By the time you read this post, I would’ve completed classes for the fall semester. I wrote a post at the beginning of the semester about my initial struggles with one of the courses, Anatomy & Physiology. This post originally appeared on my previous blog, Literary Fierceness. I’ve also mentioned this challenge on a previous post on this blog. As I pat my back and reflect on a job well done on managing three classes while juggling family, work, and writing, I thought it appropriate to repost it. And as soon as I get my grades, I’ll post an update on the outcome. Enjoy it…
Monday, I went back to school for another year of taking my prerequisites for admission into a nursing program. This semester, I’m taking Anatomy and Physiology. I was admittedly nervous for a few reasons. First, I hadn’t made it through a real science class since 12th grade. 13 years ago.
Side note: I took a science class during my first round of college, but it was an easy course about rocks and volcanoes (basically, if your major didn’t require you to take biology, A&P, or chemistry, you took this class) so I don’t count that as being hard-core science.
Secondly, I attempted this course before. Last fall, I was riding high off my cakewalk through Patient Care Tech (basically CNA meets Medical Assistant meets Phlebotomist) training and *foolishly* assumed that I could handle the full-blown A&P course because I had always been a good student. Thing is, I couldn’t make it to class on time because I couldn’t get off work early. A few weeks into the semester, I walk into class and an exam is taking place. I was totally and completely unprepared. I had forgotten about it and I NEVER forget about a test. The next time I went to campus, I stopped by student accounts and dropped the course. I then convinced myself that I didn’t need this career change. Looking back, I punked out because my career path towards nursing got hard. Despite that I performed very well during my externship and could really envision myself as both a nurse and a writer. Simply put, I gave up (punked out).
As I continued to reflect, I remembered being in a similar position in high school. Like I said, I was always a good student. However, I was particularly bad-ass in math. I took two math classes in 10th grade just so I could get into AP Calculus in the 12th grade. Turns out Calculus was the real bad-ass, not me. About six rounds (weeks) into the fight (semester), I got knocked out. I couldn’t get the concepts and my grades reflected it. So, I cried, screamed, begged, to get out of the ring (class) because I already had four belts (math classes) already. However, my school wasn’t having it. I had to fight (take math) each year. So, suck it up, take this ice, and get back in there. So, I did. And I survived. It actually got better. A lot better. Unfortunately, I had to repeat calculus in college because I didn’t earn enough AP credit. So, I didn’t win, but we’ll call it a draw.
So, here I am, years later, prepping for another fight (the rematch with A&P) and trying not to flip out and give in to the fear of failure and not being able to handle it. Trying not to let the pressure get me. For nursing programs, passing is NOT good enough. It’s very competitive because they’re limited-access. Applicants have to go in on point, game tight, stuff completely together.
Here’s what I realized with my calculus class. When I repeated it, I was prepared. I knew where I was weak, so I paid extra attention to those areas. And I took my bad-ass math championship belt back. This time shouldn’t be different. I know where I need to focus (the first being take the class on a campus closer to work). I’ve got my supporters. I’ve got faith. I’m ready to work. I’m ready. A&P, you’re going down!
Okay, so you may be wondering what does this have to do with writing or the stories I’m working on? Not much, honestly. It’s a moment of transparency, really. Because I think we’ve all had failures in some, way, shape, or form. This is just a story of how I dealt with one of mine. I hope that it helps someone who may be going through something similar. Failure can make us better, it’s just a matter of what you do with that failure. Do you crawl out of the ring or do you get back up and keep swinging?