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Personally, one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced throughout my time in nursing school is navigating my finances. I have worked a part-time job throughout my entire college experience, and it has always been a struggle with time management. It was always hard because I knew I needed time to study for nursing school. I also knew I needed to make money to afford the fun things that come with college, like going out to eat with friends or dues for extracurricular activities and clubs. Additionally, it is important to me to be a good employee, which means not calling out for shifts, even if I have a test the next day. After a few different part time jobs, I got blessed with a job I could sustain because it worked with my busy schedule. I currently work this job, but that never meant it was easy.
I think the stereotype with nursing school, in general, is that there is absolutely no time for anything else, and that definitely felt true, based upon comments I would hear in passing and the way responsibilities other than school were viewed throughout my time thus far. However, I was determined to defy the stereotype. For me, my options were to struggle to find a balance between work, school, and a social life, or not to work and struggle to make it through nursing school with no money and a lack of social life. It was devastating at times to know that I probably would have made a better exam grade if I hadn’t had to work the night before the exam, but it only pushed me to better my time management skills and push myself not to allow the fact that I needed to have a job during school define my academic success.
I say all of this to say; I firmly believe you can do whatever you set your mind to. Whatever you want to be involved in or spend your time doing, do it. Life is short, and we only have one at the end of the day, so work hard, study hard, and live.
I’d say my favorite part about upper division compared to lower division is being able to move from learning just by lecture and reading from a textbook to actually learning hands-on with real patients in the clinical setting.
During my first semester, I learned various nursing skills in the simulation lab, such as inserting an NG Tube, a catheter, medication administration, and other skills. After learning all these skills and mastering them in the simulation lab, I was able to perform what I practiced on real patients in the hospital setting.
Being able to practice skills in that clinical setting was really helpful in cementing everything I learned. I also had the opportunity to learn many different medications while in the hospital, which helped me a lot in my pharmacology course.
Fun fact: you can study abroad as a nursing major :)
When I was touring colleges, studying abroad was something I was interested in. It was one of my major deciding factors when choosing where to go to college. Once I got to college and realized how much I love it here, I was unsure if leaving for a semester would be the right thing for me.
My biggest advice is to plan as early as possible, even if you are unsure. When I came to UofSC last year, I told my advisor I was interested, and he helped me plan my classes for the following semesters to allow me to spend the Spring 2022 semester abroad- if I chose. I figured it would be better to be prepared so that even if I decided not to go, I would get to spend a semester taking fun elective classes in Cola. Good news… (not to jinx it but) if all goes according to plan, I will be in Florence, Italy, next semester!
I talked to older nursing majors who were once in my shoes for advice, and that is how I ultimately decided on Florence. While there, I am still taking a nursing class, NURS220 Clinical Nutrition, and the rest of my classes are Carolina Core and Italian culture classes. Although the major map is slightly changed, I would be more than happy to share how I was able to plan with my specific classes.
One super important thing to keep in mind is choosing a university where the semesters line up so that it does not overlap in the case of summer start. Another great option is a Maymester, especially if a whole semester abroad is not realistic. There are so many choices that I did not know were possible. The first step is to sign up for Education Abroad 101 through the Education Abroad office, where you learn about different programs. I am doing a global partner program through SAI at Florence University of the Arts.
Stay tuned for my takeover next semester. I am beyond excited to share my experience!!
Being involved on campus and trying new things as a freshman has been a blast, and I've met so many new people. It's important for me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Sometimes it's hard to choose what to do- because there are so many different clubs and groups.
Eeach week the university offers a fun range of activities on campus. There are movies at the Russel House, farmers markets on Greene street, comedy shows, and so much more. My friends and I would walk to the activities on campus. These were awesome study breaks.
This semester, I really enjoyed getting involved in all of the homecoming activities. Homecoming is one of the best weeks of the year! There are so many activities that you can participate in. You can also join the homecoming committee by signing up on garnet gate.
I can't wait to try some new activities in the spring!
Sophie cheers on Gamecock football.
Clinicals end for the semester. Bittersweet day!
Finally, we have a TikTok. Follow us @uofsc_nursing.
Snacks in College of Nursing study rooms for students to enjoy.
Students, faculty, and staff help wrap gifts for Families Helping Families.
Sydney Jones wins Miss Congeniality at the Gamecock pageant.