Photos by: Landon Michael Photography
Today’s the day. This is my last first day of school. My first day of my last semester of nursing school. I’m feeling so many different emotions, I can’t even begin to describe them all. Mainly, I’m just overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with joy that I’m almost done. I’m overwhelmed with anxiety because of all the tests, quizzes, projects, and studying that lies ahead this semester. I’m overwhelmed with that “student hat” I have to add to all the other hats I wear once again. I’m overwhelmed with that nagging feeling of mommy guilt about the time I’ll spend away from my sweet little girl.
Not that I don’t think I can do it. I know I can do it. I’ve been a mother and a student for 5 semesters now. I’ve successfully passed 17 classes while being Alea’s mommy– and gotten better grades than I had when I wasn’t a mom, might I add. I’ve survived all of that, why wouldn’t I be able to survive just one more semester. That’s nothing compared to what I already have under my belt.
I know I can do this.
I’m well organized. I keep lists like you wouldn’t believe. I’m absolutely addicted to my Erin Condren planner. I love color-coding with all 16 of my different colored pens. I’ve earned the nickname “Neurotic Nelly” from my nursing school friends for good reason! I schedule out our meals and activities during the week and in general, I’d say that I’m even more organized when I have even more on my plate. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it? My neurotic, organizational ways don’t stop me from that tight, breathless feeling in my chest though come the beginning of the semester.
I just have this silly little habit of getting stressed-out far too easily. Every semester I get horrible anxiety about going back to school. Without fail, I cry like a baby days before about having to leave my baby at daycare and about all the inadequate feelings I’ll inevitably have about being a mother and a nursing student.
I really don’t want to feel that way this semester though. I’m not going to sit here and feed you lies about how I’m confident about this semester and I’m walking into school with my chin held high and my shoulders back, but I will tell you that I’m trying harder this semester. But I’m not going to try harder to be more. I’m going to try hard to be exactly who I’ve been each semester I’ve been in this nursing program. I’m going to cook dinner for my family, but not feel guilty when I have call and ask Cory to stop and pick-up dinner on his way home from work. I’m going to spend every second I can snuggling and kissing my sweet little girl and not feel guilty about the time I have to spend away from those snuggles studying.
It’s all about finding that balance. It’s not easy to find that sweet-spot where you gracefully toss all those balls up in the air and rotate them in your grasp without giving up and letting them all fall to the ground. It’s not easy at all.
But, I’m starting this semester reminding myself why I’m putting myself through this stress in the first place. I’m in nursing school because it’s always been one of my biggest dreams to become a nurse. I’m in nursing school because a nurse is what I’m truly meant to be. I’m in nursing school because I’m determined to better the life of my family and show Alea that dreams are meant to be reached, no matter what.
I’m in nursing school because even though it’s quite the balancing act, I know that it’s going to be 100% worth it in the end. And in 18 weeks come graduation and pinning, I’ll be giggling that I ever stressed about any of this in the first place.
I can totally do this!