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...Advice?

Students   (1,576 Views | 11 Replies)

1,036 Profile Views; 28 Posts

Hey all,

First, thank you to everyone reading this. I really appreciate any constructive comments or thoughts you may have. I've been lurking in the shadows of this site for years; but now I could legitimately use some guidance.

Okay, so, I am about to finish my first semester of nursing school (YAY!). I know that nursing school is a beast and it can break you, etc... but, OH MY GOSH! I'm not one of those students who was always perfect at everything. Yes, I didn't have to try very hard for a 4.0; but I am used to not getting what I want to being the best. With that being said, my school only accepts about 10% of the people who apply. There are hundreds of applicants. Therefore, my ENTIRE class seems to be brilliant. My test grades are a hair above the class average and I'm about average in clinical.

I'm okay with not being the best and I have plenty of experience being verbally ripped to shreds. Thanks to tough skin, things like that normally don't bother me. So, I do not know what is going on with me! I am so disappointed in myself because I know for a fact I could study more. I just feel so exhausted from playing the role of mom, wife, student, maid, cook, finance officer, etc. that when I go to study, I'm brain dead. If anyone has tips on how to balance everything, I would love to hear them!!

Now, the issue that is truly bothering me is this: Naturally, I am extremely extroverted. Unfortunately, that doesn't come with a filter or prevent social awkwardness. I also knew I was a little awkward, but man this is ridiculous! Everyone around me seems to be becoming excellent friends. They know things about each other and they have jokes. I have people I talk to but I think they just sort of put up with me because I tend to have useful information. All the students are around the same age have play the same roles. We have tons in common. Basically, I guess I am looking for advice on just how to make actual friends - as dumb as that sounds.

Lastly, this semester has seemed to draw out every single insecurity I have ever had. And, let me just tell you, that it is a lot. I had thought I dealt with and overcame everything way before even applying to the program. Apparently, I hadn't. Does anyone have tips for gaining confidence and not feeling all around stupid. I just feel broken... worse than broken. I feel like I am a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and half my pieces got swept up in a tornado and flung around the country.

Thank you to everyone who took time out of your life to read my very lengthy (sorry!) post. I can't express my appreciation for any and all suggestions you may have.

-Sunny

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ParkerBC,MSN,RN specializes in Medical Surgical/Addiction/Mental Health.

886 Posts; 11,126 Profile Views

Hi Sunny-

You do not need to be perfect. Grades are a way in which we measure performance. I wish there was another way. In fact, I would prefer to see either pass or fail. Students put so much emphasis on grades. I have had students who excel in the classroom, but who have subpar performance in clinical. The opposite is true. All you are required to do is your very best. That is all anyone including yourself can ask for.

You know, I made a lot of friends when I was in nursing school. Today, I do not speak to any of them. It was not a conscious choice; it was rather a matter of life. The place where you want to make friends is your employer because that will be the second place where you will spend the majority of your time. Some people are funny about being friends outside of work. Some, including myself, are simply private people. It is not a reflection of the other person’s character or personality.

What I will say though is that if there are some who “tolerate you” because you are able to contribute in some way to them, they aren’t your friends. In fact, I would not put myself into a position to be used that way. It’s not cool! Start networking with instructors and nurses at your clinical sites. This will be beneficial upon graduation. Log into AN and meet people.

Awkward or not, you’re a person deserving of respect and courtesy. I hope the very best for you!

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28 Posts; 1,036 Profile Views

Hi Sunny-

You do not need to be perfect. Grades are a way in which we measure performance. I wish there was another way. In fact, I would prefer to see either pass or fail. Students put so much emphasis on grades. I have had students who excel in the classroom, but who have subpar performance in clinical. The opposite is true. All you are required to do is your very best. That is all anyone including yourself can ask for.

You know, I made a lot of friends when I was in nursing school. Today, I do not speak to any of them. It was not a conscious choice; it was rather a matter of life. The place where you want to make friends is your employer because that will be the second place where you will spend the majority of your time. Some people are funny about being friends outside of work. Some, including myself, are simply private people. It is not a reflection of the other person’s character or personality.

What I will say though is that if there are some who “tolerate you” because you are able to contribute in some way to them, they aren’t your friends. In fact, I would not put myself into a position to be used that way. It’s not cool! Start networking with instructors and nurses at your clinical sites. This will be beneficial upon graduation. Log into AN and meet people.

Awkward or not, you’re a person deserving of respect and courtesy. I hope the very best for you!

Thank you, ParkerBC! Reading that really helped me to feel a lot better. It is so difficult to not compare my progress to that of others. This first semester taught me so much! Oddly, I learned more about how to be a nursing student and how to treat my classes/clinicals more than I learned about how to be a nurse. I'll definitely take your advice about true friends. I agree that if people just stick around with me because I help study, etc., it isn't a friendship.

From your post it sounds as though you are an instructor. If so, I hope your finals week runs smoothly. I know things can be just as stressful for you guys. Happy Holidays to you!

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ParkerBC,MSN,RN specializes in Medical Surgical/Addiction/Mental Health.

886 Posts; 11,126 Profile Views

Happy holidays to you too, Sunny!

Thank you, ParkerBC! Reading that really helped me to feel a lot better. It is so difficult to not compare my progress to that of others. This first semester taught me so much! Oddly, I learned more about how to be a nursing student and how to treat my classes/clinicals more than I learned about how to be a nurse. I'll definitely take your advice about true friends. I agree that if people just stick around with me because I help study, etc., it isn't a friendship.

From your post it sounds as though you are an instructor. If so, I hope your finals week runs smoothly. I know things can be just as stressful for you guys. Happy Holidays to you!

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BuckyBadgerRN has 4 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

3,520 Posts; 38,169 Profile Views

It's hard. Chances are that many of your classmates aren't juggling nearly as many duties outside of class that you are. I was you--wife, mom, worked full time, nursing infant, etc... That said, I did make a couple of VERY good friends in nursing school that I keep in touch with today, but it took time.

Yes, having friends is great, but do keep in mind that you are there for an education, it's not meant to be a social occasion, that was for HS =)

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Red Kryptonite has 3 years experience and specializes in hospice.

2,212 Posts; 18,490 Profile Views

Maybe you could study more, but your grades are good and you're doing well. Balance is important in life.

As to domestic responsibilities, how old are your kids? Do they have chores? If not (and they're old enough), WHY NOT? You can't do everything. Do you have a spouse/partner? Are they chipping in on the household duties to help support you during school?

My point is that you feel like you're burning out because you do so much, so is there a way to lessen your load?

On the kids and chores thing, don't underestimate what they can do. My youngest started emptying the dishwasher at 4 as her regular job. She's now 7 and does all the same jobs as her older siblings, sometimes with a little help if something requires height or strength she doesn't have yet. I've got 5 of them ages 16 down to 7 and they do dishes and laundry, vacuum, pick up after and care for the dogs, wipe down the kitchen and bathrooms, sweep floors, and occasionally cook. I told them I don't make 90% of the mess so there's no way I'm cleaning it all up myself!

As to feeling insecure or "stupid," I'm college educated but never in a million years expected to enter nursing. I start LPN school in January and fully expect to feel overwhelmed and like I know nothing, at least early on. Even with 3 years' CNA experience, I'm aware of how much I don't know. Nursing is so demanding and so uniquely unrelated to almost anything else in life that I think feeling out of your depth is normal.

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Julie Reyes has 6 years experience as a DNP, RN and specializes in pediatrics, occupational health.

1 Follower; 44 Articles; 260 Posts; 65,810 Profile Views

:D I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you a hug.

Other than that - I am terrible with advice, so I will let those who are good with words give you great advice. In the meantime - HUGS!

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200 Posts; 5,084 Profile Views

I know how you feel. I too, am finishing my 1st semester. I have never been filled with so much self doubt and insecurities. I am doing well, but always think I am missing something and could be doing better. Don't worry about the friends or lack thereof. Work with them in a professional respectful way, but sometimes friendships can just get in the way. One more thing to keep up with. You are exhausted. 1st semester is hard. You will be done soon and can take a break. Good luck.

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28 Posts; 1,036 Profile Views

Thanks, everyone! Your comments have really helped!! After focusing on the positives of some things happening in my journey, I'm feeling a lot better. My husband and kids have been amazing and supportive. I just have a really hard time when I see things like laundry or dust accumulating and knowing finances are really tight for the holidays. We may have to come up with an alternative to having a Christmas tree this year. But, that will be an opportunity to teach the kids life isn't about what you own.

Thanks, again, for all your kind words! Sometimes help is needed to get out of one's own head. Now I'm really excited for a break and a fresh start to a new semester!!

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28 Posts; 1,036 Profile Views

:D I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you a hug.

Other than that - I am terrible with advice, so I will let those who are good with words give you great advice. In the meantime - HUGS!

Thank you, Julie! I have been following your journey through the articles. They always make me chuckle out loud while reading them. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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28 Posts; 1,036 Profile Views

I know how you feel. I too, am finishing my 1st semester. I have never been filled with so much self doubt and insecurities. I am doing well, but always think I am missing something and could be doing better. Don't worry about the friends or lack thereof. Work with them in a professional respectful way, but sometimes friendships can just get in the way. One more thing to keep up with. You are exhausted. 1st semester is hard. You will be done soon and can take a break. Good luck.

I know exactly what you mean! The first half of the semester it seemed as though I was just in a fog. Everyone always came to me to find out what was due or going on. Apparently I fake confidence pretty well, haha!

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Farawyn has 25 years experience and specializes in A little bit of everything..

2 Followers; 12,645 Posts; 98,381 Profile Views

I agree with Red Kryptonite 100% with the chores. My comments to you are to leave "cook" and "maid" off your list. My kids were scraping their plates and putting them in the sink by age 3. They are boys, teens now, and pretty self sufficient. Letting them do chores or even cooking is a great way to make THEM independent but also gives you a break. The more they do of the busy work, the less you have to.

One thing I have to bring up. You said you were awkward? How?

I did notice you mentioned your grades etc. right of the bat, but then also mentioned the insecurity...also that your classmates only come to you when they want info. It does sound insecure, maybe that's being conveyed and putting people off? It is hard to go from a big fish in a little pond to just one of the school. Maybe you don't want that to bug you, but it does, anyway. That's okay! Just think about WHY this may be happening on your end. If it's truly nothing, put your head down and do YOUR work. It will come, I promise. You make the best friends "in the trenches"- when you and another student weather through something together.

Best of luck! We have ALL been there.

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