A home stretch… of sorts

Spring break came and went. I accomplished… well, very little, in all honesty. I read a couple books (accidentally got an “inspirational” novel at the library… I tried to give it a chance, but it just sucked), took some mid-afternoon naps on the couch, and was generally lazy. But I did get an oil change and tire rotation for the car (and found out I need a brake job, yippee), changed the furnace filter (two months late… amazing any air was going through that thing with all the cat fur clogging it), and replaced a light bulb under the microwave (you may scoff, but I’ve discussed the trauma of this before). Did some minor socializing, too. I went to the mall with one of my classmates and managed to not buy anything (helps that this particular mall caters to people half my age). She and I also got some people together for a pub night, which was a lot of fun… any night involving friends, a Habs win over the B’s, a Black and Blue, and a Stout Woody has to be good, right? FYI, Black and Blue = Guiness + Sea Dog Blueberry Ale, and a Stout Woody = Guiness + Woodchuck cider, and yes, I mostly ordered them because of their names, but they were good even if they did wake me up with indigestion in the middle of the night. Saturday was early Easter with the fam. So all in all, it was a restful break.

Now it’s back to school with the end of the semester beginning to pull into sight. I anticipate that by the end of the first week in May I’ll be done. I haven’t found this semester to be nearly as arduous as the past ones, so I don’t think that I’ll have my regularly scheduled mini-meltdown, but there are a few things lined up. I need to write a presentation proposal for my health systems & leadership class, then actually do the presentation. I’ve decided to do mine on patient satisfaction since it’s an area that we look at in my clinical and I figure I can speak somewhat intelligently about it even before I get my resources nailed down. For epidemiology & decision-making I have another test at the end of the semester, but I got a 95 on the first one, and it should be similar, so I’m not stressed about that. Then our CNL class is just more of the same with journals (one of which I’m procrastinating finishing at this very moment!) and one more class to co-convene. And of course, clinical… I have completed more than half my hours, so I’m in good shape for that.

So, this is a nice relaxing semester, except for the fact that once it’s over, it’s NCLEX time. I’m hoping to take it as soon as I possibly can, though I’m not sure when exactly that will be. Which means, I should probably start studying for it. A lot of people in my class are already starting to stress. I just can’t seem to work myself up to that point. I am not a test-stresser. I suck at studying. I am good at tests. Which isn’t to say that I don’t have a niggling fear that this is the one time that attitude will come bite me in the ass. But that small fear isn’t substantial enough to motivate me. On the plus side, however, I am a standardized testing nerd… ever since I can remember I have found fill-in-the-bubble tests fun. Maybe I’ll find fill-in-the-bubble practice questions fun, too? Guess it’s worth a shot.

My main stress right now involves trying to find a job, both as an RN and something to tide me over until such a job begins (most new grad programs start around July 1 or so, but I think the financial aid runs out right around the end of May, so… I need something to pay the interim bills with!). I’ll admit that kept me up last night ruminating. I hate worrying about where the money is going to come from. But then I look back with amazement that I’ve pulled this off. For over a year now I’ve done this full-time grad student thing with no income. I’m under the same roof I started under, the car still runs, and I’m not starving. I’m reminded of something I heard Suzy Orman say to a caller into her radio show once about how lucky the person was to have taxes to pay. I have to pay high property taxes? Well, hey, that means I have property to pay taxes on. Cool. Those student loans that are going to need to be repaid? Um, there’s the master’s degree to go along with it, not to mention the education (not the same thing as a degree) which one can’t really put a dollar figure to. The brakes need to be replaced? Well, if that’s the worst of my car woes, so be it! I might be scrimping for a month or two while I get my first RN job nailed down? Hey, beats not having any marketable job skills or skills that will only afford me a minimum wage existance. Who’s lucky? Oh yeah, that’s right, I am. 🙂

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