“I mean, how hard is nursing school… really?” This is one of the first questions many people ponder as they decide to go to nursing school. You search the internet to figure out how bad it is… really. You stumble across the NRSNG blog and start combing through our other blog posts that talk about preparing and being ready for nursing school and wonder.. “is it really that bad?” It truly is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be hard. With some simple steps both at home and at school, you can really take control of your time and walk through this journey with as little stress as possible.
One of most difficult aspects of nursing school is just getting acclimated to the massive time commitment, and therefore ordering your non-nursing life accordingly. You really have to be pretty proactive about balancing both your home life and your school life… so you don’t simply go crazy and aren’t constantly behind. If you want to know some of the nitty-gritty about how hard nursing school is, check out this blog post that goes into it very specifically. But here I want to talk about ways to balance your life and nursing school. Let’s begin…
Discover things about yourself and those around you that are important to you. Figure out your optimal learning style. Figure out what you need to learn best… is it a quiet office? Is it a study buddy/accountability partner? Is it recording lectures and listening to them?
Then, figure out your personal relational priorities and the priorities of your loved ones. What is most important to them that you need to do… is it showing up to specific events, spending some quality alone time, or following through on some practical things you said you’d do, like mow the lawn, wash the car, do the laundry? Like, I know my husband really feels loved with focused quality time… however, I really appreciate acts of service. Discover what’s really important to them and yourself.
(If you’re not sure about how your loved ones really feel loved and supported best, check out this book, the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman… it has really helped myself and many others in learning this about those closest to us.)
Prioritize those things over all of the other commitments in your life. Trust me – there will be a lot of things that seem like priorities but they are not.
Does your friend from school really need you to take him to the airport or does he just not want to pay for an Uber? Are you inconveniencing yourself because someone else failed to plan and are looking to you bail them out… And therefore missing out on fulfilling a priority to a loved one that you won’t have time to fulfill again for another week? Could you go grab drinks and a movie with a friend during your one night off… or could you make dinner with your daughter?
It can be hard to focus on something when there are so many things to focus on. Prioritizing enables you to see what truly is the most important to yourself and those that are important to you. Ask yourself, is this important and necessary for me? Is this important and necessary for my loved one, or would it just be nice if I did this for them? Is this person a priority?
This is essential to do because you will have much less time available to work with, so the time you do invest must be a priority.
Maximize the time that you have allotted to those priorities.
Be all in wherever you are.
When you have allotted time to study, focus only that. Otherwise, it is going to take much longer than needed. Similarly, if you’re spending time with your boyfriend, spend time with your boyfriend. Don’t play on the phone half of the time and a half there mentally, worried about when you’ll get that paper done.
If you’ve planned and prioritized appropriately, your valuable time has been accounted for and you won’t be falling short. Therefore, you truly can be all there mentally… wherever you are. While you may be spending less time with loved ones because of this massive nursing school commitment, if you’re all there mentally when you are physically there… it will feel like more time and be more fulfilling.
Learning ourselves can be challenging… in how we feel loved and supported by others, in how others feel loved and supported by us, and just how we practically learn in school. It is not as easy as it sounds. I encourage you to check out the Five Love Languages Book and our hub of concise nursing school resources for students at our academy. It is in various formats, so after you focus and prioritize, you can really maximize your learning and therefore your time. You can check it out at nrsng.com/academy and get a 3-day trial for $1. Trust me, nursing school is hard… but if you are intentional with your time both in school and at home, it won’t be as difficult.