Saturday, May 2, 2009

Done with Nursing School!!!!!

My sister Laura, Me and My Mom

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About four years ago I had my pre-mid life crisis where I felt extremely anxious about the future and like I needed to take a new direction in my life. The problem was I was uninspired about "what I want to be when I grow up". I had hoped that in the years following my first bout of schooling at APU that I would find my niche, and be content with a balance of working and playing. Instead I bounced around seasonal work, traveled in the winter, and worked crappy low paying jobs to make ends meet until the next season came around. Every crappy job, complete with a crappy boss, made me less and less excited about the lifestyle I had. Its so hard to find the balance between having time off and making money, most jobs that pay well, don't want you to leave for 3 months of the year, on the flip side a lot of the jobs that don't care when you leave only pay in the 10-15 dollar range, which makes saving up for the next trip difficult. Not to mention shoveling away at student loan debt with a figurative spoon...

So in 2005 I went back to school at UAA to take pre-requisite courses for the Radiologic Technician program aka X-ray tech. That first semester back was pure suffering. I took both Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 at the same time, and a medical terminology class. Over this semester I think I cried almost every day, turned into a alcoholic, and gained 15 pounds, I don't think I have ever been that miserable in my whole life. But I passed all my classes with A's, applied to the program and was granted an interview.

I got back from a Denali expedition the night before my interview. I walked all night from 14,000 camp into base camp slept about 2 hours and then flew into Talkeetna that afternoon. The next morning Ry and I drove to Anchorage exhausted, hungry and sunburnt. I think the reason I didn't get into the program hinged upon one question, "what would you have done if you had gotten delayed" essentially I think that they wanted me to put this interview above all other things, and I hadn't. I chose to do the Denali trip, and barely made it back in time for my interview.

In retrospect not getting into the program was the best thing that could of happened. So I decided to take a year off school and apply to the 2 year nursing program at UAA. I went to Nepal and walked around the Himalayas for 2 months. Fall 2007 I started the Nursing program with about 38 other students. Over the next 2 years I performed like a circus animal, jumping through ridiculous hoops, writing papers that seemed asinine, and learned to deal with a chronically disorganized program.

Last night I walked down the aisle at the Wendy Williamson auditorium in the last school event that I will hopefully participate in a long, long, long time. My parents, sisters, and Ryan came. It was such a good feeling to have closure to this chapter in my life.

Victory was especially sweet with a huge surprise during the ceremony. I won the Directors Award for finishing with the highest GPA in my program. I'll even admit that I didn't make a 4.0, but I feel better than no one else managed to either. Now on to the next hurdle, in order to actually be a RN I have to take the dreaded NCLEX! Yikes, almost 600 dollars later I'm all approved and set to take the test...Thinking middle of June, would like to do it before my big birthday this year...THIRTY!! But these sunny days are making it harder to study as much as I need to...

My Award!



Julie said...

Nice work Sherrie! Congrats!

ecrunner said...

Oh my, what a great story. I am happy that you triumphed and found something you enjoy. Best of luck on the test. Getting into nursing should be a great opportunity for you and a chance to start on a healthier lifestyle (less drinking maybe). Great story, though. I enjoyed it.

Joni Earp said...

Good work Sherrie! Sounds framiliar.... I had a mini pre mid life myself. you are awesome!

ginnylynnpeterson said...

Sherrie, I just wanted to congratulate you yet again...I think back to Micro and when our friendship began to grow and grow....all the times we have shared....I really am honored to have you has a friend! Congratulations Sherrie! May your bosses never be assholes, and may your jobs be challenging and rewarding, may you take months off when you want to and work hard when you need to! (and don't forget to blog along the way!)