It’s Hard to Start Over

I spent part of my day at the dentist’s office with my mom. It was then when my dentist (also a family friend) and mom started talking about their struggles they have both experienced when they immigrated here to the US from Myanmar. One thing that stood out to me from that conversation was when my dentist stated, “It’s hard to start over. I wouldn’t do it again”.

I already knew of the obstacles that my family had to face when moving from a small, third-world country to one of the biggest countries known to man. My mother left her comfortable lifestyle back in Burma and went on a job hunt in hopes of beginning a family in the future. And although my father has a degree in Accounting from Burma, he ended up being the neighborhood’s favorite mailman. My parents came from humble beginnings, and they are still humble people.

Tonight, my mom and I had a girl talk in the living room. We talked about my academics, current news, family, and etc. Before going to bed, my mother quietly stated with a heavy sigh, “I don’t think there’s freedom for me here”. I was saddened by those simple words. My mother was an optimistic woman who came to America with high hopes of being able to start a new life for herself and future family. Although her dreams may have came true, the obstacles she had to face has broken her.

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Anxiety

Ever since I was young, I never associated this feeling with a label before. All I knew was that something was wrong whenever I felt this way. Maybe somebody mistreated me. Or I had wronged someone. Maybe it was just stress. It all felt the same.

I have this tendency to bottle my feelings up. Why? I think it had to do when I vented to my mother at the wrong time, and she just snapped. I am sure it was the cultural barrier that caused the miscommunication to happen in the first place. Long story short, my mom thought I was gossiping, but all I needed was someone to talk to. I don’t blame her for not wanting to listen to some middle-school drama. Ever since then, I tried my best to keep things to myself. I didn’t want to bother anyone. I didn’t want people to judge me based on what I was worried about. Of course, there came a point where people could tell that I wasn’t ok. In middle school, my Algebra 1 teacher asked “Are you ok, Amanda? Are you sure?”. All I said was yes, while fighting back tears.

I have only started opening up to people recently. College has blessed me with a couple of friends that made sure that I had someone to turn to. Recently, I’ve been incredibly overwhelmed with school, clinical rotations, work, extracurriculars, and my personal life. A couple days ago, the stress overwhelmed me to a point where I unintentionally cause one of my good friends to feel really upset. Even though it’s been two days, I still feel horrible. I felt like the worst friend ever during my clinicals. I would wake up and one of the few things I would worry about is her forgiving me.

I’ve been feeling a little lonely lately. I just hope this will all pass soon.

 

I’m Still Here

Wow. These past few weeks have been an emotional and physical rollercoaster ride. Juggling two 12 hour clinical shifts, work, my campus organization, academics, and personal life has been pretty difficult if I were to be honest. There were numerous breakdowns, fights, prayers, etc. I’m just glad the storm has passed and that the rest of my quarter should generally be a little better… Nursing school is tough… No, college is tough in general.

September Update

September. It’s that time of the year where summer is finally winding down and we can now start to feel the cool autumn breeze. I can already smell the pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon.

But where I am now? I only have a week and a half of summer break left, and I am procrastinating on my OB and peds reading (oops). I’m trying to enjoy the rest of my break by spending more time with my boyfriend and friends, reading, and Netflix (I’m currently binge-watching the Flash right now haha).

Yes, I’m still a nurse volunteer at UCIMC. I’m getting used to answering call lights and transferring calls; it’s a little robotic but I’m sure this experience will benefit me during my rotations. The most important part is that I’m slowly befriending the staff on that unit.

I finally got hired a month ago as a patient care assistant/caregiver! I’m currently taking care of a developmentally delayed 4 year old girl born with GI malformations. Honestly, the job is tiring but I’m learning so much. I can see how different pediatric nursing is and how much patience it requires. Despite how stressful this job can be, I still love spending time with my patient. She’s fearless, playful, charming, resilient, and most importantly a survivor.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far 🙂 This was a super brief update, but I’m posting a little something by the end of this week.

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“A Sign? Or Trial?”

My housemate and I had a long conversation tonight about our career goals and future plans. Fahrin is a pre-dental student and was expressing her frustration with the challenging prerequisite courses for dental school and her busy upcoming fall quarter schedule. She asked me if her troubles with her practicum sites and current struggles with the coursework were a sign for her that dentistry was not what she was meant to do in this life. Shortly afterwards, Fahrin then proceeded by asking me another question, “Or is this a trial that life is giving me? An obstacle?”. I had a pretty long answer to her two questions, but here is what I basically said to her.

Nothing comes easy in life. Whether it be academically, physically, or mentally related, I have learned that everything requires a certain amount of work to be put in. College is hard and being a STEM major does not come easy. Here is one thing I have learned while in college: you either suffer now or suffer later in life. Pursuing a career in the healthcare/medical field is a long process. It requires passion, stamina, hard work, and a lot of patience. We may get sidetracked, lose motivation, and often feel overwhelmed while embarking on this journey of ours. However, if the struggles you are experiencing or the obstacles you are encountering does not change your passion for whatever your end goal may be, you are just facing a trial. In my experience, the struggle just made me crave the goal more! If you are unable to obtain that goal (and all else fails), that’s ok. We dream big sometimes, but we’re still going to end up doing what we are meant to do. Initially, we may not interpret our failures as a good sign. But we will always learn from them eventually won’t we?

Hopefully, this all makes sense. 🙂 And I do hope this entry helps a person out there in one way or another.

 

“But You’re a Nursing Student…”

“Oh my gosh, you’re a nursing student. Do you really need a job?”

This was what my friend told me after I told her that I’ve been searching for a part time job for the summer and school year. Maybe she meant that I’m too busy for a job? Who knows…but I’m pretty sure that was meant to serve as a negative comment.

After being in nursing school for three years, I have dealt with demeaning and negative remarks from family, friends, and strangers about my career choice. “If you got into such a prestigious nursing school, you know you could have become a doctor right? You’re switching to pre-med after this right? Have fun with the bedpans. You’re going to be wiping peoples’ asses all day.” And the list continues. This is common among all nursing students; my professor led a discussion one day during class regarding this topic and 95% of my classmates have encountered such attitudes.

I guess people don’t realize that nurses do and know much more than they think. Emptying urinals and feeding patients are definitely part of the job at times, but nurses are constantly on their feet, patient advocates and educators, and etc. Nurses are there to prevent unfortunate things from happening, to hold a patient’s hand when they are in pain, and etc. (Obviously there are more to the list, but I’m still a novice and a student so I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at things here). I just hope that-one day-the stigma that comes with being a nurse will disappear.

Long story short-being a nurse is hard (like everything else in life) and I still need to work hard to be where I want to be in the future. Things don’t come easy to anyone in life. End of rant.

How I Knew I Was in Love

So my boyfriend and I have been together for a little over a year now and things are going great. There were obviously a few bumps in the road, but I would say we’re smooth sailing right now. 🙂 We’ve learned so much together and from each other; I’m so happy that I found him.

How did we meet? Long story short, he sold me a textbook. I honestly didn’t expect things to turn out the way they are now (my roommate Shannen claimed to have known all along though), but I’m not complaining. 🙂 A couple of people have asked me how I knew I was in love. Here were a few of the MANY things that I felt/thought of as I was asking myself earlier on in our relationship:

1. Things just felt different.

In my past experience, I never really had a “good” relationship. My ex-boyfriend and a couple guys I’ve “talked” to treated me poorly and I started to get used to that treatment. It got to a point where one of them urged me to send him nude photos while saying “it’s normal, everyone does it”.

Dan never treated me that way. Our conversations kept going, hanging out with him was never really awkward, I didn’t feel as if I was forcing myself to start our conversations, and etc. Dan was respectful, kind, and hilarious. Things just felt different.

2. I saw him in my future.

And it didn’t feel as if I was making it up. Picturing him in my future was realistic; we have similar ideals, family backgrounds, etc. I saw him in my future, and it made me feel happy.

3. He was there for me.

I met Dan during my second year of college and he was one of the few people who got me through that year. Second year was brutal; it was the year where my nursing school started to weed their students out. I had a tough time with the rigorous courses and developed low self-confidence. Thankfully, Dan was there to cheer me on. He was literally there for me as I studied for my anatomy exams at 4 in the morning (when he didn’t even need to study!!!). He had all the right words to say when I received low exam scores or lost all motivation to study. He was there all along during one of my lowest points in college.

4. Our conversations our endless.

Even to this day, we never run out of things to talk about; our conversations can last until midnight. When he would have to head back home after hanging out with me for the day, it sucks saying good-bye to him. It’s always hard to say good-bye when you want to be with the person all the time.

5. He is supportive.

He would understand if I wasn’t able to talk because of schoolwork or if I had to cancel my date because of a delayed flight. Dan showed up to my white coat ceremony and made it clear that he would be there throughout my journey to becoming a nurse.

6. I am happy.

I am happy with him. Five simple words that I do not have to explain.

The list goes on and on, but it’s getting late and I’m feeling a little sleepy. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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