Survivors' guilt -- losing classmates

  1. We just finished up a 10-week med/surg rotation. While everyone passed the clinical portion, the theory tests were the downfall for 20+ students. Among them were two of my very closest classmates.

    What are your experiences in this type of situation? Do you manage to keep in touch with your former classmates? Am I the only one who feels almost "guilty" for doing well?

    Any input appreciated.

    p.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Rena RN 2003
    nope, you're not alone. we just lost 7 due to a horrendous pharmacology exam and it's only 9 weeks of school before graduation. it was very hard to be happy for one's self for passing while watching the world of others fall apart because they "failed." and as much as i would love to continue relationships with some of the ones i leave behind, the reality is that i probably won't. simply because i have moved forward. nursing school is tough. i don't have time to worry about anyone other than myself at this moment. sad but true.
  4. by   memphispanda
    We have lost something like 60 from my first nursing class. There are maybe 12 left that I started with. I barely have time to call my mom, much less the friends that have had to drop. It's sad. I did run into one of them in the grocery store the other day. But honestly, we are so busy and it's so hard, that you don't have time to dwell on it.
  5. by   delirium
    Why should you feel guilty for succeeding? This confuses me.

    We've lost a lot of students in our program, and I didn't feel guilty about it. I was sorry for them, and it was awkward seeing one of them in clinicals (she is a unit secretary on the floor we're doing clinicals on), but their success or failure is wholly their responsibility.
  6. by   NurseWeasel
    *cheers* Go, Delirium! I second that.

    It's sad to leave friends behind, but you've got to look out for #1.
  7. by   KimRN03
    I have lost several friends along the way because they just didn't have the grades to move on. I have not been able to keep in touch with them. I have tried, but they seem to shy away and be ashamed. If I had been left behind I guess I would always be a little jealous of not moving on, so I understand.
  8. by   Vsummer1
    Since I transferred in, and this is only 2nd semester, I really didn't "know" those that failed last semester that well. Of the two that I spoke with that failed 1st semester, I have seen both of them. They are happy for me, and they are trying again which makes ME happy for them as well.

    At first it did bother me, but I am so busy trying to pass myself that I can't dwell too much on it. It is too scary to watch them drop like flies...
  9. by   CountrifiedRN
    We've lost a lot of people since the beginning of the program, and I felt bad for some of them, especially the ones who had borderline grades. One person who dropped almost a year ago still calls me to see how the I'm doing. We were starting to become good friends when she dropped, and I missed having her in class. Now it is becoming awkward to talk to her, but mostly because we don't have that much in common anymore.

    Some of the people who dropped are now in the LPN program and I see them between classes at school, but since they are happy and doing well in their program, it's not awkward, and I'm glad that they were able to find another route to get to their goal.
  10. by   NurseDixie
    I failed one semester(hubby had his 2nd CABG) and then had to withdraw one semester. When I first got back in, some of my former classmates acted like they thought I'd be embarrassed about what happened, but I wasn't, I was happy to have the opportunity to be able to return. I am doing much better this time around. I should have graduated last May, but I will graduate this coming December. I hope no one felt 'bad' for me.
  11. by   NurseRachy
    Yeah i have lost heaps of friends from uni. I am doing a double degree and many found it too heavy going. Some of them are just doing straight nursing now, but the 20+ others are floating around doing nothing much at the moment. Yeah it is very hard to keep in touch with heaps of people but it's a priority of mine so I do. Heaps of quick visits and phone calls, sms's, emails, letters GOOD luck - try your best to keep in touch with your friends - they are worth it!
  12. by   emily_mom
    Originally posted by delirium
    Why should you feel guilty for succeeding? This confuses me.

    We've lost a lot of students in our program, and I didn't feel guilty about it. I was sorry for them, and it was awkward seeing one of them in clinicals (she is a unit secretary on the floor we're doing clinicals on), but their success or failure is wholly their responsibility.
    Double ditto. My husband said he is more proud of me knowing that I am doing well when I tell him of all the people that have failed. I think he finally realized how tough school is. Shoot....only 36 days left, too. :chuckle
  13. by   delirium
    Originally posted by emily_mom
    Shoot....only 36 days left, too. :chuckle
    36 actual school days, or 36 calendar days?

    I have 52 calendar days... 6 weeks left, and then graduation week.
  14. by   LaVorneRN
    I had a couple of classmates not get to the end of the road with me. I didn't feel guilty just sorry for the ones who I knew worked as hard as I did and missed by a 0.? It sucks to get almost to the end of a struggle with someone and they not make it with you. Guilt isn't what I felt though. Just disappointed. I have kept in touch with one friend who is graduating on the 30th. I and other classmates have been a support system for her. She didn't resent us because she knew we we pulling for her. Those who don't pull their weight and don't make it? Well that's just too bad. Better luck next time.

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