I attempted to celebrate my official being done with undergrad by coming home and jumping back into bed. My body thought it was a splendid idea, but my mind had other plans. It kept racing, reminiscing, and apparently didn’t wanna snooze, so I begrudgingly slumped out of bed, grabbed my laptop, made myself a cup of tea (in hopes that this nap would still happen) and decided to crawl back into bed, wrapping myself into a blanket burrito (even though it’s a whopping 84 degrees outside) in order to allow my mind to decompress.
I am typically quite an emotional person, but it’s like my brain is on auto-pilot, just getting through the checklist, giving everyone a prerecorded schpeel of an answer whenever they ask, “What are your plans after college? What’s next?”
It wasn’t until today, after my last class in Mason Hall (maybe ever) that all the exhaustion of the past four years came full force. As I tossed and turned in an attempt to finally just let myself relax, I began to cycle through each semester. I kept being drawn to all my failures, to places where I could have given more: I could have tried harder for that test, I could have ventured out of my shell, pushed myself more, been more fit, eaten healthier, exercised more, been more outgoing. More more more. And then I just had to stop, take a breath, re-center my thoughts, and remind myself that regardless of the could-have-beens, I did it. I am here. I never really wished for this day a whole lot. Sure there were hundreds of times where I thought, why did I major in nursing school again, I made my life 10x than it should be right now, but I never had the mindset of just wanting to push through college to be done, and for that I am grateful.
And then I think about all of the goals and dreams that were rapidly discarded because I labeled them as “Too Much Time To Accomplish.” Isn’t it silly how we do that? Quit something before we even try because it’s gonna “take too long”?
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding this next chapter of my life, but what I do know is that it will be filled with unforgettable experiences. I am beyond grateful to have gained a world of knowledge in such a short amount of time accompanied by the most incredible people. The world of medicine will be kinder, more compassionate, more loving, and stronger in a few short months.
I cannot wait to celebrate with my loved ones this weekend. One of my favorite words recently has been the word delight. I feel warm little fuzzies in my heart when I hear someone use it. It evokes a sense of warmth and tenderness. I’m eager to delight in and celebrate what I’ve accomplished so far, and I deeply recognize that it has taken a village of support and encouragement to reach this point.
So for that, I also extend my gratitude. Thank you to every single person who motivated me, supported me, encouraged me, and gave me not only their words of encouragement but also their help. I owe countless thank yous: to professors, friends, family members, clinical instructors, and other nurses who held my hand as I wiped butts and pushed drugs (can’t forget to thank Google and YouTube for getting me through anatomy and physiology !!)
But most of all to Jesus and his immeasurable love. For showing me what it means to have abundant joy throughout this season of life, deep in the valleys and high on the hills.
I can’t say I am incredibly sad to be done with exams, but I will grieve the loss of a place that has formed the way I look at learning, relationships, and life.
Up next: not tripping as I walk across the stage, my parent’s heart swelling with pride; enduring lots of sweaty goodbyes in a long black gown; stuffing my face, dancing, laughing, (and probably lots of pictures) while delighting to be in the company of the ones who love me, celebrating what was, and anticipating with joy what is to come.
Oh, and passing the NCLEX and becoming a registered nurse *insert happy yelling and dancing here*