I'm a week away from completing my first semester in the ADN program.......so I can truly recall how I felt the first day/week of classes. First.....it felt great being there----knowing that you were selected to be there & getting to meet the people you will be spending a lot of time with & learning to depend on them for encouragement & for when you're feeling not so great---they will lift you back up to where you belong---so I strongly urge making some connections with your classmates.
The first day consisted of our instructor explaining what we'd be doing for the next 4 months. I remember her handing out the calendar & each day there was always something to do...whether it was a skills lab day or an 8 hour lecture day or a test or a paper due.......there was always something major to do. I thought "how cool, saves me from having to do my own calendar!" By the end of class that week, I went home & cried. I asked myself "What did you get yourself into? There is sooooo much to do. How in the world am I going to get it all done as well as take 8 exams plus a cumulative final, pass 6 skill evaluations, pass the math for meds test with a 90 or better & make it through clinicals?" I'm usually an easy-going low stress kind of person, but this got to me.
Somehow I made it to class the following Monday & just focused on what needed to be done on a day to day basis. I didn't allow myself to worry about what happens in month 2, 3 or 4.....I had to focus on the first month or rather...one week at a time only. I had my highlighter & would "happily" cross each day off one by one--secretly praying that I cannot wait until the 2nd month is over since all the skill evaluations would be complete.
Now that I have one week left of first semester, I am proud of myself. I made it through with no problem. My lowest test score has been an 85, I passed all of the skills evaluations on my first attempt, got all of the other assignments done on time & clinicals have gone well. My class started out with 30 people....we have 24 left---hopefully they all will pass & move on to second semester. We have all bonded quite well & I'm happy about that. I think it makes a big difference when your classmates are supportive rather than competitive.
My best advice to you is when you are feeling overwhelmed or wondering why you chose nursing to major in.......remember to take a few deep breaths & focus on what needs to be done on a day to day basis. Find people in your class to bond with & most of all.......even on your worst day........be thankful you are there, because there are probably many people who were turned down or made to wait until later to start the nursing program. You're there for a reason.....for an opportunity.....take advantage of it & make it the best that you can. Also, don't fall behind in class! It's a snowball effect, once you fall behind, it will be very difficult to catch up.....so no slacking!!!!!
Be sure to let us know how your first day went & keep us updated with how you're doing, ok?