Feeling overwhelmed...yikes!

  1. OK, I admit it. I thought I could do it all. I am a single Mom, working full time, going to school at night and all day Saturday to complete my pre-req's...I got a 76 on my Bio test. I am so depressed. I cannot stand to think I can't do this...I unfortunately have to work full time, at least until I start clinicals, so I can't even do what I really want...cut down on work and really devote more time to my studies. I am panicking that if I can't get this Bio class done, she's a tough teacher but good, then how the heck am I gonna get through A & P?

    I want this more than anything else in my life right now. I want to be able to give my children better, but be happy at my career.

    Any suggestions? I thought I was a good student, I'm carrying A's in all of my other classes, and my Bio class I pull 90's on my quizzes and 100's on my labs. What am I doing wrong?

    Sorry, all, I guess I was feeling despondent and down, but I know the wonderful people that browse these boards can help me.

    Thanks in advance for all of your support, I truly appreciate it.

    Christine
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Franca
    Christine,

    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
    Last edit by Franca on Feb 11, '02
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I too went back to school for LPN/RN as an adult. You have to give yourself permission not to be perfect in everything. So what if the dishes don't get done? Or, at the very least, make sure you compromise what you can...paper plates, decreased housework, asking people for help...good luck!!
  5. by   AZBRONXBABY
    Hi Franca,

    Thank you so much for the eloquent and caring words. I needed to get someone else's perspective and I think you said it beautifully,

    Yes, I know I tend to not want to accept help, for whatever task it may be. I do tend to be very "independent" but not in a positive way. The human being can only do so much. I have got to learn to accept the grade I received, understand why and get a move on, you're so right about that. Again, thank you so much. I knew I'd find the solace I needed on these boards.

    God bless, have a great week!!

    Christine
  6. by   AZBRONXBABY
    Hey Trauma...
    thanks for the great advice. I guess in a way I get mad at myself for not having gone back to school earlier than now, but at least I've taken the first step and gotten into the classroom again.

    You're right, I have always wanted to be "SuperMom" and can't seem to find a way to allow myself to slow down and do things right. I love the paper plates idea...

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I have wanted to get back to school for 20 years now, finally did and I really need to learn how to prioritze. I thought I had, but need to fine tune it.

    Thanks again, have a wonderful day!!

    Christine
  7. by   unlucky
    Christine,
    I know exactly how you feel. I started back in college after the plant closed down. I went into the program by taking the required courses before the actual program. I have to say that A and P was my worst subject. like you I made A's on everything until I got in this. I too, worked full time and had my family to worry about, because I couldn't depend on them to help me. I really don't have any friends that I study with because alot of them are single and don't want to hang around with a married w/ children kind of gal. Now I am in my second semester of the nursing program and I finally got the chance to go part time at work. My advice about A and P, read the chapter and then emphasize on the parts that the teacher gives you to study. And when you have short answer questions write everything you know, don't leave nothing out. That's how I kept my head out of the water. Don't ever give up, that is your worst fear. Good luck!! You will be in my prayers.

    Unlucky
  8. by   Mkue
    Christine,
    That is the best advice, "don't ever give up" and keep telling yourself that "you can do it"... it may sound silly but it does help.

    mkue
  9. by   AZBRONXBABY
    Thank you all so much. You're right, Trisha, I have to rely on myself. I have been praying for the strength to get through this. I knew it would be hard, but trying to keep the house together is really stressing me out. I thank you and mkue for the great support!

    Nothing in life worth having comes easy, right?

    I'll never give up, tho! God bless, all! We'll talk soon...

    Christine
  10. by   goinnuts
    Hnag in there!!! Once you're in the program, grades don't mean much as long as you pass!!! Remember if you get straight A's there's no where to go but down.
  11. by   GPatty
    Don't let just one test get you down... you are doing it! Heck yea, it's hard, but then again, what in life worthwhile isn't?
    I failed a Pharmacology test last week...by 2 points! But still, it's a fail. But I am dragging myself up by the seat of my pants and getting going again, determined to do better this time! I won't let it stop me, and don't you let one silly grade stop you either!
    God bless you girl!
    Julie

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Feeling overwhelmed...yikes!