It has been just over a year since I graduated from UCLA, and it simultaneously feels like this has been one of the longest years ever but also somehow I blinked and it disappeared. Day to day I have worked harder and persevered through more than I had ever expected but on the whole time sure has flown.
It’s hard to believe that a year ago I had no idea what nursing school would bring or the things that I would see along the way. I’m 10 months out of 15 in and have learned so much more than I ever expected.
One of the things nursing school has done for me is that it has opened my eyes to see people of all walks of life. It has brought me into conversations with people that I ordinarily would never connect with. It has taught me that bad things can happen to any of us – whether physically or mentally. It has made me truly see that mental illness does not discriminate. It has opened my ears to listen to each individual person’s perspective – whether I agree with it or not. It has allowed me to realize that we as humans are all so much more similar than we could imagine – that we all have struggled more than we let on; that we are all so much stronger than we realize.
I know this probably all sounds a little cheesy. But every word of it is true. From clinicals at a psychiatric facility, to attending an AA meeting, to helping out at a homeless shelter and playing with kids in daycare, nursing school truly has brought me into so many places and situations and for that I am so grateful.
Nursing school also has helped me to realize that nothing is black and white. There is no perfect solution to treat a disease nor is there a perfect way to care for someone. There is no way to have a perfect healthcare system and there is no way to make everyone like you. This world sure as heck is messy. But getting to walk through the mess with people and connect with them on a deeper level has been one of the greatest gifts that I’ve been given.
I’m so thankful that I found nursing because I don’t think that there is a more perfect career for me. I know that once I’m out there practicing as a nurse it’s probably going to be one of the hardest things that I ever will do. But it’s what God put me on this earth for and that’s pretty cool.