The week 7 rut
I’m having flash backs. I’ve been here before. This rut of feeling like, “oh my gosh, how am I ever going to get all of this done!?!” The panic is setting in and despite having a ton of work sitting in front of me, I can’t quite figure out where to start. Everything I need to work on is top priority at this point. What do you do? It’s the dreaded week 7.
My school runs on the quarter system, so we only have 10 weeks per session. Weeks 1-3 always seem to drag. You feel like you’ve been in class for ages and ages and you’re only 1/3 of the way there. Then POW there’s a test and the next 3 weeks flash before you. Your class really gets rolling, you’re starting to feel good about the material (or not so much, but at least you’re feeling more comfortable with it – a little less clue-less). Then comes week 7. It’s inevitable. I don’t even realize what week it is, but I start to get this apprehension, this overwhelming feeling as I sit in front of my computer. I stare blankly, not really sure what’s happening, but my brain feels like it’s been hit by a bus. I start to panic and then as I look at my calendar at what needs to get done, I realize it’s week 7, as always.
It’s that point in time right before everything is due (usually week 8 and 9) and right after a big test. Having the test over and done with, you feel like you have some down time to focus on everything you neglected while studying, but in reality, the minutes are ticking by and there’s no rest for the wicked (or for the nursing student). There’s a case study, and a “fact sheet,” a revision of one paper and a draft of the next. Not to mention your work schedule and your personal life all manage to get super busy at the same time, and they’ve scheduled you for a standardized test right in the middle of it.
What’s a nursing student to do? Well, we can only do what we’ve been trained to do – both in the class room and on the floor – just keep working. One thing we do well is keep on keeping on when things get crazy. We can sit and sulk or panic (something I do when I am tired of “keeping on”) but at some point we realize that it’s not going to get us anywhere. We’ve got to prioritize and multitask and focus all at the same time. I think nursing school plans things out this way. It’s the part not written into the curriculum, but there for a reason – the underlying lessons of how to be a nurse. There’s only one thing left to do…roll up my sleeves and get to work!
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
By Ani Burr, RN