I'm not yet a nursing student or even a prerequisites' student, but I send you a big hug from me. I hope that your knowledge that the nurses here care for you will be an encouragement to you. The need for encouragement is universal as is the need for people, and allnurses.com is a wonderful place for both! It's a lifeline.
I'll tell you of two personal experiences. I know you aren't looking for a "fix", and this novella (yeow, this is long!) isn't written with that intention. Just see if any of it is helpful. Toss the bones, eat the fish.
First, perspective. When I was in a school setting long ago, a friend refused to study with me and associate with me, b/c of my angst over tests. Apparently he felt my pre-test angst was unwarranted, because my test scores were good, hence no need to angst he felt, so he dissed me.
Looking back at that time, having better understanding now of how I tend to be, I can see why he broke off the friendship, and this is my hindsight: My schooling was for entering a clinical profession, and yes, I needed to pass classes; but, I was DETERMINED to make high grades (I didn't know how to "press the pedal" scholastically any lighter, wasn't conscious that the "pedal was to the metal," that was my identity back then I suppose. My friend's breaking off with me could have been a wake-up call, but it wasn't). This time of life wasn't the same as high school; by the time I entered this schooling, I had many, many more major time stressors, and I see now that I needed to set priorities other than high grades. My perspective now is that A's and B's don't GUARANTEE clinical aptitude. Even with a less intense focus on grades, I would still have known enough to pass required boards. Talk to the nurses here who have seen nursing students who score high academically who don't make it clinically (not to worry you on that point!). Of course, also, there are the A+ academic nursing students who are great nurses clinically too; but, what I am trying to say is it would have behooved me to cut the slice of time allotted to class studying smaller, be satisfied with a lower grade(s) if that/they resulted, reduce my stress, and ESPECIALLY have the perspective that I was learning not for grades (scholastic achievement!) but to gain academic knowledge to intertwine with my clinical learning. Does the differentiation between focusing on grades and focusing on knowledge seem valid to you? For me, there is a difference in mindset and in stress based on the chosen mindset.
Also, not intending to patronize you, Christine, with this statement, but with that risk, I'll say that the slowly "changing/adapting me" likes a grade of 76. I'll accept that, look at what I missed, learn from it, and move on. I was reared by a teacher, so that statement reflects a lot of changes/adaptations, with much work-in-progress still.
My second experience is that I tend to not ask for physical help when stressed out. I seem to just dig in...perhaps it's depression at the time. I will ask for encouragement from friends but not for help to dig out. I'm not even aware that I'm not asking for help; but, I am becoming more aware. A friend pointed out recently a simple request I could have made that would have helped me in a situation.
How about considering a task or tasks that would help ease your load, and then look around for whomever you might ask to perform that/those task(s) regularly, occasionally, or for one time, as the need demands. Would doing that help? From my standpoint, I like to be asked to help--I'm wanting to learn better how to be in relationship, e.g., in community. I'll say "yes" or "no" and expect anyone I ask to do the same.
Something I was thinking of the other day might help you in a direct way short-term. It's "HALTS," an acronym I learned when reading a book, "Denial is not a River in Egypt."
H - Hungry
A - Angry
L - Lonely
T - Tired
S - Sad
(I think I'm remembering accurately). The point, made by a recovering alcoholic (I believe), is that decisions and self-assessments are best delayed when any one of the HALTS is present. My husband used to tell me if I was tired at night and brought up a topic that was troubling to me to hold it until the next day after I'd slept. When I think of HALTS, I think of his wisdom and of that book. It's full of encouragement and funny one-liners.
Oh yeah, something we all forget or lose track of now and again--HAVE FUN TIMES! A "you" time....ONCE A WEEK! Yes! ONCE A WEEK, at least! A once-a-week "play date with yourself" is what it's called in a workbook "The Artist's Way," an excellent book for learning how to play again.
If the pressure gets to be too much or before that point, look up the local/county mental health clinic or a United Way-supported clinic (if you are in the USA), make an appointment, pay on a sliding-scale based on income, and talk to a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist regularly. By the way, in Georgia (USA), we have a program called EAP that employers provide. The employee can visit an EAP counselor/therapist for free (couples, families can go too) and the company covers the cost, and who attends is confidential, e.g., the company doesn't know who uses the services. That's an option for help if needed. Other states might have same or similar programs.
Whoops, time to scoot. :zzzzz
Blessing to you and your children, Christine.
From "Denial is not a River in Egypt":
"I can start this day over at any time." Alright! :roll