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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SAU chapter.

Welcome back to school! I can imagine students everywhere are feeling a range of emotions with our recent comeback to what was a second home — college. Whether this is your first year or your fifth, I have begun to believe that every first day of school has the same whir of emotions. Laying in bed the night before, your head spinning just like its your first day of kindergarten. Of course, as you get older and more familiar with academia and your campus the anxiety may leak away, but the night before butterflies seem to always come back to me. The last of summer for me consisted of browsing amazon and the school bookstore for everything I think I will need to have a great school year. This will be my first year of nursing school and I am terrified to say the least. I have had friends in the program and — not to brag — but our program specifically is one of the best and is rather difficult. Whether you, too, are entering your first year of nursing school or your fourth year of your finance degree, there will always be a little bit of jitters. If you are anything like me, you have a huge fear of failure, which is tied rather closely to your academic success. In high school, I was nearly a straight-A student without having to try for anything at all. Entering college (especially during covid) was quite a shocker and my grades kind of tanked. I got myself mostly back together for the last couple years but now I am heading into my nursing program petrified. Like a lot of my peers, there have been many times where I really question myself and wonder if I have what it takes to be successful.

This summer has been packed full of trying new things and learning how I can be my own cheerleader. I remember getting done with the spring semester just so beyond ready for a break. I was burnt out, stressed, agitated, and overall just sad. While I can thank the summer sun and a break from school for my change of pace, I also like to think I worked on molding my mindset. I knew that when I came back in the fall, it was going to be hard work and I was going to have to prove to myself and my peers that I had what it takes to be a nurse. For a long time, that feeling was intimidating. I gave myself the last couple months to warm up to it and nearly become friends with the idea that I can do hard things. It may take several times and it may take more effort than I have had to use in the past and it will in fact be hard. But I can do hard things.

I can do hard things.

Life is hard, work is hard, school is hard, making friends is hard, learning vital skills is hard, problem solving is hard. But I can do hard things.

Once upon a time, I never thought I would understand how to tell time or tie my shoes. I thought the world was going to end. It was so catastrophic for my little 4 year old self. And now those things are quite literally a second nature to breathing for me.

Will nursing ever be as easy as breathing? Probably not. But eventually it will not be as hard as it is now and the world will continue to spin as I learn. I have taught myself to be comfortable with the idea that not only will I be learning these academic skills, but also the emotional skills that come with breakthroughs and the breakdowns of college. I am tough and I can do hard things. 

A reminder for you all (and myself) — it is okay to say that something is hard. It is okay to not understand. It is okay if you have to fail before you can succeed. The only thing that is not okay is to let go of something you love. And for me, I love nursing and I am going to do whatever it takes because I am capable of hard things. 

And so are you!

Mckennah is the twitter manager and is a writer at HC @ SAU. Beyond HC, Mckennah is involved in Dance Marathon and Student Nurses Association! She also works in a hospital as a PCT. Mckennah is majoring in Nursing with a minor in Biology. In her free time, Mckennah likes to read, watch movies, and hang out with her dog and friends! A fun fact about Mckennah is that she has 3 younger brothers aged 3 - 19!