My name is Amy, and I grew up in San Diego, California. Growing up school was always difficult for me. In elementary school, I struggled with basic math and writing. As the years progressed I remember getting further behind. I was always in the “beginning” classes, and I knew it. I was self-conscious about being slow to learn, which in turn made me frustrated and my coping mechanism was to mostly ignore it. I constantly remember my backpack having loose papers stuffed in the bottom, and my binder was never organized. My parents would always try and help me, unfortunately they trusted me when I would say my homework was complete or that I didn’t need any help. I remember carrying report cards home with a ball of anxiety in my stomach because I never wanted to disappoint my parents. I averaged “C’s” but the other issue was, most of my report cards had things written on it like, “talks during class.” I was a social butterfly.
In high school, I managed to put in the minimal amount of effort I could to get passing grades, I never really pushed myself. I quickly learned as I got older, that I had little confidence in myself and that I assumed I would fail. When I graduated high school, I started classes at the local community college. I went for a few weeks and ended up dropping all my classes. I felt so ashamed of myself, maybe college was just too hard for me. I remember thinking that everyone else was smarter than me and I would never be able to get a degree.
My Dad’s encouraging advice
I remember having a conversation with my dad and he was telling me that I needed to find something I really wanted to do, and how he knew I would be able to do anything I set my mind to. Since it seemed that the traditional classroom setting may not have been the ideal setting, I enrolled in a local vocational school to complete training as a nursing assistant.
Being a nurse had been something I dreamed of since I was little. I was sick a lot as a child, and I knew I had a passion for helping others that I felt would make me a great nurse. I thought this would be a good place to start. I finished the program with a 4.0 GPA, and I knew that this was it for me. Since I was not accepted into a nursing program straight out of high school, I quickly learned that there would be some obstacles in getting accepted into a highly impacted nursing program in San Diego. I spent 4 years taking my pre-requisite classes and admission tests, and I was finally accepted into a nursing program.
During my nursing program, I was excelling in the clinical setting, it was like I was meant to do this. However, I still struggled in my classes. I wasn’t passing my tests and when I looked over the answers I chose; it was because I was changing my answers. I was constantly doubting myself. This was something I knew I had to work on or it was going to cost me my future in nursing. I studied twice as hard so that it would take out some of the self-doubt. In January of 2014, I graduated nursing school. It was absolutely the hardest thing I had ever done, but it was so rewarding because I had proved myself wrong. I was smart enough, I could graduate college. I am not sure what has made me doubt myself so much, but one thing that helped quiet my self-doubt was pushing myself to do something I never thought I could. I feel like women are born to think of others first and put themselves second, which is something I feel like has made me a great nurse, but made it very difficult for me to get to this point.
My advice for all women would be to never doubt yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to. Although I know this was a tough journey for me, I can’t imagine it any other way. If I didn’t have to work so hard to finish school, I don’t know if I would have gratefulness in my heart every single day to serve others as a nurse, it has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
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