For everything I have to be sad about I have 20 others things to be grateful for in my life.

I worked my butt off this year in my first year of nursing and despite all the challenges that landed on my plate I was able to push hard and come out with some pretty decent grades. I did in the end have to drop anatomy and physiology, but luckily I had a supportive team who have allowed me to complete the physiology component over the summer at Western to allow me to compliment my previous anatomy courses.

I never thought I would have been able to pull off a B- in biochemistry. Let’s be real. I haven’t touched a science course in over 6 years, let alone remember those tedious details the come with those courses. For me it was as complicated as to having to relearn what the heck a cell was. I came out of the midterm with a 57 when you needed an overall average of 60% for the course to pass. I was scared crapless to say the least, but I pushed and bought extra books, went to tutoring sessions, and read until I couldn’t take it anymore and guess what on that final I kicked butt with a 71. To some that’s low, and for someone who is typically an 80’s student in theory it is. Normally I would be quite upset to get a 71 in anything. But for me that 71 means the world, I worked my butt off for that achievement and I know that grades don’t define who I am and i’m grateful I don’t have to retake it.

I know the tough road to becoming an RN doesn’t stop here, I still have to push through two years of pathophysiology, stats and of course a years worth of microbiology and pharmacology. Nothing good comes easy and despite all the roadblocks that often come in my way i’m going to continue to fight. I didn’t choose to go into nursing school because it’s the “easy route” out, because that would be freaking insane. Why risk putting myself in my debt, uncertainty, and stress for something like this. Why give people fuel to doubt me and my choices?

I don’t think people understand what it’s really like to be in nursing school. I know in a sense society looks down on nurses as being the “lesser” version of a doctor, but the amount of stuff we have to know as a nursing student let alone as a nurse is ridiculous. Considering medical students are typically in their early 20’s compared to nursing students who are for the most part 17/18 when they first start, the material we have to know is crazy.  The assessments we have to perform, the codes we have to learn, the machines we have to program and use. Who do you think calls the doctor in those situations of unusual findings? Who spends the most time with the patients? Who’s the first person to run into a patients room when the alarm bells go off? Who performs triage and determines which patients need to be seen first? Who administers most of the medications? Yes the doctor confirm and verbalize the diagnosis and medications, but you need nurses and you need competency from both groups. Healthcare is teamwork, no one is lesser than the other. I’m excited for the expanded role of RNs in being able to convey diagnosis’ and prescribe medications because I think it makes for a more efficient system and will only help people recognize the role that nurses actually play in their recovery and in the care of their loved ones.

I chose this route because I know deep down it’s the right route, i’m on the right path, and i’m going to be an amazing nurse. I was lucky to be selected to be part of one’s of Canada’s best nursing schools and i’m going to be damn certain I graduate with that honour. Because deep down I know how many people would kill to have had my spot and for every bad day/week/month that I face i’m going to keep swimming (yes, Finding Nemo is my favourite movie) and I hope to one day inspire someone else to push for their dreams as well no matter how bleak the road seems at times.

For someone that didn’t almost make it out of third year in my undergrad, I hope this helps to inspire people. Mental illness isn’t a joke, my struggles with depression and anxiety have set me back 10 steps many times, but my perseverance to come out on top has often pushed me forward 20 steps. This post is for those who sometimes struggle to see the light, forget why they’re fighting, are often doubted by others, and need some inspiration to keep fighting for your goals this is for you. Keep pushing forward. Great things take time.