Students blog

Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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  • A vet tech holds a grey and white kitten wrapped in a towel.

    Embracing Your Journey: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into Your Future

    Taylor Perline

    It takes a great deal of courage to finally take that step, make that phone call, or walk out that door. Many college students are studying in order to have successful careers once they graduate. Some may know exactly which direction they want to take, while others may only know a broader view of what they want their lives to look like. Regardless, it can be exceedingly difficult finding motivation to take risks and put ourselves into the situations we need to be in to turn our dreams into reality.

    Few Opportunities

    As a second-year undergraduate student that aspires to someday be accepted into vet school and obtain a degree in veterinary medicine, I know these emotions firsthand. Finding experience within my field was no easy feat. It seemed like no matter how many emails I sent or how many phone calls I made; nobody was looking for any assistance from a college student. In truth, I felt horribly behind my peers, who told of growing up on farms or having extensive animal experience since they were young. It made me begin to lose motivation and feel like I was never going to catch up.

    Everyone’s Path is Different

    It is essential to realize that everyone is on a unique path, and that progress happens at different paces. For me, that was this most recent summer. After what seemed like an endless number of back-and-forth calls, texts, and emails, I found myself gaining new experiences in my field that I never before dreamed of. For others, this may look like a new internship or shadowing opportunity. For me, I was able to begin working as a veterinary assistant at a local clinic, working as a volunteer/intern with farm animals, and shadowing a veterinarian that worked with horses. In these past months, I have learned more than I have in my entire life about my chosen field, and this has done nothing but encourage me to keep going and fight for what I believe in.

    Don’t Let Your Attitude Define Your Magnitude

    I would have never been able to gain this experience if I hadn’t been able to step out of the comfortable life that I was used to. Feeling anxious and behind in my career held me back but realizing that instead of viewing my lack of experience as a hinderance, I could embrace the learning process and approach each new experience with curiosity and enthusiasm.

    Today, I am so grateful to myself for taking that step. I hope to encourage others that they have the ability to pursue whatever they wish to in life. It means taking on new challenges, networking with those in your field, and waking up every morning with the ambition to learn. Anything is possible!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • Blog author Mia is standing against a blue sky with white cloud background, holding a coffee-to-go cup. She has her eyes closed and is smiling.

    How I Overcame Academic Anxiety

    Mia Gutierrez

    I found my junior year of college to be my most difficult year yet. The workload was very challenging, and I had to let go of numerous extracurricular commitments and social events. It was hard to leave roles that I was passionate about and sacrifice time with family and friends. I realized midway through my Fall semester that I was taking multiple tests every three weeks or so and had a never-ending course load.

    Unfortunately, it got to the point in the semester where I had four tests in one week and studied for hours on end. This brought me a substantial amount of stress and anxiety. It wasn’t until I took my Operations Management test, I realized that I had academic anxiety. I couldn’t focus properly and even though I studied enough, I panicked and felt like I was going to fail.

    However, I was able to overcome the anxiety that I experienced during my junior year and was able to excel in both my Spring semester finals and course grades overall. I attribute being able to overcome this hurdle in my college career to several different areas of my life: faith, fitness, mental health breaks, and connection with family and close friends.

    My faith is what primarily helped me through this mental block. I felt that reading my Bible, doing devotionals, praying, and having others at church pray for me as well really made an impact. I truly wouldn’t have gotten through that year without relying primarily on my faith.

    In addition, focusing on fitness and implementing mental health breaks when working on schoolwork aided me greatly in overcoming this obstacle. I love to work out, it’s a great stress reliever and very refreshing. I made time to lift weights and run every day. This allowed me to start off my school days on a positive note and helped me to have a confident mindset. In order to prevent burnout during my schoolwork days, I downloaded a timer app on my laptop and scheduled mental health breaks between study and homework sessions. I was able to clear my mind and not get overwhelmed from working on coursework for too long.

    Something I value most is spending time with my family and close friends. I truly wouldn’t have persevered this last year without them. Having people to talk to and be completely honest with was integral to overcoming academic anxiety. Who you have in your corner is important and essential in both the joyful and challenging parts of life. You need people who can cheer you on and be a shoulder to cry on.

    As someone who has dealt with mental health issues ever since high school, I know it’s important for students to know they’re not alone. There are so many stressors that can be overwhelming and worrisome in a college student’s life. You’re not crazy about crying over a test or panicking about numerous deadlines at once. Also, you won’t be stuck forever feeling this way. You can and will overcome academic anxiety. You can and will graduate with the degree you’ve been working towards. In the moment, I know it is easy to want to give up and believe that you won’t get through college. I encourage you to implement some of the strategies I’ve given above or reach out to a family member or friend for help. You’ve got this!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A screenshot of a Google Sheet listing college expenses and ‘Help Me!!” at the end of the list.

    Five Money Management Tips for College Students

    Peyton Maria

    Budgeting in college can be very hard. With the world at your fingertips, new events every day, and the convenience of fast food, saving money in college almost feels impossible. However, there is hope. With a few quick lifestyle changes, you can easily go from pinching pennies to having enough savings to survive when you graduate.

    Keep Track of Your Spending

    Some bank apps make it really easy to do this, but even if you just need an excel sheet, keeping track of the money you’re spending can be a gamechanger. When you are constantly writing down what you're spending, it causes you to be more cautious of how much you are spending monthly. Suddenly, a $7 coffee every other day doesn’t seem as tempting, and eating in allows you to spend more money in the long run-on things/experiences that will mean more to you than the late-night Canes run. Pick and choose what’s more important and keep track of what your weekend meals add up to.

    Set A STRICT Budget

    And no, this doesn’t mean transferring money out of your savings every time your monthly budget runs dry. In order to save money in college, you have to create a budget and stick to it. My rule of thumb is 40% savings, 60% checking, then dividing that up into gas, groceries, bills, wants, and needs. The important thing is sticking to what you have set at the beginning of the month and not going over it. When you go over, you are already setting yourself up for a bad month to follow. When you go under, you’re able to spend more money where you want to in the coming months.

    Be Intentional

    It is so easy to spend money when you aren’t thinking about it. Small purchases for $5 or $10 can seem like nothing, but then all of a sudden you’ve spent $100 in one weekend, and you didn’t actually enjoy most of it. It’s so important to spend intentionally, buying things only when you need or have money to. Window shopping always turns into real shopping, and “looking around” is always too tempting. It’s easier to just not go to the mall than to convince yourself not to spend the money once you’re there.

    Take advantage of FREE

    People know college kids are struggling. Whenever there’s an event on your campus with free food, take advantage! Eat at the dining hall when you have passed your allotted amount for eating out this month. The food might be less tempting than your favorite take-out place, but this is the one time in your life you will have access to free and made meals, so save that money and suffer through it! Dining hall pizza is always better than being broke.

    Give Yourself Grace

    My final tip is to give yourself grace when you don’t follow all of this perfectly. We are all struggling with finances, and money seems to never be enough, and it’s ok to have a little less in your checking account than you’d prefer. This is also a time where you can fully focus on being a student with few responsibilities. Go out with friends, make memories, and don’t be so hard on yourself when it comes to your money spending. Maybe just opt for the cheaper restaurants every so often and go thrifting for outfits you’re only going to wear once anyways. That dress is so cute for a Taylor Swift concert but won’t be in your calculus class.

    Overall, college is hard enough, and not having enough money to feel comfortable with your spending makes it even harder. Being intentional, limiting your spending, and keeping track of it will make living in college on a small budget easier. But remember that you won’t always do this exactly how you want, and that’s okay. You are doing hard things, and you should celebrate that instead of beating yourself up for spending a little too much on Celsius. Do your best and check your bank account often, and you’ll be okay.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A computer generated graphic with a red background and three symbols: a plate of food, a to-do list, and a dumbbell.

    Three Ways to Have a More Productive Day

    Saige O’Rourke

    As a college student fresh on your own, it’s difficult to learn how to get things done without the structure that high school provided. Since we are all on different class schedules and learning different things, not everything works the same for each student. With the culture shock that college comes with, here are three things I have learned that work for me to be productive throughout my days at the University of Tennessee.

    Start With Breakfast

    I always start my school days with a good breakfast that I can look forward to. I try to keep this item consistent to limit the stress of “what am I going to eat?” This item becomes something I get excited about when I wake up in the morning and provides me with motivation to get out of bed. Usually, I’ll make waffles or drink a protein shake; these are quick items that keep me moving and take little amounts of time to make.

    Tackle Your To-Do List After Class

    I have morning classes, so usually when I have a chance to sit down after class, I plan the rest of my day. In my plan, I will create two different lists detailing what must be completed and what I would like to complete. I do this after class because there isn’t anything I can finish during class that needs to be done throughout the day, so to avoid added stress I wait to create a list. This relieves a lot of my anxiety throughout the day as I cross off things, and it promotes productivity as I know exactly what I need to carry out.

    Get Some Exercise

    Either at the middle or end of my day, I will work out. Working out is so beneficial for your brain and your body. It is a good chance to step away from your computer and the overloading information to spend time with yourself. Any kind of workout is beneficial, but I personally hit the gym for about an hour. Working out makes me extremely productive because I completed work for school and for myself.

    Productivity isn’t based on how much you get done, but how accomplished you feel. You can complete 10 different assignments, but still feel like you didn’t do anything. Making lists, taking breaks, and rewarding yourself with a satisfying meal can help produce these feelings of productivity. Use these actions or brainstorm your own ideas of what you can start to incorporate in your routine. Waking up is an accomplishment, especially in college! Always make an excuse to celebrate!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • Blog author Tahmina with a composition notebook filled with engineering notes.

    How I Found My Major: Computer Science

    Tahmina Tisha

    There are pivotal moments in life that have the power to shape our destinies. For me, one such moment came unexpectedly, altering the course of my life in ways I could have never imagined. It was a mistake, a seemingly small misstep, but its consequences were profound.

    The event took place during my final year of high school. The air was filled with anticipation as students hurriedly signed up for the academies that would define their educational paths for the next four years. Marketing had always intrigued me, and I felt confident that it was the right fit. My friends were also opting for this academy, reinforcing my belief in its suitability for me. Little did I know that fate had something else in store.

    When the results were finally posted, my heart sank as I discovered that a mix-up had occurred. Instead of being placed in the marketing academy, I found myself enrolled in the engineering academy. Confusion and frustration consumed me, and I immediately contacted the office to rectify the mistake. However, to my dismay, I was informed that the error could not be reversed, and I would have to wait until the next quarter to request a transfer.

    In that moment, I felt a whirlwind of emotions—anger, disappointment, and a sense of helplessness. The path I had envisioned for myself had been unexpectedly altered, and I was left adrift in uncharted territory. The first day of class arrived, and I stepped into the engineering academy with a mix of trepidation and resignation. Little did I know that this seemingly catastrophic event would become the catalyst for a transformative journey.

    The overwhelming nature of my engineering courses initially filled me with doubt. The upper-level math classes and the daunting task of learning how to code and work with those already proficient in these technical skills felt like insurmountable challenges. However, amidst the uncertainty, I discovered a resilience and determination within myself that I hadn't known existed.

    One project stands out in my memory, forever etching itself in the story of my life. We were tasked with building a bridge using only chopsticks, tape, wood glue, and a stapler. The limitations of the materials and the complexity of the project tested my problem-solving abilities and pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone. While our bridge may not have been the most durable or impressive, it served a greater purpose.

    During the bridge-building project, I formed an unexpected bond with a fellow student who would become my engineering partner for the next four years. Together, we weathered the challenges, celebrated the victories, and supported each other through the rigorous curriculum. This partnership not only solidified my understanding of the importance of teamwork but also helped me realize that engineering held untapped potential within me.

  • A large group of college students surround large letters UAB.

    Finding Your College Work-Life Balance: Where to draw the line

    Rinn Mitchell

    As a college student, it is nearly impossible to juggle your majors and minors, organizations you’re involved in, stay connected to your family back home, any jobs you may have, and time for yourself. Arguably, these four years may be some of the busiest of your entire life. But it can also be the most fun, enjoyable, and memory filled time of your life, if you balance it correctly. So, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest concerns college students have impacting their college experience is how to manage their work-life balance. Here are three tips curated from current college students that can help you achieve that balance.

    Say It with Me: Google Calendar Is Your Best Friend

    Keeping yourself organized is not only helpful for the obvious reasons, but it can help you visualize where you’re spending your time. Whether it’s Google Calendar, Outlook’s calendar, or anywhere in between, having a calendar you can keep up with quickly and easily can be the biggest game changer to organizing your schedule.

    Even further is creating a calendar that you can color code. By color coding between work, class, organization, and social responsibilities, you can physically see where you are delegating most of your time. For me, I try to balance my weeks so that each of those groupings are about equal, including time I set aside for homework and studying. Seeing your time priorities to these different groups delegated by color can help you begin the process of better balancing your time.

    Find Organizations and Classes You Love

    It’s fair to say everyone’s goal in life is to make their job feel like anything but. Start exploring in college – from taking a variety of classes, joining organizations, and everywhere in between. You have more freedom than ever before in the classes that you take, organizations you’re involved in, and what you spend your days doing. Though that can be a dangerous line to tow, it’s an amazing opportunity to test out different things and find your “fit.” It allows you to get involved with jobs and organizations that are fun for you, and to do it with your friends so that “work” can feel more fun. In turn, this can help bridge the gap between work and stress, and social and fun opportunities.

    Set Firm Boundaries

    As many tips as I can give you, there is nothing that will ruin your work-life balance faster than if you don’t have firm boundaries. College is filled with so many opportunities, and people who want to hang out with you or get involved in this club or that organization or take that class. I encourage you to make the most out of your 4-year experience, and pack it with as many memories as possible. That being said, if you do not set firm boundaries for yourself, or firmly set aside time for yourself or what is most important to you, there is no “fixing” your work life balance. Even a schedule packed with the most fun activities and things that excite you will become mundane if you don’t protect your own priorities and reserve your own boundaries.

    These three tips – using a calendar, exploring different classes and clubs, as well as setting personal boundaries – will go a long way in helping you find that sought-after balance and make the most of your collegiate experience.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • Two hands throwing graduation caps in the air against a blue sky.

    7 Habits of Successful College Students

    Jen Fiengo

    College is hard, there is no denying it. Balancing loads of assignments, studying for exams, and the occasional online course is not for the weak. 8am's and late-night studying has become a norm these days. However, it does not need to be as overwhelming as it all sounds. Effective college students are all around you, whether you can see it or not. The girl behind you in the cafe line just aced her chemistry exam and the student worker making lattes just landed his first internship. Success in college is easily attainable if you put your mind to it. I have compiled a list of 7 habits that motivate me, as well as some others, to be the most effective college student they can be.

    1. Wake Up Before 9am When You Do Not Have Something to Be Up Earlier For.

    I know this sounds impossible (and honestly irritating) for most, but it has made the biggest difference in my success since I started. Getting up at 9am as opposed to 10 gives you a whole hour of time that you would lose. You could get ready, eat breakfast, and do a chore or two within that time. By getting yourself up earlier on those days where you do not need an alarm, you open up an hour, if not hours, of your time to study, do homework, attend campus events, and get out there. When you get up later than 9am, by the time you are up and fully ready for the day, it is almost noon. That is half of your day GONE. When you get up at 9am, you can get your day started and be doing your schoolwork sooner, giving yourself some personal time in the afternoon.

    2. Use A Digital Planner You Can Access Anywhere.

    I understand, paper planners are so cute to customize and use the fun stickers in the back of the book, but what good are they if you are not constantly carrying them around. Digital planners are FREE! That is my favorite word as a college student, and I know it's one of yours, too. If you're like me, color coding your planner makes you feel accomplished and organized. I tend to use my regular iPhone calendar, but I have recently been exploring some digital calendar apps that I like, as well. Take the time to browse the app store and find one that interests you, get it on your computer and phone, and boom! Your due dates, events, work schedule, and activities are all accessible wherever you'd like. Finish an assignment on your phone? Open the app and check it off! Sitting in the library and finishing the book you wanted to read but didn't bring your phone? No problem, check it off on your laptop. Digital calendars just make organization that much easier.

    3. Make Time for Yourself.

    This idea relates back to getting up early. While success in college starts with being a good student, it also helps to be a functioning person, as well. No one I know lives a happy, healthy life by sitting at a desk writing essays all day. Enjoy drinking coffee? Take yourself on a little coffee date as a reward for finishing your assignments for the week. Make time for friends and family, not just schoolwork. Rest and relaxation are just as important as staying busy. If you are tired, it is more beneficial to take a nap rather than push through your work. You are not yourself when you are tired, so take an hour, set an alarm, take a restful nap, and wake up refreshed and ready to continue your work. My favorite thing is to go hang out with my friends and cook; it is my way of managing stress. Sometimes, I'll get my work done early so I can go to a friend’s place and have dinner with them. It feels like a fun reward for keeping up with my schoolwork. Making time for myself has greatly impacted my success at college, especially when it comes to mental health.

    4. Join clubs and organizations.

    College success is not just about grades. College is supposed to be a step above high school in the sense that you are gaining real-world experience and have the choice to do what you want to do when it comes to your education. So, you're paying all of this money just to attend class? STOP THAT! Everyone has something they love no matter what they say. That being said, there is a club for everything, as well (and I know this to be true, my college has a Quidditch team). Pick something you love, whether it be art, science, music, sea turtles, cooking, or even Quidditch, and go to your university’s website and find the club that relates to your interests. I recently joined a sorority, which I never imagined I would do. It was the best decision I have made in college so far. I have met so many new people, gained so many new experiences, and furthered my education more than I could've sitting at a desk.

    5. Get Exercise.

    Walking up the stairs doesn't count, but I wish it did. Exercise is not only good for the body, but it is enriching for your mind, too. Getting exercise helps release toxins through sweat, helps many manage stress, and helps keep us healthy. Exercise is unique to all. The gym isn't for everyone (and by everyone, I mean me), so don't feel like I'm pressuring you to go to the gym. Going for a walk around campus with your friends, driving to a nearby outdoor shopping center and walking around, going for a run by the beach, or going for a swim when the weather is nice are all good ways to get exercise easily. My favorite thing to do is go for a walk on the beach. I always bring a friend, put my phone away, and we walk until we don't want to anymore, whether it be 20 minutes or 5 miles. Getting outside has helped me be successful as it makes me feel healthier, which in turn, makes me feel happier.

    6. Find Your "Study Spot."

    By finding your study spot, you now have a set place to go that reminds you of studying. I love background noise (and coffee), so I frequently find myself wanting to study in Starbucks on campus. If you like a quieter setting, head to the library or a quiet corner in a building with a lot of windows. I love sitting on a windowsill and looking outside while I study, it feels so refreshing. When you choose to go to this spot for no reason other than doing schoolwork, you'll train your mind to associate that place with studying, increasing your chances of actually studying. Playing light music in your headphones or having a snack to pick at while you study helps a lot, too. Just keep trying different places until you find your spot. I promise, it is so worth it.

    7. Put Yourself Out There.

    College comes after high school for a reason. High school was there for the sole purpose of showing up, learning, and going home. College, however, was made to open you up to the real world. By sheltering yourself, you are wasting your tuition money. Yes, classes and learning are very important, but what's the point if you don't attempt to apply what you learn? Make that resume, attend club meetings you are interested in, join that honor society, say yes to that community service event, and say hi to that person passing you in the hallway. By allowing yourself to open up, you will find that there are so many new opportunities out there that you never knew about before. How will you know what you like to do without trying new things?

    College is a place for learning, experiencing, and exploring, so make sure you are making the most of it. Be successful by keeping yourself organized, planning your events, making time for yourself, joining clubs, getting exercise, finding your place, and putting yourself out there. Make college your experience, don't let college force you to experience it.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A laptop computer displaying the landing page for Pearson+.

    Finding Your Voice: Becoming an Effective Student Leader

    Namira Anjum

    Growing up we all learned about powerful leaders and the fearless work they accomplished throughout history. Sitting in that classroom, that type of impact maybe seemed quite distant and unreachable. However, there is no better opportunity for you to become a leader than while you’re in college! It is the perfect environment for students to cultivate their leadership skills and start a movement or initiative, no matter how small.

    With most large universities being home to hundreds of clubs and organizations, there are multiple ways for you to lead others while expressing your identity, values, and vision. And though becoming a leader is no doubt beneficial for reasons I’ll explain, the task of doing so alongside juggling school, work and other activities is no easy one. Here’s how to be an effective student leader all while balancing it with your busy college life.

    Leadership is defined as “the ability of an individual or a group of people to influence and guide followers or members of an organization, society or team1.” This skill will be invaluable for your time at college, career, and overall future. Therefore, it is important to start learning how to become a leader as soon as you can. To do so, start by finding the organizations on your campus that you are interested in and could develop a passion for. Most colleges have activities fairs each semester that exhibit the clubs that are available for you to join, which is perfect for finding your niche.

    In my case, I joined the Bengali Student Organization (BSO) at the University of Virginia to stay connected with my culture and be part of this community. My influence started small; I was the first-year representative during my freshman year. However, now two years later, I am vice president, and my responsibilities have grown much larger! I take part in all sorts of activities to help run this club such as planning events, managing finances, and overseeing others on the executive board. Furthermore, I’ve developed several skills, including effective communication and organization, that I not only apply to BSO, but also my classes, job interviews and other situations. I also feel proud knowing my work has had an impact on others and facilitated my club’s mission to showcase Bengali culture. The main takeaway is once you find a voice you are passionate about and want to amplify, the work you do to influence your community becomes ever meaningful and exciting to do.

    I won’t lie and tell you being a student leader is an easy role. It comes with many responsibilities that require a large part of your time and effort, depending on what kind of position you have. When you have multiple other time commitments such as classes and jobs, your plate can get quite full. To avoid becoming overloaded with work, I have a few key tips. Firstly, you most likely have to plan events or activities to execute your organization’s mission or purpose. For these reasons I recommend planning the details and logistics reasonably early. For example, BSO’s signature event of the year was our charity bash, and we began planning the bash around 3 months ahead of time. With an early approach, you can avoid unnecessary stress closer to the date of your event and be prepared for any sudden changes or complications.

    Additionally, if your organization does have an executive board, set a weekly meeting time to discuss what activities you will be doing and set a schedule. In doing so, you can also maintain thorough communication with your team, making the process of running your organization more effective. And by making your schedule more structured with these tips and eliminating time inefficiencies, the task of being a student leader alongside your other activities becomes less stressful and more manageable.

    With these pieces of advice, I hope you are inspired to become a student leader, steer others in a positive way, and use your voice to express whatever it is you are passionate about, whether its chess, soccer, or food inequality. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the next Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, or Martin Luther King!


    1 Barney, Nick, and Mary K. Pratt. “What Is Leadership?: Definition by TechTarget.” CIO Strategy, TechTarget, 22 Mar. 2023,

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A group of eight nursing students standing in 2 rows. They are all wearing blue scrubs.

    Five Things to Know About Nursing School

    Arianna Olivier

    I am a nursing student at Miami Dade College. After completing my Associate’s degree in nursing, I am on track to earn my Bachelor of Science degree next year. Here are 5 things I wish I’d known before starting nursing school. I hope these will help future nursing students begin this journey with realistic expectations.

    Nursing school is not THAT hard.

    Nursing school is whatever you make it to be. If you occupy every hour of your day, and do not take time to recover and rest yourself, you will feel that school is hard and that you have no life. If you take the time out of your schedule to do something that you enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, watching one episode of your current show, or going to the gym, you will feel so much better and have the mindset to focus on your academics. Learn from now on to take the time to prioritize some personal time out of your day, whether its 1 hour a day to read or 2 hours a day to be at the gym, so that you do not solely live, breathe, and sleep nursing school.

    This is a marathon, not a race.

    You will notice very quickly that some classmates are going to have a competitive mindset. For some reason (that is unknown to me), you are going to see students comparing grades and study methods with a passive aggressive mechanism in their tone. You may even be one of these students, with an urge to prove that you are smart enough to be in the program. The reality is you are ALL meant to be in the program. You are ALL smart enough. Nursing school is not a race, and it shouldn’t be treated as one.

    Find a group of friends and never let them go.

    On my first day of orientation, we were told by the speaker that “you do not get through nursing school alone.” I can testify that this is true. Nursing school is an immense adjustment to your academic and social life. It can become overwhelming to figure out your method of studying, balancing out your assignments and tests with the realities that come with being a human being. Contrary to what was in statement #2, you may feel sometimes that you are not smart enough. You will contemplate on leaving the program, or quitting your job and then wondering how you will be able to pay for your classes. Nursing school is a rollercoaster of emotions. Having a study group or a simple group of friends is going to be the anchor between you and nursing school. Find yourself a group of genuine people, with your same goals, and never let them go.

    Your life does not have to stop because you are a nursing student.

    This goes hand and hand with statement #1, but it is more about the mindset that you carry while you are in school. Your life should not stop because you are a nursing student. During orientation, they may jokingly say things like “say goodbye to your friends and families” or “you are ours for the next 2 or 4 years.” That is not true. Carrying on this type of mindset is going to be detrimental to your mental health. You HAVE to dedicate parts of your days, a whole day or even a weekend to recover so that you can be successful in nursing school. Doing this even gives you something to look forward to so that during the week you can tell yourself to push harder because you will have this one day to do what you want to do.

    Of course, it is important for you to spend lots of hours studying and focusing on your classes and preparing for upcoming exams. Nevertheless, it will never hurt for you to spend some time to spend a weekend in Disney, enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, or go ice skating with your friends (even if it means taking your flashcards with you). These moments are essential to reducing the risk of burnout and keeping your battery high for those extra-long study sessions.

    Memorization will only go so far.