I am in my first semester and don't feel quite as overwhelmed as I thought I would. Of course some days are worse than others. I have been told by some 2nd year students that the stress doesn't get less, but it changes. The first semester is the one where you cram in the most fundamental info in along with your skills - pair that with learning a new language and learning how to think in a completely different way AND take tests in a completely different way can be pretty dang daunting, especially for someone who didn't expect any of it! In our program once we get to second year, we're in clinical 2-3 days a week and class one day. So we go from learning all the new stuff and ways of the nursing world and organizing all of this info to "working" as an RN and keeping up with coursework and clinical responsibilities along with learning more critical skills/information, etc. By then, you should be more aware of what to expect on a test, but the info will be more detailed and critical. Will it be less
stress? I guess it depends on who you ask...
As someone else mentioned, in nursing school each semester builds on the previous one. The information cannot be learned for a test and then forgotten, like we probably did a lot more in our pre-reqs than we'd like to admit. You have to retain ALL of it and learn how to apply it to more situations and then go into more detail about it. And I'm sure by then you'll better know how to manage the stress too! I would take one day and one week at a time. Don't look too far ahead because that's going to overwhelm you for no reason. Of course you're not going to fathom working a trauma in your first semester when you're just trying to learn basics. But when you get to that, you'll know the basics and how to apply that to your patient and then some! I'd be willing to bet that you will be totally shocked at what you know next year - what answers and information pours out of your mouth that you didn't even know you had tucked away in your memory banks! You got this, don't worry!!
P.S. Don't forget your own "self-care". Exercise, meditate, read the Bible, go out with friends/family, read a book, take a walk, listen to music, take a nap, cook, take up a new hobby....Something
that you want to do for YOU to get your mind off of school and rejuvenate you
. You won't be able to do everything you need to do if you forget about you
in the process.