Last Friday I graduated from nursing school. See?
I realized today that I had not really mentioned that on here yet.
I think it took me until now to really process that it actually happened. I mean, this is huge. Really really huge. I am DONE. This summer does not have another semester at the end of it. The NP program that has run my life for the last three years is over! I am officially no longer a student at my school (I will be student of nursing and life forever and ever, but you get my point).
Parts of being done have been really easy to embrace. The last two weekends were the first in three years that I didn't have any homework or studying hanging over my head. I danced around our apartment on Sunday chanting, "I can do what I want today". It was fantastic. James is pretty stoked that I am done as well, but is still adjusting to me actually having the time and head space to help more around our home. We'll get there.
Other parts have been a little more jarring and not as exciting to embrace. For one thing, I still have to take and pass my NP certification exams (Adult Primary and Women's Health). I just finished a two day review course for said exams and am very aware of everything I still need to review.
Another reality check has been employment, or lack thereof.
Once again, I am without a job. My per diem RN job ended due to lack of funding to keep the position going. I had hoped to have the opportunity to transition to an NP position at the same place, but alas, that did not occur. So, I am a new grad who is unemployed... yeah, you see where this is going...
Behold- the last (and perhaps the harshest) post grad reality check- LOAN REPAYMENT! Thankfully, I have not totally spun out in the 'how the hell am I going to pay my loans back!?!?' freakout yet and don't need to (thank goodness for grace periods).
Still, it's hard to not combine all three points (exam, employment, loans) into this big reality monster who is hiding around the corner, just waiting for me to waver.
On the other hand, all three of those life things require the same thing- planning. That'll slice that reality monster down to reasonably sized, manageable chunks.
The review course was a needed kick in the pants that helped me identify weak areas in my nursing knowledge for my exams. I'm actively networking and looking for jobs. And I have the beginning stages of a financial plan for when I do have a job to work on those loans.
Embracing graduation meant that I could celebrate this amazing accomplishment. But it also meant that I had to embrace the new responsibilities that came with this new stage of life. That, I think, like most of the worthwhile things in life, will be a work in progress.