The semester is finally over and we have come a long way in the past sixteen weeks. From everything I have heard from administrators with the university and previous graduates, the first semester is the most difficult for students. Within this semester, I have learned about multiple disease processes, the drugs to help treat these diseases, and how to apply the nursing fundamentals in a clinical setting. Being an accelerated program there have been courses that have lasted eight weeks and others that have lasted all sixteen. In order to successfully navigate this program, studying can be overwhelming. Most weeks, I am putting in 30-40 hours of studying. The policy for this program is that you are allowed to fail (< 77.5%) one course. A student is allowed to retake that course, but will fall back a semester, graduating at a later date than the rest of the cohort. So, going into finals week was stressful. The exams were cumulative, as well as new material added on top of it. My week consisted of late nights, drinking a full pot of coffee each night, taking half hour power naps to rest my brain, and eating nothing but junk (not the best combination). Four test in four days, much worse than 565 miles in 28 days.
After the week was complete, I had received two A’s, two B+’s, two B’s, and a B- for the semester. Although, I am happy that I got through the semester, I still feel like I should have done better, but that’s just how I operate. Now, I have a rejuvenation and am wanting to finish this next one with a 4.0 GPA. This previous one was a learning experience, like most periods of our lives. I had to learn how to effectively study and learn at an academic level again. I have always been a hands on, visual type of guy, so reading hundreds of pages in a text book is not the ideal situation. Most of the time as I read, I would be thinking about work, paying bills, or just getting through the week. I guess that’s how life goes as we grow up. We find ways to pile more and more on ourselves in hopes that the results are in our favor.
With the semester ending, I am on my holiday break. Three weeks of working and spending time with my daughter. On the day of my last final test, I picked her up from her mother's. As we drove that morning, I turned to her and said, “Guess what Elleigh? Daddy doesn’t have to study anymore for the next three weeks.” She looked at me with a blank stare. A few seconds later, a smile appeared on her face and she began to laugh saying, “Yay, daddy doesn’t have study anymore.” My heart filled with joy. That night, we sat next to the Christmas tree and started a new family tradition. Sitting on pillows and under blankets, I read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” She loved it, although it took about twice as long because all the questions she had (mostly about how old Cindy Lou Who). We read it every night following that.
Chasing another page, another chapter, and another goal is where I will be, same place, same mentality.