Last Semester… already?

mantra

Wow… have I been on another planet or what? Not even considered MIA anymore… Well… let’s get to it. I’ll be giving you some updates, tips, and words of wisdom as I enter into my last semester of my 2-year ADN nursing program.

UPDATES

I honestly haven’t been posting lately due to being so busy with school and just going goING, GOING! If you are a nursing student, and have been through at least one semester, you would know what I’m talking about… I bet you’re even wondering why you’re even able to read this because you should be doing other things like… writing your care plan, finishing your readings, watching nursing related videos (FYI I love THIS girl on youtube for quick reviews! She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G).

My fiancé and I moved back in with my grandmother, which means less space, and more distractions, but we are happy to be here to make sure she isn’t alone. I usually just go to campus or Starbucks when I really need to get down to business. I know what you’re thinking, “Nicole, how are you even able to study at Starbucks? It is SO loud!”. Really, I go for the white noise of people talking, coffee brewing, and I don’t feel like I can really procrastinate there when I am surrounded by other people who are studying too which makes me feel like I need to be constantly working… on my statuses for Facebook and pictures for Instagram. I KID! HA!

I feel like I have a solid way of studying, and I’m pretty sure I dominated that style of studying at the end of my 2nd semester (I think). I will share how I study in the “Tips” section of this post.

I took on a new hobby! Calligraphy and bullet journaling! Sooooo… not saying you have to, but you can totally go follow my calligraphy/bujo Instagram account (@calligncoffee). I’ve been finding that to be my self-care lately. It keeps me busy, and it allows me to be a perfectionist. Also, it satisfies my stationary addiction with all these cool brush markers and pens! WOO!

Not so much of an update – I’m still engaged but I HAVE started wedding planning more since the end of my 3rd semester. This semester, I am going to do my best not to really plan intensely due to rumors saying that this semester is over-the-top HARD. So with that… I’ll lead you into my tips where I will tell you how to get through your remaining semesters (I’ll do an updated version when I actually pass this semester, because who knows, it might change!)

TIPS (Do’s/Don’t’s)

DO:

  • Bring in either a printed version or the power points or your electronic device with the power points (excluding your phone) provided by the professor (either 4 or 3 slides per page for the paper version).
  • Record lectures if you are allowed to (always ask the professor beforehand).
  • Re-listen to the lectures about a day or two after the lecture to catch any important information that you might not have thought was so important in class or didn’t hear/pay attention to.
  • Take notes on the same power points in a different color when you are re-listening to the lecture.
  • Take additional notes to add to these power points from the book in another color to differentiate your sources (lecture/re-listening/book).
  • Ask questions because whether you want to ask your question or not, someone else is probably wondering the same thing.
  • Be respectful while other peers are talking. It is SO disrespectful when you are trying to hear someone ask a question (or hear the professor answer the question) and someone else is talking over them with their side chat.
  • Highlight only key points, mnemonics, lab values, other important numbers.
  • Be on time (nothing more distracting than someone coming in late to a lecture that has already started and the door slamming).
  • Have some kind of calendar and mark your exam dates, events, clinicals, and what you should be wearing/bringing with you to those days. I know that sounds silly, but some events probably require you to wear your uniform, a polo, or scrubs, etc.
  • Use post it’s. They’re fun.
  • Drink coffee (or tea, whichever your prefer).
  • Keep your chin up.
  • Keep a positive mind and outlook on the road ahead.
  • Take it one day at a time.

DON’T

  • Be shy. Ask your question, involve yourself in case studies, etc. Professors notice those thing! I feel like most shy people end up coming out of the program a more outgoing person due to the nature of this field. You can’t be shy and work with all these different people in a hospital… it just doesn’t work! LOL.
  • Use highlighters galore. Use one or two colors, and make a key on the page somewhere as to what the colors indicate.
  • Have side conversation in class. It’s rude!
  • Come in the class with a bad attitude, leave that at home. It will ruin your focus in class. Treat lecture/clinical the same as any other job you have had where you had to leave all your personal life at the door (which you should be doing at every job anyways).
  • Expect the professor to baby you. You are a grown adult in a professional nursing program, and it is up to you to be in charge of due dates, assignments, and exam material that the professor establishes.
  • Expect the professor to praise you every day. Sometimes professors have other ways of praising you without directly going up to you and saying “WOW NICOLE! You did great on that last exam!”. Sometimes it will be a smile, or a friendly “hello”, etc.
  • Exclude yourself from all events. You don’t have another time in your life where you get to do all of this fun stuff that you get to do in your program, so take advantage of it now!
  • Make enemies. That is just a big no-no. You and your cohort should be a little family helping each other along the way to graduation. If you have a problem with someone, let them know so issues can be resolved and not gossiped about.
  • Sleep in class. That is just awful and so disrespectful!
  • Fail. Nuff’ said.

 

WORDS OF WISDOM

  • You will do amazing things.
  • You will make a patients day and that is going to make you feel awesome. I speak from experience!
  • You will make mistakes but that is what is going to make you a better nurse… because you’ll never make those same mistakes again. YOU ARE HUMAN! Again, I am speaking from experience!
  • Always TREAT YO’ SELF after a huge accomplishment… *COUGH* ICE CREAM *COUGH* (like finishing an exam that you studied so hard for… just do it… even before you get your grade because you worked so HARD!)
  • Take care of yourself and try not to get burnt out. It is okay to ask for help from family/friends/etc. We all want to be wonder woman/superman but keeping us from being that amazing is stress because stress is our kryptonite. Did that even make sense? I’m trying to be humerus here. HAHA, get it? Humerus?…Alright I’ll stop… 😛
  • Love yourself. You are going to be an amazing nurse!
  • Take one day at a time. I know it is easier said than done, but it is something we all (including myself) need to remember and live by in life in general.

 

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read my post. I am writing this at midnight and I just really felt like I needed to share all this info (I’m sure there is a bunch more in this brain of mine, but I’ll save it for another post). I volunteered yesterday at my nursing school and presented to the new incoming nursing students about some of the things I said in this post. Hopefully you find it helpful too!

Hope you are having a wonderful beginning to 2018! Cheers! ❤

 

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