Hello School...AKA Surviving the Nursing Program

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I started back up to school this week, and it has been an experience. I am a RN-ADN first year student, and it has been a real eye opener, but I think I am finally getting over my nervousness and becoming confident in my abilities to become a nurse.

It has been a real challenge. The last few years, all the classes I've taken have either been in the afternoon, evening or online. This week, I've had to be in class at 8 am sharp. I'm not a morning person, never have been, and I work nights, so even the nights I'm not working, I am usually up until midnight or 1 am at least. This week, I've been up by 6 am every morning.

It has been a very stressful week. Going to class the first day and thinking, "Can I really do this? Is this where I am supposed to be?" And especially not knowing any of my fellow classmates when the past two semesters, I've taken classes with a really good friend. And the second day, I was more nervous than the first! Plus, my period had started the night before class started, and I kind of had an emotional weekend leading up to class starting partially due to that as well as being the last weekend that I would spend with family for over two months.

One thing that I am proud of is that even though I was stressful, I have done fairly well eating and exercising. I could sleep in an extra 45 minutes, but I have used that time to spend on my exercise bike and strength training. I also try to get in a walk when I get home to help me unwind before I start on my homework. As for eating, the first couple of days, I took a snack mix that was leftover from the previous week for my nephew's middle school orientation. It wasn't the most nutritional, but at least I had a little something to snack on, and out of two sandwich size bags, I still have 1 3/4 bags left! Because I mostly have class in the morning, I wait to eat until I get home, and I haven't been tempted to stop at any fast food joints on the way there and back.

Another eating challenge that I have overcome this week is not buying the higher calorie drinks at the coffee shop on the first floor of the building we have class at. I am bad about coffee drinks, but I have been good at getting my cup of drip coffee or iced coffee and just adding skim milk and sugar to it. Today I did splurge a little because I over slept and forgot to back a lunch, and we had a full day of lab today. I ended up buying a sandwich there, and treating myself to one of their stuffed croissants (Yum!), but I only ate half the sandwich and the croissant, and saved the other half for dinner. Now I just have to keep myself away from the croissants. No, not really. I made it 4 days before caving in, I can just use it as a treat.

And another thing to be proud of was that after the first day of class, I had gone to Target and purchased a bag of miniature Reese's cups and a large bag of Swedish Goldfish for my stress relief. I had also bought some healthy lunch food, but that was what I was so sure I would turn to. Well, I still have half the bag of goldfish, and I haven't even touched the Reese's, so I am doing good.

I just need to keep it up, and be vigilant in maintaining the healthy choices I have made over the summer. I have a teleconference with my work health coach in two weeks, and I hope by then I will be down to 190 lbs. Leading up to school starting, I had been a little lax, especially since the previous three weekends I had either been at my brother's house, or in Iowa visiting friends. I didn't make the best choices, but I at least have maintained my current weight, and I am ready to start losing some more weight. The real challenge will come when I add work into the mix, which starts tomorrow night.
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