Just as I am getting into the groove of summer, I am reminded by all the paperwork I have to sign that the fall semester is around the corner. It is my first clinical semester. Everything I have heard tells me that this one of the hardest semesters in nursing school. I have been told that the difficulty comes from having to adapt to a new learning style. I won’t lie and told you I haven’t had my moment of anxiety. I have had plenty of anxiety. Beyond the moments when I question my ability to survive the first semester, I am preparing myself for what is coming.
First, I am working a bit more this summer when I can. If there is one thing that worries me, it is having to struggle financially in the fall. I am trying to get to a place where I feel like I have reduced some of my liabilities.
In the midst of working though I have also tried to invest time in my family and friends. I know I’ll no longer have the luxury of being available to them. So I am spending summer being intentionally present and preparing myself and my loved one for the shift. I think the thought of not spending time with my loved ones consistently is one of my biggest fears. It is not just about being available to them, it is also about getting that time when I relax and feel seen.
I have also been trying to work on my mental health. Anxiety is a big one for me. In the weeks leading up to school starting, I am investing time in learning to meditate and calming myself. The one thing I know is that being intentional in my approach to school saves me a lot of stress.
Building a schedule is definitely a big stress buster for me. I have been studying my schedule for the semester and building a schedule. The fact is I have to work, study and be in the classroom every week. In the midst of all that, I need time for friends and family. Also, I need self-care time. My mom has been encouraging me to ensure I leave space for fun and rest.
The one thing I have been struggling to do is exercise. I know that when I am physically strong, my mental and emotional health is easier to maintain. There are so many reasons why I have not been exercising. I recognize that these reasons are not good enough. If I need to build the habit of self-care now in order to get myself set for the semester ahead.