Hello Nursing School, Goodbye Social Life

Hello Nursing School, Goodbye Social Life

Passing the TEAS exam opens a whole new window of educational opportunity: goodbye gen-ed prerequisites, hello nursing school! And while your admittance to nursing school is something to celebrate (how many of your friends had to pass a test just so they could take more tests?), it’s not without its challenges. You’ve probably heard from nursing school survivors that the classes are tough, the teachers have insane expectations, and the amount of information you’re expected to learn over the course of your studies could fill an entire library. But did you ever stop and think what it would do to your relationships?

When I entered nursing school almost 10 (!) years ago, I thought I was prepared for what lay ahead. I always did pretty well in high school and early college, and with a little bit of studying here and there I was typically able to keep something close to an “A” average. However, the minute I entered “Introduction to Professional Nursing” I knew my life was no longer going to look the same. Even though it was just a basic introductory course, I found myself studying more and excelling less. Because of the way the program was structured, an “A” was almost nearly unattainable, and a “B” was something that earned bragging rights. I always dismissed the people sitting at home reviewing flashcards on Friday nights as insane over-achievers, and here I was becoming one. My non-nursing friends couldn’t understand what had happened to me and would get frustrated when I wasn’t able to drop what I was doing to run to the mall or catch a movie. And I was frustrated too- I wanted to be a nurse, but not at the expense of everything else in my life.

I wish I could tell you I found the easy button for coasting through nursing school, but the reality is there isn’t one. I think the key to making it through with your grades and social life intact are a combination of two things: balance and organization. Although it may be tempting to throw everything yo u have into being the best nursing student in existence, you have to save some of your time and energy for the other people and things in your life. Set up a realistic weekly studying schedule each semester, with a few “optional” time slots that you only utilize during really tough weeks. Set aside time to hang out with friends and family, and leave at least 15 minutes free every day for some much-needed “me” time. Your schedule will likely need some tweaking as time goes on, but keeping everything written down and organized will alert you to areas that you could be neglecting or where you may be spending too much time.

Life goes on, and although it may not feel like it, nursing school will come to an end eventually. If you neglect your friends and family during the 2-6 years you’re in school, you run the risk of losing relationships that were likely years in the making. With careful planning and organization, it’s possible to strike the right balance between studies and social life- and come out of nursing school with your Friday nights still intact.

Hello nursing school, goodbye social life

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