Will I be in over my head? Advice please!

  1. Hello Everybody! I have been using this site as a tool for years now, but didn't make my own account until today. I'm 21 years old and living in NYC. I recently applied to SUNY Stony Brook and I'm trying to decide on my future career path. I have a different story than most. I'm just looking for a little insight from people more experienced than myself.

    Let me start by telling you a brief story of how I ended up where I am.
    I come from a somewhat crazy family. My father was an "evangelist "on Sundays and beat my brothers during the weekdays. My mother was also a religious fanatic with crazy views on the world. After my older brother grew up and left, I was left with my parents. My mother, being the religious person she was decided school was "evil" and pulled me out and moved to Vermont around the age of 10, the only problem was--she didn't teach me. She would tell everyone I was home-schooled but neglect my homework. By the time I was in high school, I was too embarrassed to go to school because I knew I was so far behind. I use to be threatened by the fact that "if people found out I was behind, the state would take me away from my family". I remember telling myself I wouldn't turn out like people predicted. I became straight edge, (No drinking and no drugs) and made a promise I would end up in college to be a nurse no matter what it took. Around the time I should have been a junior in high school, I met a girl who I shared all my problems and secretes with. She started teaching me math and science after school and was thankfully very patient and kind. Without exaggeration, I would start practicing math from 10am to 7pm every day hoping to catch up to my friends in high school. After about 6 months of this my girlfriend started bringing home her math homework to see if I could figure it out, and to my surprise I could with some help. I went to an adult education place in my local town, and started taking classes while taking college level courses at my local community college. Long story short, I ended up with my high school diploma, and I also have about 38 credits from a community college. I moved out of my house as quickly as possible, and I now live in NYC with that same girl from high school. My problem is I never took chemistry or physics in highschool. I am terrified of taking it at college. I have taken statistics and college algebra, and have gotten an A in both classes but feel as though my girlfriend has to spend extra time everyday helping me with my homework in order to understand it. I feel as though I have to work twice as hard to understand math than other people in my classes.

    I applied to Stony Brook University recently, I have a 3.9 gpa and I applied undecided because I still have to take a lot of the prereqs for the nursing program. My question is, will I be in over my head? I feel like everyone there has taken 4 years of science and math already, and I was just some kid who was taught by my girlfriend. She says she will teach me chemistry, but I want to be able to fully understand it and be confident in school. I am good with conceptual things. I have taken medical terminology and was at the top of my class. I just feel so nervous and I can't shake it. Should I pick a different major? I see all these kids with years of preparation failing nursing school. I can't help but feel as though I will have an even harder time than them. I want to be a ER nurse, it's something I am very passionate about. I just want to hear from people if I should go to a school known to be very difficult in sciences. Will Stony Brook be that much harder than the classes I took at community college?

    I'm sorry for rambling; any kind of response will help...I just feel as though I will be in over my head. I will be living on campus so I will have lots of time to study. I'm proud of how far I've gotten despite my situation--I am just unsure on how to approach all of this.

    Again, I am sorry for the unorganized ramble and rabbit trails! Any kind of response will be helpful! I am just looking for honest opinions.
  2. Visit FutureNurseNYC profile page

    About FutureNurseNYC

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 23; Likes: 13


  3. by   anotherone
    Can you take a beginner level community college class in Chemistry? How about going to a library ( as you live in NYC, I know these are available) and looking through some chem books? The book series for dummies and for idiots probably has books on chemistry. "Chemistry for idiots" or "chemistry for dummies". I used the series for other topics. I find these break down topics in very easy to understand ways. For nursing, most schools only require Chem 1 and 2 nothing further.A very small amount might require organic chem. What classes did you take in the community college? What level math did you get up to there?
    Despite your situation you have gotten pretty far.
  4. by   loriangel14
    Don't be afraid of the sciences. You are very determined and have overcome some incredible obstacles to get where you are. You handled the rest, you will be fine. Best of luck. You sound like you will make an awesome nurse.
  5. by   RNewbie
    I think you will be fine. You seem determined. I would say go ahead and take the classes. If you are not doing well and don't feel that you can pass then withdraw from just those classes. Go back to the drawing board and figure out how to play catch up before taking the classes again. My high school classes did not have any influence on my college classes besides basic math. I learned what I needed to learn in each college class in order to pass those classes and it had nothing to do with any previous knowledge in those subjects.
  6. by   FutureNurseNYC
    Thanks for the encouragement!

    I've taking college algebra, mathematical concepts, and statistics for math classes.I received A's in all three, but I feel as though I was rushed through them and missed some important concepts. I won't lie, my gf helped me with homework tremendously too. I believe that played a big factor in my grades....The only science classes I've taken in community college were environmental biology and environmental science. There wasn't a big selection at that school so I took what I could. I forgot to mention I also took nutrition my first semester which I was told to be a hard class, but I did very well. Like I said before, I am good with concepts and memorization.

    I do have an idea, however. I think my first semester I will take A&P 1, Physiology, Sociology, and and whatever prereq required. During the summer, I will take intro to chemistry at a community college. I will be able to focus on just that class and put a lot of time into it. I'll do the same the following summer for microbiology ( another required prereq for Stony Brook) It sounds silly, but I am trying to make this all work!

    Has anyone else taking similar routes? Is transferring from a CC to a well-known university that much of a difference? I feel as though I can definitively pass the classes, but I would like to get a good enough grade to get into the actual nursing program.
    Last edit by FutureNurseNYC on Oct 31, '12
  7. by   linnaete
    There's a lot to be said about determination and wanting something. Many people fail because they lack the determination that you have obviously shown. I think if you want it enough, you can do it. Most schools have tutoring, many are free to students. You obviously have access to the internet, where you can look up all sorts of information and teach yourself the subjects you are behind in. Don't ever pass up your dreams because you're afraid of failure. You'll spend the rest of your life haunted by regret instead. Good luck!
  8. by   Wave Watcher
    You are the one who made the A's. Your girlfriend may have tutored you but she didn't take the tests for you. You deserved the A's because you are smart, you are teachable, and you are excited to learn. That's what makes a successful person. You are the perfect picture of success. Don't down play your abilities. I graduated from nursing school and I'm an RN. I failed statistics! Lol. I ended up going to a college that did not require statistics so I dropped the course. You will be just fine. You are worthy and deserving of all good things. Go be a nurse.......simple. Congrats for all your accomplishments!
  9. by   Nurse ABC
    Even though you haven't had 4 yrs of science and math you obviously catch on quickly and must be very smart to get such a high gpa. With your determination you will be fine. You're already smarter than i ever was! Quit psyching yourself out and GO FOR IT!
  10. by   missnurse01
    You are awesome ! Dont let anything stand in your way. My theory is that if you want it badly enough , you can make it happen. Don't be fooled , most nurses I know have had bad backgrounds , goes with the territory of wanting to Care for someone else like they haven't been cared for.

    Other posters have great ideas for you , you can definitely start with an intro chem class then work your way up. If u can do algebra you can do chem. I would def take chem before a and p and also DO NOT take 2 sciences together ! Unless u are very very confident. Nursing school is not hard , it is just a lot of information to memorize in short periods of time. If u can be successful in a and p then you can do nursing school. Have no fear.

    If you haven't taken a study skills class yet then I would take one. Also utilize your study groups for hard classes and the tutors.

    You have already learned what we would wish all of our children to learn in school ...to quest for knowledge independently and not have to be forced to learn. To love learning .

    You will be fine. I promise.

    Feel free to always come here for a lift up , let us know how you are doing , and also pm me anytime.

  11. by   FutureNurseNYC
    Thanks so much everyone! Your words are so encouraging! I'm going to go for it and devote most of time to studying.
    I think I'll make it out alive!
  12. by   tokebi
    I wish I had half the determination as you. Your story is inspiring!

    As numerous posters already said, it sounds like you'll do just fine. I have no doubt you'll manage sciences well. Most people who have trouble with chemistry or physics do not have strong mathematical background, and that becomes the road block. If you did well on college algebra, you have good foundation to be successful in other math-heavy sciences as well. Even if you never studied chemistry before, the basic concepts are not too hard to grasp and a lot of it is memorization too. It's mostly application problems that peole have problem with, but it gets better with doing many many practice problems.

    I transferred from CC to univeresity for my undergrad, and it was not easy. There was a steep learning curve and I ended up changing my major. But I'm sure you'll be fine with nursing courses. Nursing curriculum is not necessrily difficult -- it's just that there's a lot of information to process and readings and projects, etc.

    I am so happy and excited for you. Good luck!!
  13. by   CrunchRN
    I had about 2 months of high school, then nothing until I got my GED at age 16.

    Then worked for 9 years and finally went to college for the 1st time at age 27.

    No problem at all.

    I will admit the 1st time I took chemistry I was totally bewildered and dropped to not damage my GPA. The next time I took it I did fine. I had to take pre-algebra and work with a tutor briefly and then I was fine. graduated with a 3.8 GPA and worked full-time while carrying a full load during pre-reqs and nursing school.

    I am just "average" intelligence. It just takes hard work. That is all. You are way ahead of where I was!
  14. by   -Katie-
    3.9 GPA WOW! It doesn't sound like you will have any problems to me. College courses aren't easy for anyone. everyone has to spend many many hours studying and pulling their hair out. I think you are up to speed with everyone else if not beyond. be proud of that 3.9 not many people do that well. Good luck!