Ok, so you took all of your pre-requisites (We will talk about pre-reqs in another post), you applied to schools, you’ve got accepted, you google what nursing school is going to be like and it now has you freaking out, now what?
I’ll tell you this right now, don’t believe everything you read.
Every website you will read or every nursing account on social media you will come across will portray nursing school as an almost impossible journey full of sleepless nights, losing friends and family, and gaining weight. This all does not have to happen, if you DON’T LET IT.
Yes, you will have some nights where you have to stay up late to complete your readings, do assignments, and care plans, but if you have proper time management skills, a schedule will keep you from going a night without sleep. Of course, schedules change and things get in the way, but there is always a way to figure it out. Figure out what needs to be done by the morning and what can wait until after class the next day. If you have an assignment due at a certain time, obviously that will be at the top of your priorities. If you have a bunch of chapters to read, do not squeeze them in by reading through the night (probably not retaining much) and shuffling to class, while barely keeping your eyes open and not paying attention to the lecture. Now you just set yourself up for an unproductive day. You will want to go to sleep after class, wake up feel groggy, and not get anything done that day, and will end up another day behind. So what can you do to start off on the right foot? Make a schedule and stick to it! This is what I suggest you do to make a proper schedule:
- Get a planner or a calendar.
- Write down the days and times you have class/clinical.
- Write down the times you have work, pick the kids up from school, etc. (When you won’t be able to study or do assignments).
- Now find your free time and dedicate your studying to those hours and don’t cheat yourself!
Now in the process of all this you are worried about gaining weight and having time to go to the gym. There is always time to exercise. If you have class at 8 A.M, wake up at 5 and get to the gym, go for a run, or workout at home for an hour. Make a nice breakfast, possibly a lunch (If you don’t want to spend money) and prepare to leave for the day. If you’re not an early morning exercise person, save it for the end of the night after you finish everything, or even in between school and studying.
So, now you read that you should “be prepared to lose friends and family” and you’re starting to think to yourself “How can I not let this happen?”. Easy, DON’T LET IT HAPPEN! Most of the time that people lose their friends and family the reason is because they do not make time for them. Yes, you are going to be very busy, but this all reverts back to your time management skills (As a nurse, you are going to have to be able to manage your time very well anyway, so start now). Always make time for your friends and family, it is ultimately up to you when you allow yourself some free time and how you choose to spend that free time.
Don’t fall into the hype of nursing school! I will be the first to admit, yes it will be difficult, it will be time consuming, but it is NOT impossible, and you CAN do it. It is up to YOU to make time for your personal life. Make a schedule, stick to it, and work hard!