I’ve made it to fall break.
But only barely.
The last six weeks have required a learning curve in more than a few ways. School assignments build up quickly, and it took a few weeks to feel as though I had fallen into a rhythm. I was just beginning to feel proud of myself for getting the hang of it, when the teachers announced the beginning of clinicals, and the numerour assignments and reports they entails. It took until last Tuesday for me to feel like (I think) I know what I’m doing.
School is very real now. I’ve given injections, watched a surgery, and taken care of a patient. I’m also operating at maximum capacity most of the time. I used to be astonished at other students who started to fall asleep in class. Now, I have to keep my own head from bobbing the day after clinical. (It’s a really early morning to be at the hospital, and then a late night to finish the post-clinical reports.)
It is also different being one of the ‘old’ students. On the first day of class, I walked up to the classroom where I would be taking psychology, one of my last general courses I need. I noticed a large group of student waiting around nervously, almost to timid to enter the classroom. I wasn’t sure what was wrong so I walked in and they all followed after me like ducklings after their mother. Several asked me a few questions, which I answered without understanding their significance.
Suddenly it hit me: these were freshmen, and this was their first class. I was momentarily taken back two years, remembering my first day. Excited to be at ‘real school’, but terrified I would make a mistake. The faces of those older students who had recognized my hesitation, shown me around the buildings, and answered my questions still remain vivid in my memory. Truly, it does only take a moment to make a difference to a frightened freshman. Quickly, I put on my responsible older student hat, and welcomed the newcomers to Augie, and assured them they were in the right classroom. Their relief was plainly visible.
I was a more than a little stunned to realize how much time has passed since I started school. Even more frightening- before I know it, another year and a half will pass, and I’ll be wondering how I have come to be a college graduate.