How to deal with negative classmates when you're stressed in nursing school?


Nursing school is hard and I'm very well aware of how draining it can be. I've officially had my mini breakdown and have been drained. I have clinical rotations at a hospital 2 days a week (8 hour shifts) in the evenings and end up coming home later bc of delays; then another clinical site 1/day wk with numerous care plans to write; then lecture for hours one day/week and a lab with more and more paperwork. On top of that, we have lectures, test, readings, homework to do... it's crazy busy but I'm enjoying as much as I can. I have been working extra extra hard with clinical bc my instructor is tough and so far, my hard work has paid off.

I'm someone who likes to take care of myself and have been trying to find little ways to reward myself with the little time we have. I'm someone sensitive to energy and I try very hard to protect and keep what's left of me. I don't mean to be judgmental but some of my classmates have been trying to bring me down... almost insulting me. They've given me crap about being born in the US because everyone else are ESL and international students. Its so offensive bc I have been nothing but respectful to them and have treated them like everyone else. Some of them even had to explain to a PATIENT that i was "cultural but born in the US". I don't think that needs to be justified. They also have been very manipulative towards me - holding it against me that I was able to have volunteer experience. There's also another female colleague who has been so insecure and clingy - bringing up past issues when things have already been solved, trying to put the blame on me. Completely manipulative and a waste of time and energy. You ignore it and try your best but I am completely drained. I'm so sensitive to everything now. I don't expect people to baby my emotions because I can take care of them myself. I'm not perfect but I'm normally a strong/stable person and am very aware of who I am but I will just cry out of nowhere and I want to get better... now I'm not one to act on my emotions impulsively. I'm normally very in control but all the negative energy got to me and it eventually made me crack. My clinical instructor could read it on my face and in the room, i literally bawled. Everything lead up to that and I was having some problems that day on my shift. I feel bad because it was not the professional thing to do but at the same time I don't regret it. When I told a trusted classmate, he was being such a guy and made fun of me for crying about it and another guy called me a "crybaby".

I feel so sick of people now that for me to recharge, I just need to keep to myself mentally and physically... just not say much and keep it pokerface. People are so selfish - they suck so much out of you but when you need any kind of understanding, you're on your own. Help...

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

Sounds like you are at your burnout stage. You need some down time, if you can arrange it. Otherwise, remember that school is really an endurance test and it will be behind you some day. As for classmates, you will probably never see many of them again. If you do, so what? They are not working to support you. Ignore them. The best revenge is to live well.


198 Posts

Do NOT let them know they are effecting you. The more they feel that, the more they will try to get under your skin. Go back to school and act like nothing ever happened. Be pleasant to be around but do not be buddy-buddy with anyone. You are there not to make friends but to learn. Keep in mind, that your situation is temporary. All you have to do is get through it then you never have to see them again if you dont want to.

Good luck and don't let them be the reason to give up on your goals.

ImThatGuy, BSN, RN

2,139 Posts

Negativity is a reaction - a coping mechanism. It's not right, but it is what it is. The more stressed I am, or the more I deal with the public, the more negative I become. Before that it's sarcasm then negativity then outright person-directed insults. Usually, I hover in the sarcasm to negativity zone.

Now, on that note, my girlfriend, i.e. future wife, has told me to stop because when I'm like that I'm not the guy that she fell for. Fortunately, I met her during a period when no wrong could befall me, lol. I have since started working alternative coping and putting away the aggression with others because she told me to. It was actually an easy choice, and she has always had a calming and positive effect on me. Sure, I'll have setbacks, but it's actually been a remarkably good time changing.

Specializes in 10.

I really don't have any advice, and the advice I would give is really not appropriate. So on that note, Ignore them, do you and forget about what they have to say. Let the negative people have their group, surrround yourself around positive people outside of school. Remember what you are there for, and always put you first when you feel like you just "can't" take it. I wish you the best.