I'm in an accelerated "leadership" program (as they sometimes put it), which has us taking frequent ATI tests on top of classes. If you don't make the mark they want on the ATI, you lose 1-2 letter grades in the respective class. (Apparently it used to be that you outright failed, but they changed it so that A students who screw the pooch on the ATIs can keep going.) It's only the end of the first semester, and I've already hit a burn out point. I've lost my drive to study, and am despising classes. Don't get me wrong, I've been doing well and I LOVE the clinicals. I love getting to know my patients and helping them. I love all this hands on learning. Furthermore, I love the people in my cohort and most of my professors. They're smart and just good. It's a pleasure to be among them. But despite all this, I'm having a hard time focusing on studying. I've lost my drive, my love for the actual program. I hate that I have a 97 in patho right now, but there is a serious chance I will end up with a B since I haven't been able to get good studying in for the final. (And it doesn't help that our new and vague professor added 5 additional chapters right at the end before the final. And why in the world can't we download your ppts? I don't get that. And why do you quiz us on your lecture material before the lecture? I get that you want to make sure we pre-read, but it seems antithetical. And don't get me started on all the students I've seen come out of your office, wholly disheartened and questioning their career choices after one of your "pep talks".) I can't even study for that final right now because we have an ATI right around the corner. I basically have to choose between the two - in which do I want to keep an A, and which will I dangle over the sacrificial pit of B? And I hate some of these stupid ATI questions. Who cares if requesting a new antibiotic from the pharm is "fair, responsible, risk taking, or creative"? I mean, really? How the frogger does this help us become better nurses? We get hammered with little assignments and things to learn that seem a waste of time. Graded videos that don't really teach jack. Required and timed online simulators that we have to pay for and that really don't teach jack. I need to be studying diseases and foundational skills, not memorizing arbitrary "levels of critical thinking" or "the eleven nursing attitudes". What a waste. On top of that my life sucks now. My wife and friends are going to festivals, having game nights and dinner parties. Meanwhile I go to bed at 9-10 and get up at 5 every day to study if not hit a clinical. I get offered gigs that I have to turn down because I can't confidently make the time commitment. (I was previously an artist.) My foreign friends chat with me, and I realize I'm losing some of my language skills but can't do anything about it at the moment. I get asked to reboot old language projects, which I would really love to do, but again can't commit. I get ideas for new projects, and just have to jot them down and hope for the future. I loved A&P. I loved my chem classes. I was a top student in all of those and it was because I loved the subjects. Going into nursing school, I was excited at the courses. Pathophysiology, pharmacology, psychiatry? Yes, please! But what I loved I now loathe, and despair that there is a year yet of this accelerated program to go. The result? I'm irritated pretty much most of the time, and I've lost muscle but am putting on plenty of fat. Pudge McMe. So I Googled, "I hate nursing school". The result? What came back was a lot of nurses who say they love nursing but hated nursing school. It was actually really good to read that. Thank you. I may be coming to the conclusion that As are not so important anymore. What's more important is health. And that means both eating better and getting to the gym more, and getting involved in life. But this is easier said than done. I am grad school minded, and I will still fret if I don't feel A-lvl prepared for exams. Making myself get back on a good diet and exercise routine shouldn't be too hard, but getting involved in artistic projects again while keeping my grades up will be difficult. On top of that, the men in my family tend to die young, heart complications, average age about 55, so if I look at this schooling and grad, especially if I have to sacrifice living, to use the term as an expression of happiness and exploration and all the terms we typically associate in positivity with living, I sometimes ask, "Will the later years be worth the 10%+ of my portioned seasons I am giving to these studies?" (I'm middle aged, to boot.) Or maybe I'm ignoring the bigger issues. Like that I had a cardiologist appointment because out of the blue I started getting heavy chest pains when I jog, or because that dizzying arrhythmia I used to get once a month or so is now almost every day. Or that a week ago, right when I was having the cardiology appointment, I learned my sister tried to kill herself and was hospitalized. Or that I tried to make three appointments at two different clinics to talk with someone about all this, and they never even got back in touch with me. Who does that? So yeah, I'm having a hard time concentrating. It was getting harder before, I was already losing the drive, but now it's just practically nonexistent, the will to study. But I have to. Positive notes: My sister is getting help. She rejected it for a long time, but she's now accepted she needs help and is getting it. Cardiology results are not yet conclusive. I was able to go on a good jog after taking a bunch of magnesium. And while on my father's side all the men die young, on my mother's side we have some pretty stalwart longevity. I have an awesome cohort. I love my patients and have enjoyed clinicals. There are still many options for the future. My gpa will be just fine if I relax and make a few Bs. I have the greatest wife, who loves and supports me no matter what. Breathe. Stretch. Smile. Focus.