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What to do when you literally HATE your classmates?


Hello! I just finished my 1st semester of nursing school (RN) and I can't tell you all how much I LOVE nursing. My classmates & instructors are a different story.

We take all of our exams on a computer, but there is a glitch in the program where the computer spontaneously changes your answers when you submit them. I've talked to all of my instructors about this and all they will say is, "We know the computers do it. You just have to be careful with your mouse!" It's been very disappointing to me that people who will preach ethics and integrity continue to use a system that is flawed and they KNOW it's flawed because they don't want to have to manually enter the grades into the computer. This system cost me a letter grade on my average this semester. I've actually come to accept this, but does anyone else think that it's wrong that they keep using a system that they know is costing students points?

I am going into nursing not for the paycheck or the little letters after my name. I'm going into nursing because I want to be out in the field, helping people who need it most. I want to work at a free clinic or a homeless shelter. A good 3/4 of my class is in it for the money and/or the respect that comes with being an RN. And I can NOT stand them. About 1/3 of the class signed up to do a charity race and 4 of them had an absolute FIT bc they couldn't be on the same team together. The reason their team had to be reorganized was so other people could do the 1st relay and go to work. One even went so far as to say, "They shouldn't have signed up for the da*n race!" The reason being on the same relay team was so important to them? They had bought pink tutus to wear. I'm sorry, but putting a tutu before someone's job tells me EXACTLY what kind of nurse you're goung to be--the kind I don't want anywhere near anyone I care about! Oh, and by the way, no one was ever told to organize their own teams. In fact, they were told NOT to so that work and family obligations could be taken care of first.

Others in the class are pretentious show offs, bragging about grades they didn't make, or constantly telling stories about what a horrible nurse some distant relative with some rare disease had. They monopolize everthing and the instructors seem to eat it up! I literally can not stand the people in that room. They have horrible, shallow, self serving attitudes and I have no idea how I'm going to survive 18 more months with them.

Did anyone else go through this? How did you get through clinicals with these people?

I won't give up because of the rotten attitudes of my class, but they are the reason that nurses get a bad rap for being ill-tempered, incompetent or just plain stupid. I've actually had people make fun of me because I go to a homeless camp once a month to bandage any wounds, bring them some supper & just generally check on their well-being.

Thanks for letting me vent! I appreciate it!

BTW, I DON'T believe all nurses are ill-tempered, incompetent or stupid. But, we all know of someone who gives off that impression and it makes it hard for the good nurses out there! I think the ones doing it for the right reasons are angels and have nothing but the HIGHEST respect from me.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

As far as the computerized testing goes ... I would be sure to get all your communications about that in writing in case you have to appeal a grade, file a grievance, or file law suit. A little "preventative" practice is probably a good idea there.

I would also ask if you could copy your answers on a sheet of paper as you take your test to document your intended answer. You cold show them the blank paper at the start, etc. They will probably say "No" when you ask for that, but they might relent if they know they have a problem and you are willing to work with it -- as long as you have some basic protection in place.

As far as your classmates go ... You have to learn to get along with these people. As a nurse, you will have to learn to work well with all types of people, including people like your classmates. Try not to be so judgmental about them. None of us is perfect, and that includes you and me.

To the poster:

I had a very wise professor once who said what people want more than even money is respect. That's what you're seeing with these people. They're mostly average middle class Joes/Janes who are always trying to keep up with the the neighbors; and when they can't, they're mad at the neighbors. If they manage to surpass the neighbors momentarily, they're not gracious about it (their egos depend too much on it). Ironically, the upper echelon people have been there, done it, and it's no big deal, so you rarely see it in the higher echelons.

Practical advice: advance your education beyond theirs, then they won't bother you. You'll outrank them, so you won't even notice it. You'll also find as you're working with more educated peers, you'll see less of this behavior. Depending on your age and grades, you might also want to think about applying to medical school. Once you have a BSN, you need only a few more chemistry classes to apply and the avg GPA for medical school is lower than for competitive nursing schools. Keep it in mind.


Edited by JustMeee

We get our rationales at the end of the exam, so they would just say we wrote down the answers then. I do have one instructor on tape saying she knows there is a problem and then basically says, "That's just the way it is!"

As far as the class goes, I'm well aware that I'm not perfect, but the juvenille, self serving attitudes are a bit much to swallow some days! I mean, who puts a tutu before someone's job while professing how much they want to be a nurse? Thankfully, I'm not planning on going to a doctor's office or a hospital, so I'm sure I'll never see any of them again after graduation. I don't need the paycheck, so I'm free to do what I want (and that's in a free clinic, shelters, etc) and hopefully, most of those attitudes won't grace us with their presence! I just dread the thought of being in clinicals with "Oh, I just can't stand the smell of poop! It just makes me sick!" I guess basically, I just wanted to vent a little :)

JustMe, thanks! I appreciate that. It helps to know I'm not the only one who sees a problem with this kind of attitude in this profession. I really do appreciate it!

Trilldayz,RN BSN

Specializes in Critical Care (ICU/CVICU).

I can't stand a good majority of my classmates either. So I just talk to the ones I do like (which is like 7 out of 56) and don't engage in the rest of the class and their constant gossip. I just focus on me and my school work. But thank God I will probably never see any of those people again! (My hometown is over 300 miles away from my school)

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

You'll have to deal with people who have motives that are different from yours a whole lot in your career ... it doesn't change after you graduate. If you're going to get yourself in an uproar over someone elses' feelings - over which you have NO control - you're setting yourself up for major exhaustion very quickly.

It's grand that you have such strong motivation for what you do ... if it's working for you and doing some good in the meantime, who cares what the other guy thinks ... or feels. The question is are they doing their jobs?

I'm reminded of a prayer I read once, "Lord, I'll do the work You put in front of me ... the rest is up to you."


Specializes in NICU, ED, Forensic Nursing.

I went through my first semester of Nursing school, having a crappy attitude towards the students, well at least the students who were my age. My main hang out buddies were older and smarter than them. Given that I have a higher maturity level, I grew to despise the students who acted so immature and stupid/shallow. I thought myself above them because I knew exactly what I wanted, and I was going to help people not for the money or the initials, but because I was one of the few young people who actually cares about someone other than themselves. I went to clinicals with some of the dumb shallow young ones, and guess what they were still acting stupid and shallow. But I let the fact that I was in it to help people and they weren't, and they were stupid and shallow, and oh they'll never make it in this program, blah blah blah, screw me up in the head so bad that I was the one who wound up having to repeat my first semester. While the shallow ones went on. Guess I'm not as smart as I thought, huh. I am going to turn over a new leaf this semester. It involves more studying! And not judging anyone, getting involved with as many people as I can, and giving them a chance to be human and make many, many mistakes hopefully not life threatening ones, and trying to make myself realize, that life really is better when you are happy, and not judging others, and not believing you are better than someone else just because you're here for "the right reasons" After all what exactly are "the right reasons." Could it be The young teen mom, whose parents kicked her out at 18, with nowhere to go, no one to turn to, who needs a way to make money to feed her kid? (

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

Great post, PCTtoRN. You've learned some valuable life lessons and I wish you the best of luck on your journey.


Specializes in NICU, ED, Forensic Nursing.

Thanks llg. I hope it works out. but putting it into practice and saying it are two different things. But we are all in this journey together, might as well have some fun while doing it.

JeanettePNP, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy. Has 8 years experience.

To be quite honest, HATE is quite a strong emotion to have towards your fellow classmates. Annoying and irritating, perhaps, but if you're really feeling that violent towards them that's something for you to analyze. Why is their lack of seriousness towards the program getting under YOUR skin that much? Just roll your eyes at their childishness and get back to doing what you need to get through school.

:) You're right. I don't necessarily HATE them as much as I wish they'd develop a new life plan and change majors, LOL! Although, the tutu bunch I could label as "strongly dislike" now :)

I was in the same boat as you. I disliked my classmates and dreaded going to clinical. I hated every minute of nursing school. I was consumed with dislike for most the students and instructors that I let it consume me and didn't want to study at all. I thought about changing majors that how badly I wanted out. The instructors favored the popular students that were cheating and gave me a hard time. I grew to loathe the nursing profession and didn't want to continue but then I realized I put in the work and time and I need to complete this program. Now I'm finishing online at my own pace and don't have to deal with all the classroom drama. Don't let others keep you from your goal. Stay focused on your studies. And pay no mind to the rest of the BS.

You don't have to be friends with everyone you work with; you just have to be able to work with them. If you get along with them/ are friends with them, that's just a bennie. I've tried to live by this since I joined the military years ago and would be so annoyed by many of my peers. This concept was greatly challenged in nursing school (much more so than it ever was in 8 yrs in the military). Especially by those with very, very questionable ethics, and the whining- oh God, the whining! The few people I became good friends with I actually have very little in common with, but we just got along. There was only one other mother- out of 40 students- and she lived far from me, and to be honest, just not my "type."

Group work was extremely painful at the beginning because we worked in assigned groups, but as school went on, we were actually able to pick who we worked with, to some extent, which really help. We knew each other's strengths and weaknesses and it made things flow so much better.

Also, it's great that you are not tied down to working for a salary, but for most people, that's just how it is, and it does seem like you are judging them d/t your "higher calling." I also enjoyed working with the homeless and am drawn to the ideology of community clinics, but for now, I work in a hospital, paying back my student loans and making sure my kids have everything they need (and a few things they want).

It was fairly easy to pick out those not worth my time and energy, and when at all possible, I just kept away from them. When I absolutely had to work with them, I was cordial, professional and made sure that an acceptable end result was obtained. Otherwise, they were really not on my radar.

JeanettePNP, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy. Has 8 years experience.

I guess I just lucked out. For the most part my classmates were mature and we all got along. The only classmate I ever had an issue with was one who was very domineering and liked to assign everyone jobs for group projects without getting input from the group. Nobody else seemed bothered by this -- they were either happy to have someone take charge or didn't want to make waves.

I guess when I say, "They're only doing it for the money" I don't mean that they're doing it because they have a family to support or anything like that. I think that's noble, too. The ones I'm talking about are the ones that just picked nursing because they could get a job fast & make more money and have no concern for people in general. I guess I'm naive, but I think nurses should care about something other than themselves. It's just their general attitudes that bother me at times. Like, for example, a bunch of us signed valentine's for kids in the hospital. It wasn't something the student nursing org or the school organized, it was just an idea some of us had. We bought the valentines, all they had to do was sign their first name to a couple & they wouldn't do it because there was no one to see that they did it. That sort of thing is what bugs me.

When I say I don't need the paycheck, I don't mean I'm rich, because I'm far from it. If we wanted to race out and buy a bigger house and newer cars, then I would need the paycheck. But, we live within my husband's salary & I can comfortably work a day or two a week prn for spending money, the kids' college fund, etc. We aren't planning on changing our lifestyle, so I'm fortunate that I can give back to those in need. I'm not really judging anyone, it was just a real eye opener that nurses could be so selfish and self involved. I guess I was just venting more than anything. Although, I do dread getting stuck in clinicals with about 6 (out of 50ish) of them. So, those numbers aren't too bad. I'll do like 0402 said and be professional, courteous, and polite and then come home and tell my husband what idiots they are (I'm joking!) I just mainly wondered if anyone else didn't just LOVE all their classmates & blowing off some end of semester steam!

Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate it!

Have a great Mother's Day!

Think about this as another learning adventure in nursing school, in which you are being tested on your patience with others and overcoming negative thoughts. Learning to overcome this will help you in dealing with others in your career as well. Face it, not all of your patients and coworkers are going to be amazing individuals either.