I'm sure there are many posts on here from nursing students boohooing about how hard nursing school is and how they want to quit. I hate to add to that chorus but I've been keeping these feelings inside so long, I just need to get them out somewhere, so forgive me. I'm in my third semester of a four semester program, and I've hit such an emotional wall. I've lost all my focus and motivation and my grades are dropping, though I can probably still make B's. This semester is peds/ob, and it doesn't help the situation that I have no interest in kids, babies or birth. But it's more than that. Clinical makes me incredibly anxious, and I feel like such an incompetant fool all day. I haven't ever had a very bad clinical experience however. I've never made a horrible mistake or been chewed out, and my clinical instructors have either given positive feedback or at least thought I was safe and performing adequately. Still I feel like I'm not independent at all in clinical, like I'm operating at a first semester level still. I'm not fully taking over care for 2 patients like I'm supposed to. Even when my anxiety levels are low I hate clinical. I think the feelings started in second semester when as students we began to have more independence and responsibility. It became more real. I push my negative feelings down until clinical is over, and then for the next few days after I reflect back on it and feel depressed and cry. I don't want to be responsible for people's health and safety. I don't want them to look to me for health advice. I don't know if I can attribute these feelings to anxiety about nursing that will eventually fade or if this is a genuine dislike of the field. I feel like I have no way to distinguish that. There was an incident this semester where I had an emotional breakdown at the hospital. I had spent the morning in the NICU, and it was fine. All the babies were stable feeder growers and the nurse I was working with was friendly and taught me how to feed and care for them. I'm not a baby person but feeding babies is kind of fun. Then when I left the unit I accidentally set off an alarm because I forgot to swipe my ID. The unit secretary was annoyed and chewed me out a little. I apologized profusely, and as I got into the elevator tears sprung to my eyes. I knew this was silly and tried to swallow them down, but it was as if the floodgates had opened and there was nothing I could do. All my negative feelings were pouring out and I couldn't pull myself together no matter what I tried. I ended up going to clinical conference, fooling no one about the emotional state I was in. My instructor pulled me aside after, probably thinking I saw something upsetting in NICU, but of course there was no such logical reason for my breakdown. She was very kind to me about it, but didn't want me to finish the day because I couldn't be crying on the unit. It was humiliating. Nothing like that has happened to me before or since, thankfully. But it kind of illustrates where I am emotionally. I have to finish the program at this point, so maybe there is no point to posting this. If I graduate in May like I am supposed to I will have a good degree and no debt. If I try to change my major now I will be adding over a year of school and lots of debt. There's no viable plan B, but it's just so hard to go to clinical and study for exams with this voice in the back of my head chanting that this is all wrong for me, that it was a mistake and I won't be happy. I have talked about this with nursing school friends, and they are sympathetic but no one can seem to really relate to how I'm feeling. They all really want this. I suppose I hope my preceptorship will change my mind. Do any other students feel this way? Have any nurses felt like this? Is it possible for me to feel this way now and find my way to an enjoyable nursing career? I hope so, because I don't know what else I would do. I'm sorry this is so long, but it was cathartic to write.