Nursing school finals frustration

Image: Corbis Photography | Veer

In less than 4 days I will be taking my one and only final of the quarter and FINALLY starting my 3 week summer vacation. That cloud 9 is still lingering and floating around, but the haze of it is wearing off and the panic is starting to set in. I feel like every quarter, my study habits change, I do something differently and it changes the way I have to approach studying. This quarter, we had an instructor who recorded lectures for us, so I can re-listen to anything I didn’t catch. I wrote out my class notes in a notebook, I have a text-book outline of the chapters, the PowerPoint slides from class, and then the text book.  It’s all spread out here in front of me and despite all the quarter’s I’ve studied successfully, and despite all my advice on note-taking and study prep… it’s all gone out the window and I am staring blankly at this growing list of ways I could  be studying that I’m thinking through in my mind.

Do I listen to the lecture by itself? Or with the class notes? What about that week I couldn’t make it to class because of mandatory work training? Should I go over what’s in the book again? Or just the outlines? My notes? Maybe I should take new notes? My brain is going through a whirl of questions. Ok- Deep breath. Let’s take this one chapter at a time. Where’s that confidence I was talking about keeping up at the beginning of the quarter?

It’s like this every 10 weeks. Just like week 7’s rut, and week 9’s cloud of ‘almost-vacation’ loveliness, week 10 finishes and in the days leading  up to finals, the panic ensures and us students are left frazzled, sitting on top of a pile of papers, textbook open with all words highlighted, and a growing tab at Starbucks as the coffees keep coming. This has now become a part of our lives, quarter after quarter. But despite all the frustration, the late nights and early mornings (or the 24 hour die-hard study sessions), it’s totally worth it for that breath of fresh air when you step out of the final, finally done, and knowing you’re that much closer to those two little letters behind your name.

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