Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Second year nursing school - starts today!

Well, technically, I went to a classroom yesterday, given that the schedule indicated yesterday as the start day...but that class actually starts a week from yesterday.  However, I wasn't the only one present, and had a chance to chat with a few classmates and meet new ones.

So here I am -- second year nursing school about to begin (for real!) later today.  What a difference a year makes!  This time last year, I was a nervous wreck. Well, only part of me was nervous about starting university classes again, this time as a (ahem!) "mature student".  The other part of me was in almost complete disbelief that I was actually starting nursing school classes.  That latter sensation partially lingered throughout the whole of first year, mostly due to the fact, that all the classes were lectures.  Had clinicals or some form of labs started first year, that vague feeling of disbelief of truly being in nursing school would have dissipated quickly.  I should also add that, typical for me, I worked at my job until the very last day before classes started, not leaving a bit of time to transition psychologically.  Live and learn.

Now, at the start of second year, my approach to nursing school is completely different.  I am looking forward to starting classes, to getting more credits completed to getting that BScN, and to getting out working again (6 more semesters --72 more weeks -- bring it on!).  I now know many of my classmates, I know that I am not the only non-18 year old in my classes, and I think this year I'll be getting to know even more of my classmates, as the labs start, and we're put in a situation where we have to interract more with random strangers who are our classmates. 

Last year I was so hung up about my age and being back in a first year university environment, especially after being in a professional workforce for so long.  But we have a diverse enough mix of students in the nursing class (like many nursing school classes, from what I've read about), that I don't feel overly old.  When doing my first degree, I remember vividly how the 'mature students' looked through my 18-year old now I am keenly aware of how ancient I must look to them!  And to an 18-year old, anyone over 26 looked positively ancient.  I must admit that I truly don't feel my age at all.  I definitely don't feel like an 18 year old anymore, but more like I did in my late 20s-early 30s.  Maybe this is the 'young at heart' feeling I've heard about.  I'd certainly like to keep that feeling, attitude and approach to life forever!!!

But as I start second year, I know I'm not alone as a second-career nursing student.  I hope that the high school kids have had a year of exposure to university life, and realize that it's not a homogenous group like high school was.  It's called reality, and is a situation they'll be faced with for the rest of their lives.  And frankly, I fully realize that I'm not there to 'fit in' as I did when I was doing my first degree.  My reality and life experiences are completely different.  All I hope to achieve from the younger set is a mutual respect as classmates, to co-operate and work together, and possibly even have some fun while at it.

The nursing school reality will set it later this week.  I'm researching stethoscopes ("toys" are fun!) in order to buy one, and figuring out what scrubs and lab coats we'll need for this semester.  Yes, I am now truly a nursing student.  Yay!!!

My self-proclaimed fitness challenge is going exceedingly well.  I am really pleased with that accomplishment, and fully intend to continue it.  It completely amazes me that I am able, within the span of just under two weeks, to go from mostly sedentary to running 4 km in 32 minutes.  I started running gradually, didn't overdo it, nothing hurt, and I was able to keep upping the distance and time.  I feel great, and am thoroughly enjoying that so-called 'runners high' feeling, that keeps circulating for hours after a run.

I'm starting to think about setting some running goals, a 5 km race, in the coming couple months.  But more about that later!

Onward and upward -- here's to second year!!!

Future Nurse Kate


  1. I'm glad you are excited to be starting your second year, have fun buying your 1st stethoscope!! Remember to have fun and laugh at yourself and this year will be a great one.


  2. Thanks so much for the comment! Yes, having fun and laughing at myself are two very important priorities in my life. I've even taken the latter to an elevated level. At my former government job with the foreign service, the pressure, stress, deadlines, timing etc were all too often incredibly high. I'd tell my colleagues, "I can cry or laugh right now...I choose to laugh!", and we would, at the absurdity of the situation. I bet that will be a "transferrable skill" for my upcoming nursing career! :-)