In a mere ten weeks, my life as I knew it had been completely transformed. From day one of nursing school, I was quickly immersed in a deep sea of knowledge – without really knowing how to swim. I envision myself in a scene from Yann Martel’s recently popularized novel The Life of Pi – trying to survive in the ocean with but a few tools onboard, and attempting to make friends with (or simply avoid being eaten by) a large tiger that I’ve named Pharmacology, and a spotted hyena called Pathophysiology, who I often prefer to evade. It has been over three months since the program has started, and I’ve only just begun to figure out how to construct the raft that will help me stay afloat during my journey.
Perhaps a feeling shared collectively amongst new travellers is one of uncertainty, and a fear of what is to come. Along the way of an adventure, there are beautiful sights and panoramas that will take one’s breath away. However, there may also be rough, murky waters, and storms that threaten to overthrow us. There is often the worry over losing one’s way, and perhaps even the idea that we may not be able to navigate ourselves back to shore.
I believe that the AccBacc program at OHSU is much like the adventure that Pi Patel embarks on in the ocean. It is a journey that compels us student nurses to appreciate small moments of beauty and clarity; it is a process that illuminates the transience and meaning of life. We are given a few tools in order to succeed, but when it comes down to it, what is important is that we believe in our story. This will allow us to keep going, so that we continue to survive, and learn the study skills, tips, and tricks that will eventually help us thrive.
In the Life of Pi, a young boy overcomes his odds in order to survive a seemingly insurmountable feat. Right now, my peers and I in our program, and even the new AccBacc students that have recently begun their academic undertakings, might feel as if the challenge of nursing school is bound towards shipwreck. I have great faith, however, that our reasons for becoming nurses will illuminate the horizon steadily and bring us back to safety.
Nursing school is a precarious voyage, and sure, we will doubt our own abilities at times. One day we will be responsible for making life-and-death decisions, and this necessitates skill and aptitude. However, in recognizing this, I also encourage my classmates and peers across all professions to remember to be kind to themselves. This is a learning process, but I have confidence that in time we will find due north, and master everything that we need to know.
Best wishes this quarter.