When I am asked the question, “Where is your head at right now?”, the immediate concerns of every graduate come to mind. The, “Oh no I’m not ready…” the “how am I actually going to be accountable for someone’s life?!” and my personal favourite, “Grey’s Anatomy did not prepare me for this.” However, the fact of the matter is that I am of the belief that as humans we are never really ready for any major life shift. All the being ready and the being comfortable comes later. So when I sit back and truly think about where I’m at in regards to graduating from the practical nursing program at Mohawk college, I am thrilled. This is it. This is the moment that I have worked so hard for.
My journey did not start with nursing. It began with a small, growing desire to find a profession that would allow me to help others through compassion and medicine. I struggled through a life science degree which I eventually made the decision to not complete. Through tears and a whim, I hoped and prayed that my nursing application was the answer to a not so opened ended question. This graduation that is in the not- so- far off distance is that yes. It is the hours spent slaving over “The fundamentals of Nursing” into the ungodly hours of the night. It is the first moment that I realized I could make a difference. It is the feeling I get every time I listen to someone’s heart beat through my stethoscope. It is the pride I feel when I read an article about other nurses who are passionate about their careers. It is everything I’ve experienced so far and absolutely everything that is before me because I have so much to learn. It is the familiar feeling when I put my hair in a ponytail and don my classic blue scrubs. It is excitement, it is nerves, and it manifests as the human condition in its purest form.
This looming graduation is a stepping stone towards a lifelong dream. It has been a great passion of mine for some time now to combine global development and health care into a career. I have volunteered in several countries around the world and it has always been children who have captured my heart. Therefore, I have applied to the RPN to BScn bridging program in order to acquire the appropriate skills and knowledge to work abroad with critically ill children. I do not know who I will work for. I do not know if one day I might start my own organization. What I do know is that I have numerous options. It is my undeniable passion for this profession and the world around me that will take me where I need to go.
I will admit that it is easier to sound optimistic in writing. It is also easier to feel so sure of myself when I have a plan. My assurance falters when I consider that I may not get into the RN bridging program. I also consider the fact that I still get headaches and back pain everyday from my injury. How can I work full time if I’m in pain? Will I ever get through 40 hour weeks alive?? Both factors are discouraging and daunting but I have experienced enough in my 21 years to know there is value in abiding by two important lessons. The first being that goals are necessary but you will never achieve them exactly as you think you will. The second is that life has a funny way of placing you exactly where you are needed, when you need to be there. With both lessons in mind I choose not to be discouraged by the ambiguity of the future but rather encouraged by it.
So, when I reflect on where my head is at nine weeks before graduation I would say it is filled with blind faith that everything will work out in the end. I would say it is thrilled for the opportunity to practice what I have worked so hard for. I would say my head is proud, brave and bursting with excitement. It is filled with a dedication and promise to the clients that I will work with in the future. This promise is one that speaks of hard work and extra miles walked to put myself in their shoes. This graduation is a warning: my mind is about to be blown with what I will see and learn. To be quite frank, this graduation is the moment I’ve been waiting for, for my entire life.