Posted in Grateful, Nursing, Nursing School, Nursing Student, Stress, Uncategorized

DONE!

You guys.

I GRADUATED!!!

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Grad Photo 2017

 

Look how terrified I am in this picture!  Actually it took everything in me not to cry because:

  1. Obviously I was so happy!
  2. I didn’t really get any closure.  Everything just… ended.
  3. I SANG THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT GRADUATION!!!Singing At Graduation

Can we talk about how terrifying that was for a minute?

The weeks leading up to graduation I got no information about anything.  Where I was gonna stand, if there was going to be any sort of mic check, if I was singing with any music, nothing.  I get to the arena on the big day and half an hour before graduation starts they take me and everyone holding flags for their nations (We are a very diverse school with students from all around the world) and they walk is through everything that is going to happen when we start.  I was walking in behind the student carrying the American flag, along side the student speaker.  So, we were literally the first 3 students to walk into the arena full of maybe 3 or 4 THOUSAND people (No joke… see why I was so nervous???).  As they were walking us through everything, I found out that I would NOT be sitting with the rest of the nursing department, but instead, in the very front row in front of the stage, which for some reason was also terrifying to me, but anyway…

At this time, I still had no idea if I was singing with music or if I was doing this a capella.  When they were finished telling us everything we needed to know about where to stand and stuff I promptly asked them what was happening and if I had music to sing to.  And to my horror they said “yes, there should be music”.  I could feel the color leaving my face and I told them politely while trying not to hurl, “I haven’t been sent any music to practice to”.  They went over and talked to the guy running the music and came back and told me that I was going to sing a capella after that.  But even then I was still so nervous because I was afraid that with all of the different things going on, the gentleman running the sound would have forgotten that!

So I stand at the side of the arena, right under my family so they can’t actually see my face, and wait forever for all of the students and faculty to walk in.  When everyone is finally at their seats, they announce me and immediately I can feel my heart pounding and I start getting all sweaty and nervous.  The cameras are all pointed right at my face and I’m PETRIFIED!  I couldn’t look at the cameras otherwise I knew I would forget the words, so I just stared into a void and started singing.

You guys, I felt like I was singing for a year.  I was so scared and so determined to not screw this up.  There’s a video of the whole ceremony up on YouTube and I just gained the courage to watch myself for the first time.  I looked like I was going to pee my pants.  I kept thinking to myself “don’t forget the words, don’t forget the words, don’t forget the words” instead of actually thinking about the words and when I got to “And the home of the brave” I immediately thought “Holy crap, I didn’t forget the words!”  That’s when I kind of snapped back to reality and everybody was cheering and I felt so awkward, so I smiled, gave the mic back, and booked it to my seat.

After the ceremony, we went out for dinner at this awesome tapas restaurant that Boyfriend and I really like and we had great food, great drinks, and lots of laughs.  We were put in a semi private area where we were really able to let our freak flags fly, because yes, we are an extraordinarily weird family.  I love them so much though.  I was so sad for everyone to leave the next day, but we all had to get back to reality.  And I needed to start my final downward spiral breakdown.

Yes.  I had a final nervous breakdown the day after graduation.  Boyfriend and I were making dinner and I kept thinking, “How is this happening?  I’m not smart enough to have just graduated from nursing school”.  I crumpled on the ground in the kitchen and started crying… again.  Boyfriend was telling me that this happens to a lot of people.  It’s called Impostor Syndrome.  Essentially it means you feel like a fraud and you can’t really internalize your accomplishments.  It was a mixture of that and a feeling of “now what”.

That was a few weeks ago.  Since then, I have come to terms with the fact that I am officially done with nursing school.  Now it’s just getting ready to take my boards.  I took a review class with Kaplan last week to help prepare me for that step and it was INCREDIBLY helpful!  It helps you think and answer questions differently.  The way the NCLEX wants you to answer questions.  To any nursing students reading this post, I URGE you to take that course!  Mine was only 4 days long.  It was a lot, but it really has helped me answer questions differently.

So, that’s what my plan is now.  Just getting ready for my boards.  The Kaplan instructor suggests that you study 5 days a week for 6 hours each of those days.  It makes sense to have to study like that.  I need to make a schedule for myself because I also have vacations coming up in July that I need to work through too.  But I know I will make it through this.  I just need to take my time, answer question after question, and review why I got questions right or wrong and I will be in good shape.

I am so proud at how far I have come.  From being told in high school that I would never amount to anything by a horrible excuse for a guidance counselor, to having a diploma in musical theatre AND a BSN, I will NEVER let ANYONE stand in my way.  Ever.

And you shouldn’t either.  You know your own worth.  Don’t let other people make you doubt that.  Since finishing nursing school, I have been thinking about going back to school.  I have even been thinking about trying to get into medical school in the future.  But for now, I have my eye on my nursing boards.  That’s the most important thing right now.  And never, even for a second, take your eye off that prize.  There’s a light at the end of this tunnel.  I can see it.

See you soon, friends.

Rachel ❤

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Posted in Nursing, Nursing School, Nursing Student, Stress, Uncategorized

I’M STILL ALIVE!!!

I just wanted to write something quickly.  I have not forgotten about you, I promise!  I’ve just been so incredibly busy trying to study and get everything done.  Just a few more weeks and it’ll all be worth it!  Thank you for your encouraging words on my last post, and I hope that everyone is doing well!  I wanted to leave you all with a quote that I had forgotten about that I heard again at a nursing conference last week.

“The question isn’t who’s going to let met; it’s who’s going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

And nobody is going to stop me now.

See you soon, friends.

❤ Rachel

Posted in Nursing, Nursing School, Nursing Student, Stress, Uncategorized

Drowning in Work

I think I mentioned in my last blog post that I could feel a nervous breakdown coming on, didn’t I?  Welp.  I had one a few days after I posted that.

And then another.

And another after that…

And honestly, I can keep going on because it’s been nothing but tears, anger, and stress for weeks.  With everything being due at the exact same time in four different classes, bombing an exam, the pressure of having to find a job, etc. etc.  I’m surprised I’m not in a psych ward yet!

But really, I’m fine.  I’m just under so much pressure.  And sometimes, you just need to cry and get it out of your system.  I just feel really bad because now I’m snapping at my nursing friends, my family, Boyfriend, and I’ve just been nothing but nasty because of the stress.  It’s gotten to the point where my friends (who are still being really supportive for some reason) are telling me that they are worried about me because I’m usually so nice and pleasant!

To try to cope with everything I’ve started meditating in my car before class.  I just need to get this under control before people start getting fed up.  Every day I’m apologizing to my friends and on the verge of tears.  I keep telling Boyfriend “Oh my gosh I’m such a jerk”… except I don’t actually say “jerk”.  And then I start getting teary eyed and have to start quietly calming myself down so he can’t tell I’m about to burst into tears or that I’m already in tears.

OH!  I forgot to tell you what triggered the initial breakdown!  We had this big snow storm about a month ago.  I was supposed to see one of my friends in a show.  I haven’t seen her in so long and I promised to come to the past 2 shows she had been in but we had snow storms that prevented me from going.  So I was determined to go to this one!  It takes a little over an hour to get to the theater.  The show started at 2, so Boyfriend and I left around 11:30 to give us some extra time to get there since it was already snowing really hard.  We get to Hartford, which is supposed to take 10 minutes from where we are.  It took us 35-40 minutes to get there.  The highway was terrible.  We had to turn around.  I was so upset, but this meant that we could go back to his place and drink tea and hot chocolate and just hang out.  We got back to his house and I took off my boots and realized I had no idea where my phone was.  Thinking I left it in my car, I put my boots back on and start heading outside.

Now…

The front door to his building is REALLY heavy and closes really fast and really hard.

You wanna know what triggered the initial break down?

I slammed my finger in the door.

REALLY???  -_-

I managed to hold it together until I got back into his apartment.  I took off my boots, my finger was throbbing, I was freaking out about school and stuff that was due, so I said to him “I’m about to have a nervous breakdown” and I run to his bathroom, close the door behind me and melt into a disgusting puddle on the floor, sobbing.  All because I slammed my finger in the door.  How ridiculous.  And since that moment, anything makes me cry!

On top of everything, I have this Kaplan test in about 4 weeks that’s supposed to predict if I’m going to pass my boards or not and if I don’t hit the benchmark for that test I have to take it again.  If I don’t hit it the second time, they let me walk at pinning and graduation, but I don’t actually graduate.  Because I have to keep taking versions of the test or doing courses that prove that I am capable of taking my boards.  That’s not stressful or anything!

My diet is TERRIBLE again and I haven’t been to the gym in like a month.  I mean, there’s a big problem when you start getting e-mails from your gym pretty much asking you if you’re ok and saying “there are so many reasons not to exercise” in these pre-typed e-mails that they send to every gym slacker.  And I know I would feel better if I went.  I just can’t get the energy to get up and go the days I usually do because I’m so tired and just want to sleep or I have an exam and I need to study (especially after the last travesty of an exam).

I’ll tell someone what’s going on in my head and instead of just listening, they always tell me what they think I should do about it.  And I know that they are trying to help me and I appreciate everything they do and say TO help me.  But what I want is for someone to just listen.  That’s all.  We were taught in psych last semester that sometimes patients just want someone to listen to them.  That’s it.  And that’s how I feel right now.  I just want someone to listen to me without judging me, or trying to fix me.  I think that’s why I’m getting fresh so often these days.  And again, I know that all my friends and family are trying to do is help me.  I feel awful that I’m putting people through this.  Once this all ends I hope I’ll go back to the happy-go-lucky, bubbly, weirdo I used to be.  I think I just need to get all of this weight off of my shoulders.  Spring break is next week.  Maybe I’ll feel a little bit better after that.

But for now, it’s back to the salt mines for me.  I’m sorry to kind of unload everything right here.  I’ve just had so many pent up feelings.

I’m going to make it through this.  Catch ya later, friends.

Rachel ❤

Posted in Nursing, Nursing School, Nursing Student, Stress, Uncategorized

“Go to Nursing School” They Said…

This has been a CRAZY few weeks. I have had so much going on with school it’s been so hard for me to keep up. Last week I had my first complex med-surg test and tomorrow I’m supposed to have another exam for another class. On top of those I’ve had homework assignments I’ve had to get done, LOTS of stuff on Kaplan, and I have just felt like I’m drowning. This is probably the busiest semester I have ever had. I’ve been EXTRA crabby because I’m just so overwhelmed and I HATE that. I can sense a nervous breakdown coming. I’m not sure how long I can last this semester without it.

I’ve felt bad for Boyfriend these past few weeks. Every time I’m with him I seem to fall asleep since I’ve had no time to really catch up. And when I do get some rest, I’ll wake up a bunch of times in the middle of the night thinking my alarm didn’t go off and I’m late.

I’ve also been slacking in my workouts. I didn’t go to the gym at all this week because I had my first exam that I was freaking out about, and when I wanted to go on Thursday we had a huge snowstorm and I couldn’t leave my house. So, on top of being so stressed, I’ve been eating poorly and not exercising enough and now I feel like crap. I’ve fallen WAY off my wagon and I need to get back on ASAP. I have 3 months until graduation. I really want to feel good about myself when I walk on that stage to get my diploma. How am I going to do that if I feel screwing up?

I’m really trying hard to stay positive, but it’s just so hard right now. I’m really starting to think about yoga and meditation again. Every time I do those I feel great afterwards! But at the same time, that takes away from my studying. But If I’m feeling like crap and I’m all stressed out then I won’t study. I’ve even started ACTUALLY wondering why I wanted to come to nursing school in the first place. I can’t stop now. I’m too close to the end of this bumpy road.

As I’m writing this, I am thinking about the past week. My adviser (who also teaches one of my other classes) is having a very hard time placing people into clinical spots. She told me the other day she has no idea where to put me. She said, “I’m trying to find really good spots for all of the strong students, and you’re in that category”. I was really surprised by that actually. I’m definitely not the best test taker in the class, but I’m hard working and I give safe, effective care to my patients and I know what I’m doing on the floor. But to be told by your adviser that you are one of the strong students in the class? THAT has been my motivation this past week. I really want to make her proud and prove to her that I AM the strong student she thinks I am and I’m going to be an even stronger nurse!

After thinking about that I feel a little better actually. I just needed to get this off my chest. I’m going to get ready for my day. Catch ya later!

Rachel ❤

Posted in Bad Day, Grateful, Uncategorized

So THIS happened!

Have you ever had, like… a DAY?  I’ve just had one of the most frustrating days.  And surprisingly enough, it had nothing to do with nursing school!

So to start off, I’m sick.  …again.  My head has been pounding all day and my nose has be so stuffy.  Even with that though, I was determined to have a good day.  I started to make a grocery list for the week to try to meal plan.  I hopped in the car and started driving to the grocery store when suddenly… BOOM!  I hear this horrendous grinding noise coming from MY car!  I stopped at a stop sign and very quickly figured out that I couldn’t accelerate.  HOORAY!  Naturally, since I think my car is just a computer, I turned it off and then back on to see if that fixed the issue while thinking “maybe my car just stalled…”.  When I turned it back on, it continued to make the horrendous grinding noise and I noticed that when I was in park and I took my foot off the break, MY CAR WAS STILL MOVING FORWARD!  And I thought “well isn’t this nice”, turned the car off (STILL moving forward even when it’s turned off…), and rushed to call AAA as I’m waving traffic behind me to pass.

I got off the phone with AAA and a guy passing me pulled over and helped get me out of the intersection and onto the side of the road (THANK YOU, KIND STRANGER!!!).  I called my parents and frantically texted Boyfriend who was about to run out of work to save my sorry butt until I told him not to.

So fast forward to when I got to the garage.  They couldn’t actually look at my car until tomorrow, but they helped me get a rental car.  I got my rental car.  And oh my god.  It’s a GIANT MINIVAN!!!  XD  Before driving off in this monstrosity (I’m sorry, I drive a tiny car), I of course had to take a bunch of pictures of myself in it and I just had to sit there and laugh at how, at that moment, I felt like my life was starting to fall apart!

Once I let my day kind of sink in a little bit, I started to think about how much worse it could have been though.  I could have been stuck without a car and I’d be stranded.  Someone could have hit me or my car as I was waiting for a tow truck.  I started to think of how good the situation actually was and I started to feel a little better.  I still laugh hysterically when I think of the fact that I’m driving a minivan, but it’s only for a few days hopefully.  And I’m not knocking minivans!  They’re just not for me.  Yet.  Maybe when I have kids I’ll rethink that statement.

Sometimes you just need to take a couple of deep breaths and realize that you’re just going through a crappy situation right now.  I’m grateful that nobody was hurt.  I’m grateful that I got out of it safely and there where were good people who stopped to help me or ask if I needed any help.  It’s the good things, no matter how big or small, that will get you through your day.  And that, my friends, is what I really need focus on in this situation.

Take some time to think about the good things that happened today and be grateful.

Rachel ❤

Posted in Gym, health, Nursing School

First Day Back at the Gym!

So, I think I’m gonna pay a big price.  Since I was away for the holidays, I didn’t do any exercising for about 2 weeks.  Terrible, I know.  I have no excuse.  So, I decided to go back to the gym today.

Ow.

I probably should have dropped down 5 pounds of weights.  But I wanted to know if was still a beast (well, a beast in my mind…)!  I mean…I made it through with my regular weights, but I almost pulled a muscle.  Smart, Rach.  Really smart.  And then I decided to go to Zumba afterwards.  That was rough.

But you know what?  I’m alive, I’m UNinjured, and I needed that swift kick in the booty this morning.  And I feel good!  Since the craziness ended on Monday, I’ve actually lost 3 pounds.  Mostly due to my diet.  I’ve been trying to be very good about eating mostly vegan, eating more fruits and veggies, and thinking about what I’m putting into my mouth.  There’s this GREAT nacho cheeze recipe that I found over the summer that I absolutely love!  It’s made with cauliflower, and it has a pretty realistic cheese flavor.  I made a big batch of that and I’ve been eating it with veggies, squash noodles, and some vegan Late July chips (which if you’ve never had any Late July tortilla chips, YOU.  ARE.  MISSING.  OUT!).  I’m gonna have to cruise Pinterest this weekend while Boyfriend is over so I can start meal prepping.  Because once this semester starts (and I can already tell it’s gonna be rough) I won’t have a whole lot of time to cook.

I’ve made a plan with one of my friends from school and on Tuesdays, we are going to go to the gym at school and work out during our big break in between morning and afternoon class.  And I realized the other day, since I have class on Tuesdays now, I’m losing my Tuesday Zumba class, so I need to add something in there.  And if there’s a day she can’t go, I’m just gonna do my own thing after class.  I’ve been thinking of starting to run again.  Boyfriend is a runner and I think he would like to do that too.  So maybe I’ll drag him with me!

This is all part of my road to graduation.  I want to look and feel great when I get my nursing pin and my diploma.  And of course be ready for the beach this summer!  But for now, I need to focus on being healthy and passing my classes!

Welp, I’m off to practice for my skills validations.  Wish me luck!

Rachel ❤

Posted in Uncategorized

One last thing for today…

After much thought, I’ve decided to put all of my scary blog posts from the past on private.  There’s just way too much crazy and negativity in them compared to the person I am today.  Plus, they are just incredibly embarrassing!  I’ll keep them for my own personal torture.

Rachel ❤

Posted in Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I apologize for taking so long in between posts.  After I PASSED ALL MY CLASSES (HECK YEAH!!!), things just got really crazy!  I had a week to get things ready to visit Boyfriend’s family and my family and I finished with literally no time to spare.  I went a little overboard.  I made presents for my parents that took a while and I made chocolates and candies for Boyfriend’s family that took probably 3 or 4 days just for that!  But it was all worth it!  We had a great holiday season!

This was the first time I had met his ENTIRE family.  And yes.  I mean his entire family.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, you name it.  I was terrified at first, but I found myself more talkative than usual, which is hard for someone with social anxiety who usually sits near all of the food and keeps her mouth shut the entire time (unless I’m putting food into it).  His grandparents and aunts talked to me about nursing and what I wanted to do when I finished school, which is something I can talk pretty easily about.  After we left I asked him how I did and he told me that I fit in well!  Hooray!

So then we spent New Years with my family.  It was chaotic, to say the least.  My 2 little nephews were there and it was just constant baby watching, which is exhausting!  You can tell I’m not a parent yet.  But we had a great time!

So what do I do with myself now that all of the excitement is over and done with?  Well, I’d really love to read my books for next semester.  Except they’re back ordered.  So that’s out.  I’ve been looking for new vegan recipes to get ready for the new year.  I’m getting back on track with eating healthy and vegan.  I’ve been going to the gym the past few weeks and can already feel myself getting stronger!  My goal is to lose about 30 pounds before graduation.  Boyfriend’s dad got me a veggie spiralizer for the holidays and boyfriend got me a mandolin slicer and I’ve been DYING to try them out!  Let me tell you something.  Pinterest is your BEST.  FRIEND.  I have found all sorts of good stuff on Pinterest over the years, but when I started eating more vegan a few years ago, it was a life saver and it has been ever since!  If you have yet to find the magic that is Pinterest, you are seriously missing out.

Anyway, I’m all out of stuff to talk about for today.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with whatever holiday(s) you celebrate and a Happy New Year!

Rachel ❤

Posted in Uncategorized

Grade Calculating

Finals week makes me panic.  Whether in good standings or not, it’s the time when you look to online grading calculators to calculate what you can get on your final exams to get the lowest possible grade while still passing the class.  I’m surprised it started now and not sooner.  Probably because I am actually going into my finals in a comfortable position.  And of course instead of studying, I’m here.  Typing to you all, looking at vegan blogs, and eating my feelings.  Ah yes.  This certainly is the definition of the “Finals Week Panic” as I like to call it.  No doubt tomorrow night, before I go to bed, I’ll have a lovely, crying, mental breakdown over Skype with my parents like I do before I go into every final I have.  And then when I get my grades, they’ll get phone calls of me hysterically (but hilariously) crying and then we will all start crying, and then my sisters will cry when they hear, and then Boyfriend will tell me I’m awesome, and then I’ll take a much needed nap.  Happens every semester.  I’ll probably be extra snotty this year since I have been fighting off some strange cold.  Yum!

The truth is, I’m still scared.  I have better grades right now than I have ever had and I’m terrified of screwing that all up.  And don’t get me wrong, I work hard EVERY semester.  So, this is a surprise to me.  I have one more semester and then I am done.  Failing in my Senior year is not an option.  You’re probably yelling at me through your computers because I am blogging instead of working.  I know.  I hear ya.  Which is why I am wrapping this up for today.

I will leave you with this.

F.E.A.R. has 2 meanings.  Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise.  I choose to rise.

Posted in Uncategorized

Embarrassing blog posts from the past…

I’m starting to think it was a terrible idea to download my past Xanga posts…because they are scary.  As I read through them I’m actually cringing and having to cover my eyes.  That’s who I used to be as a teenager.  I hope I grew out of THAT!  XD

So, what have I been doing for the past, oh…11 years I think it’s been since the last post?  Welp, I graduated from high school, got my diploma in musical theater, got myself a REAL boyfriend (but after reading him a few of these I’m not so sure he’s gonna stick around for the fun!), I’m 2 years shy of 30 (*gags*), and I am one semester away from graduating from nursing school!

And I learned the differences between two, to, and too.  That’s a huge accomplishment as I can see from my past posts…

I have also become much more appreciative and caring.  I saw so much anger in my past self while reading some of these (and honestly, I think I’ve only read 5 so far…).  Anger that, at the time, was so real.  But you think about those situations now and they mean absolutely nothing.  I now wonder how I really had any friends during that time.  I was CRAZY!  In some aspects I still am, but to be angry about half of the things I was angry about?  Meaningless now.  I still get angry at stupid small stuff.  I try not to.  I really try to control that.  I think I’m doing…well…ok.  I guess you should ask those closest to me.  I’ve always had an issue trying to control my mood or opening up.  Something I’ve been trying to work on since I’ve been with the now-not-so-new boyfriend, whom I will refrain from naming (trust me…he is NOT going to want to be associated with this blog).

I’m thinking of maybe starting this back up again.  Maybe it will help me gather my thoughts and stay on track with my life and school.  I just wonder if I will be as dedicated to this as much as I was when I was a rambunctious teen.

And why do I decide to start these things during finals week???  I did the same thing with a video diary AND another blog like 2 days before my finals in sophomore year.  That lasted oh, a few weeks?  And then I stopped.  And then I did a video entry a year later and then never again!  Perhaps since this one is so ancient I’ll try to keep at it (keyword in that sentence is “try”, folks).  But what to talk about this time?  I can’t talk about nursing school (that’s a HIPPA violation waiting to happen).  I guess I can figure this out as I continue.  But for now, let’s start over.

Hi, I’m Rachel.  Welcome to my world…