Scoring a Seat at “The Cool Table”

I’m just going to ignore the fact that I haven’t written on this blog in almost 5 months, and pretend like no life has passed since then.

[A special thank you to that blogger friend of mine who e-mail me this past week asking if I was still alive, since there has been no activity on this little blog since April… yikes! ]

We’re going to skip over our trip to the Middle East and our tour of the Holy Land. Or the part about my parents selling my childhood home and moving to Minnesota. Or us having to put our old yellow lab down. Lets also quickly fast forward over when I moved into a wonderful apartment in Arlington with two dear college friends. Or when I finally worked my last day as a full-time nanny, having logged well over 10,000 hours in the last 3 years. Or when my best friends became pregnant, and then became moms [someone please pinch me!]. Yes… lets skip over ALL of that. And arrive at life as of now.

Nursing. School.

Five weeks down, fifty-one weeks to go. I overheard some classmates already starting the countdown, ha.

I don’t remember the last time I was this busy, or overwhelmed with my schoolwork. But the wonderful thing is, I am loving it!

I’ll be honest, the last few months I have had my doubts as to whether or not nursing school was truly for me. Perhaps I should just move back to Europe once and for all. Or to Minnesota with my parents. Or to the Middle East and work with Muslim women there (story for another time). I began wondering if I was really cut out for nursing- I mean come on’, I just got over my fear of vomit less than a year ago! I began wondering if returning to school for 15 months would really be worth it in the end. Who wants to go back to the life of a student?

But then orientation came. Free newspapers for students, social gatherings, a gym with fitness classes, a library full of resources, professors with office hours ready and willing to pour into you, the health clinic… I mean come on! What’s not to love about a student’s lifestyle?

The first week of school crept up on me rather unexpectedly, and before I knew it I was sitting in my first 8am class. All by my lonesome self.

Okay, now I know I have a tendency to be shy at times, especially in rather large group settings- but for the most part, I think I’m a pretty outgoing person. So for me to find myself sitting by myself was terrible. Especially when overhearing lots of laughter coming from the tables behind me. Now bear in mind, this is my first day of class. AKA, one of the most crucial times for a student to make friends and not be termed “loser” from the get go.

Class started at 8am. I arrived to the classroom at 7:45am. Decent time, I thought with enough wiggle room to get settled.

Wrong. 

The classroom was packed. I quietly grabbed one of the only seats left at the tables we were allowed to sit at, which just happened to face the back wall with my back towards the professor. Having to contort my body to maintain eye contact with the professor during a three hour class? Who wouldn’t enjoy such an awkward position? Back ache, anyone?

My next class day, I told myself I would arrive even earlier to get the “prime seat”  I was hoping for, and to save my poor back from another painful three hours.

I arrived at 7:40am this time. And guess what? The classroom was just as packed.

As I slouched into the same seat as last time, I vowed to do whatever necessary to not only score a seat that faced the professor, but that also included others whom I could befriend.

Coming home to my roommates that night was tough when, after hearing my saga from the previous day, made me vow to arrive extra early to make an effort to not only score a great seat, but make friends in the class. Sadly, I came home with no new news to report. Sarah asked, “Dom, part of the ‘cool’ kids now?” Just then I saw Lis, my other roommate, quickly make eye contact with her, attempting to communicate “shhhh… sensitive topic.” Ha! At the time, I was still sitting by myself, leaving class by myself, with no friends to form a study group with.

Day three I finally got my prime seat. I didn’t arrive any earlier than the last two times… probably later actually. But I managed to score a seat at an empty table in the front row that faced the professor. Score! I also had one girl from my clinical rotation sitting with me. Even better! Things were looking up, folks.

Five weeks later and our little table of two has grown to four. Rumor has it, a few other girls are trying to find a clever way to sneak their way out of their table to join my table. Looks like we have regained the name, “the cool table.”

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