if you lay in bed "just an extra minute" and Ooops! fall back asleep. There is extra special no excuse for skipping a class simply because it isn't your favorite. Don't like psych? More than half the patient population out there (I'd venture to say MOST of the population out there) has some kind of psych diagnosis (or undiagnosed psych issue) on top of whatever you are seeing them for, including people who get pregnant. You don't get to "skip" dealing with those patients.

    Until you can discipline yourself to do what needs doing, you are going to continue to go in circles, find reasons to be hard on yourself, use those reasons as excuses to go nowhere and suffer from depression, not mention be wasting either your own money, your parents money or the taxpayer's money. You are doing this to yourself. Just do what you are supposed to do! Day after day, week after week. That's being a grown up. And if you can't do that, remember not to blame anyone else when it all falls apart. The one thing you seem to have going for you from this post is the ability to be honest with yourself and to have a reasonable amount of self insight. Look at what you wrote. You already know the answer you posted for. You just don't want to have to work that hard. Becoming a certified nurse midwife is a many year endeavor in which only the best get accepted. If you want it....work for it. Even the stuff you don't really like.

    You already know what to do. You have not earned it yet. So get to earning it. Nobody is going to fuel your motivation FOR you. That has to come from somewhere inside. And if you don't have that, you don't have what it takes. Do you? Yes? Prove it. This is one place where nobody is going to care what you say. They will look only at what you DO.
    libby11, chelechele, RunnerRN2b2014, and 4 others like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from JJStudent
    Here's my story (it's not as long as it looks!!)- I'm a Junior student at Case Western's FPB nursing school; however I only have sophomore standing in the nursing school because I withdrew from classes the 2nd semester of my freshman year due to depression and had to wait a year to re-take the classes. Before withdrawing I'd started to skip full days/classes/meetings/exams because I cdnt handle the pressure. It was hard to concentrate whenever I didn't do as well as I wanted because I'm a perfectionist and was used to being able to do things well so I slipped into depression. It took a lot of self humbling and make-ups, but I took this setback, got counseling, and managed to make it to the end of the sophomore nursing year.

    Now I am struggling in my classes for a different reason... My school has a 4yr BSN program where we start clinicals freshman yr. Lately I have been struggling with simply making it to clinicals either on time or at all. I sleep late and don't hear the alarm or turn it off and tell myself I have time to lay there for a minute- it's always something. Because of this I missed (and made up) 5 lab days in med-surg II, then missed a mandatory lab day and 1.5 days in Psych clinical which means instant failure. So I will have to make up both classes next year (putting me back by ANOTHER year :/ ). I feel soo bad because I've been given so many chances. I've talked to advisers, counselors, other nurses, instructors, other students, etc. and still struggled with this. My boyfriend even called me early most mornings to make sure I was up, but I would often still find some way to stop myself from making it to class.

    The classes I missed were usually classes I didn't feel comfortable in or see a point to (psych clinical), or felt like a failure in so I think I just subconsciously avoided them. I think my problem is psychological or I just don't want to be a nurse as much as I thought. I really feel I want to be a nurse-midwife though.. I love natural birth, advocacy and babies It excites me. I'm going to spend the summer trying to shadow a midwife of NICU nurse to get a better idea and hopefully re-motivate myself to do what I need to in my classes. I need to figure out why I keep putting up roadblocks for myself and stop it, or find out what else I want to do with my life..

    What I'm wondering from you guys is what impression you get about me from hearing my story? If you're a nurse do you think I can even get hired after all of these struggles? Have any of you had similar experiences or have any advice for me?? Please any advice can help! I'm really discouraged about this. thanks
    Seems to me like you are trying to meet someone elses expectations and that YOU dont want this.....reevaluate what it is that YOU want
  9. 6
    I am sorry you are going through this......but I see someone who doesn't think they are worthy and remains deeply depressed. Please go and get checked out by your PCP and re-engage you therapist. You need to talk tp someone or have your meds adjusted.

    Feel better and good luck!
    IndyElmer, shynat, Nurse Maru, and 3 others like this.
  10. 0
    sandyfeet, thanks for replying!

    What you said about the mother in your OB clinical was helpful to hear because it reminded me of the many complicated emotions and mental problems that can be seen in the very field I want to get in to. I'm going to remind myself of that every time I want to complain about psych clinical. Also, I've just recently heard talked to a friend about being a doula. I like the idea of working as a doula while earning my degree.
  11. 1
    Quote from Inori
    Well it does seem like you're sabotaging yourself, that you lack discipline and are immature.

    The pyscho babble is this, You're doing everything you can to sabotage yourself so if you fail you can still feel ok with it saying oh but I'm better than that it was just X circumstances, and if i only applied myself i can do it. Brain doesn't want to face the painful possibility of what if I am truly not capable and this is the limit of my intellect so it will do all it can to prevent that reality from happening even at the cost of losing the goal of nursing. Brain fears that its true that I am a failure.
    Inori, no I'm definitely not offended! You're right and I've been feeling this way but could never put my finger on the reason for the sabotage. I am afraid of failure. It's weird because I just heard a sermon on humility and arrogance today and it got me thinking about how high my opinion/standards for myself are, and how I seem to tell myself that I can't fail if I never put my best into it.. I'm definitely not a quitter and do not like the fact that I'm less disciplined and mature than I thought myself to be, so I will be doing lots of soul-searching and confronting now. Thanks for replying!
    moonchild86 likes this.
  12. 0
    @not.done.yet,

    I want to say I do appreciate your advice. It comes off a bit harsh but I realize it's nothing I don't need to hear and I believe you only want to help. I should clarify, I've never skipped class because it wasn't my favorite; however, I did let things "happen" so I wouldn't make it to the class because I was uncomfortable working with patients who were on assault/sex precautions. This was the main reason I did not like the clinical. Other than that I enjoy learning about people's experiences and trying to promote therapeutic communication, especially because I've dealt with mental health problems myself. It is important though that I learn to push through these feelings.

    I do believe there is more to this than just working hard.. unless by working hard you mean sorting through the actual reason I'm putting up barriers. I've tried to "just do it'' the way I did in high school and it didn't help because I was denying the real reason for the problem and I believe it's my fear of failure. I'm glad you said that being a midwife is something that only those who work hard can achieve because it just motivates me to really do what I need to do (mature..face my monsters..etc..) so I will be ready to work as hard as I should be. Hey sometimes tough love is needed. Thanks!
  13. 0
    Quote from mindlor
    Seems to me like you are trying to meet someone elses expectations and that YOU dont want this.....reevaluate what it is that YOU want
    @mindlor, thanks for replying. This is another thing I've thought about. I do think a part of the reason I feel so much pressure is bc I'm the one my entire family is expecting to do well. it's a lot of pressure. They wouldn't be too excited if it turned out I am better suited in a less "prestigious" field.. But I can't be concerned about that. It's my life and my future. thanks!


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