ok, nubcake, here's one of your first lessons about going into the sciences. the word "hard" is a subjective term. the word "subjective" means affected by the mind or resulting from the feelings of the subject or person's thinking; a judgment. in the first days of nursing school we nurses are taught about the difference between subjective information and objective fact.
now, what you may think is "hard", i may think is easy. so, i don't think any nurse can answer your question the way you have phrased it. what i can try to do is give you some objective information that will help you see school from a different viewpoint. i'm not sure if you are referring to the overall load of classes that a person can carry at one time, or just the difficulty of the material that has to be learned. you weren't clear about that, so let me start by addressing the subject of english.
most colleges today have a renewed enthusiasm for making sure their graduates can read, write and understand english. a class or series of classes in english composition is usually the basic required english requirement to graduate from any college, but you would have to look at each college's catalog to see exactly what the required class(es) are for their school. this class, at least where i took it, and from what i've heard from others, is the reading of new york times
level articles and then writing short essays about them that were graded on grammar
, composition and organization. we also had to do a 30-page referenced term paper at one point on any subject, the point being that we followed mla (modern language association) rules of how the paper was formatted, used proper grammar, organized the paper, and backed up some of the ideas in the paper with cited references. you didn't mention it, but there is usually a speech class required as well in most colleges.
the english gets important because in nursing programs
you will be writing care plans
. i like to tell nursing students that care plans are the nursing school equivalent of term papers. although they aren't put together in the same format (paragraphs) as a term paper, they involve quite a bit of plain old composition and putting together of words. so, you have to know how to write and get an idea across in your writing. back when i was in school in the early 70s, colleges were still giving essay exams. you will occasionally, although probably more rarely today, have an instructor who will give one or two essay questions
for students to answer.
so, is english important? yes. is the grammar part of it important? not as much as it was when you were in grade school, high school and your lower level english classes. the fact is that as you get into higher and higher college level classes, it is the content and ideas
that you write about that becomes more important. college level work is also trying to stimulate your ability to think and reason, not just spit out facts. you will demonstrate that in term papers and in nursing care plans in a course of nursing. however, really bad grammar is going to stick out like a sore thumb
. almost all colleges i've gone to (and i've been a student at a handful of them over the years) have offered free student assistance with english grammar. it is usually through the english department or the counseling department of the college. they will check your papers and help you correct the grammar and perhaps the flow and organization of the ideas, but they won't advise you on changing the content and ideas you've written on. that's totally your creative effort.
math or chemistry are the two subjects that stop many people short of signing up in nursing programs. it stopped me for many years. my fear of chemistry and the fact that i had goofed off my way through 7th grade math and nearly flunked stuck in the back of my mind for years. what it took was my determination that i was going to go to nursing school and started taking remedial classes in basic math, worked my way up through intermediate algebra and took the next big step--chemistry. i knuckled down and studied my little brain off and came away from them all with top grades. that really does a lot for one's ego and confidence. but you also need to know how to study effectively.
- strategies for success, an online primer and tutorial on how to study for students from the alamo community college. this is a pretty extensive resource with links on the right side of the page to click into the following subjects: learning styles, note taking, memory techniques, time management, overcoming procrastination, sq3r (a method for getting the most out of reading your textbooks), study tips, critical thinking, preparing for tests, and oral presentations. also, take a look at the faq's (frequently asked questions).
- this is a study skill checklist for you to go through and inventory your study habits from virginia polytechnic institute and state university. at the bottom of the form is the link to "study skills self-help information" which is all kinds of information to help you with areas you were weak on in the checklist. if you want to bypass the checklist and just go into the information section, go to this link http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/stdyhlp.html
- how do you learn best? this site has information on strategies to help you study better based on whether you are a visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic or multimodal studier. you click on the modality that best describes you to get study advice. if you are not sure which best suits you, take the questionnaire to find out. click on "questionnaire".
i believe that if you are taking a large load of classes: 12, 15 or even more credit hours at a time, your ability to manage your time and study effectively become critical. the sites i've listed above come from counseling departments of colleges. most colleges have this sort of department and they often offer classes to students on how to study. believe it or not, it is a skill and getting straight "a"s in high school isn't a testimonial that a person is a master in how to study efficiently. it's more like evidence that they psyched the teacher out. it just might mean that the person lucked out and had teachers that gave easy tests. tests are subjective--one of my favorite topics to argue and i don't think a letter grade is necessarily an indication that any student learned anything. but then, i went to a rather progressive nursing school that spoiled my conception of what education can do for you, so of course, my ideas are skewed to say the least! you learn from your own personal experiences what kind of a class load you can handle each semester or quarter. you need to consider what subjects you are good in and what subjects you know you are going to have a lot of homework to do. you find this out by schmoozing about and asking around. find other students who took classes you are anticipating taking and ask about the instructor and what they require the students to do in their class. this is part of the game of being a college student. i have a very close friend (who is now a physician) that was extremely good at doing this. he went so far as to just sit in on classes he was thinking of taking the next term to see if he like the instructor or not! i'd never heard of anyone doing that! he would attend a class on it's first day of a new term when the instructors didn't know who anyone was anyway. he would get a copy of the class syllabus so he knew what the class taught by that instructor was going to entail before he even signed up for it! i'm never surprised that he became a physician.
now, i've been putting off addressing this fear you have about things getting harder because i don't want to discourage you. but the fact is that life itself gets harder as you live on. i can't tell you how i sometimes wish i could go back to being 12 years old again. no responsibilities. christmas was the greatest day of the year. and summer vacation couldn't come fast enough. still, even then i had fears of the future. but, hindsight is 20/20 and if we only knew then, what we know today! the point i am getting to is that what you did in the past defines what you are today. think on this: thousands, millions of people have lived and died before you and i. a good many held their breath and pushed on despite their fear of the unknown. very few have success, fame and wealth dropped in their laps without any effort on their part at all. most have worked hard for the fruits of their labor. the unknown is what is rolling around in your mind at the moment. if those previous thousands and millions were able to succeed, why can't you? what's the worst that could happen? if your worst nightmare happens, and you fail, what will come of it? you won't go to jail, i promise. you'll still have your freedom. if you fail no education and learning is ever lost and you can use it to prepare for another career. that is something that my doctor friend was (and still is) saying to people. it's all about a positive attitude nubcake. it's the adage that when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. however, you'll never get your chance to find out what side of the fence you'll end up on if you don't get in the game
so, i say acknowledge these worries and fears you have, learn from any mistakes and misjudgments you make about any classes you take together or how you schedule your classes, dust yourself off, readjust, and get back in the game. this is how you play the game of life, as well as how you'll get through nursing school or any other school program you decide upon. you might also check out the counseling department of your college to see if they can assist you in making class choices that you can handle. good luck!