Halfway There

Phew, I made it to winter break. Which honestly was not a given. I never had to work this hard when I got my first undergraduate degree, or my Master's!

This also marks the halfway point of my nursing program, which is both encouraging and discouraging. It is like mile 13 of a of a marathon. On the one hand, I've already covered so much ground. On the other hand, I'm tired and I still have a long way to go.

In fact, I've found a lot of similarities between nursing school and marathons.

Have faith in yourself
I always get freaked out at marathon expos. I look around and feel like everyone else looks like so much more of a "real runner." I felt the same way going into school. As someone with no science background, I felt like I was at such a disadvantage. In both cases, I have to just remind myself that I do belong and I can do it.

Run the mile (or semester) you are in
I am queen of worrying about what is to come. In a marathon I cross mile 1 and already start worrying about mile 25. In nursing school, I worry about a paper due in 2 months or how hard next semester is going to be. Not only does this cause me needless anxiety, but it takes my attention away from what I should be dedicating myself to right now. I'm really trying to check myself when I find that I am worrying about something way in the future.

Take care of yourself
You won't get through a marathon if you don't hydrate and take in energy throughout the race. At the start I school, I was trying to treat it like a sprint. I was going all out all the time, and not taking time to sleep, eat, or relax. I eventually realized that sleeping and yoga and taking time to relax with my family and friends was just as important as school.

Enjoy the little things along the way
I've run marathons on all seven continents, and yet I couldn't tell you much about the courses themselves. I was so focused on my goal of finishing the race, that I didn't pay any attention to what was happening around me. I probably missed out on a lot of amazing sights. So, in school I am trying to remind myself to slow down. I sat and just talked to my patient for more than an hour in clinical one day, instead of just completing my assessment as quickly as possible and leaving the room. As a result, I heard an amazing life story and left clinical feeling like I'd made a real difference in that patient's life.