Senior Capstone Behavior-Based Question #20: How have you changed since you started college?

Posted 3 April 2009 by luxonomy
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Since coming to college, I have learned more about the world, about other people, and about myself. My hometown of Carmel, Indiana is a suburb of Indianapolis that is not unlike Brentwood in terms of demographics and reputation. Although I had grown up in and around the city, I had no concept of what it was like to live IN the city. I wasn’t used to being afraid to walk alone at night or crossing traffic lights. I didn’t understand the concept of someone’s family not being able to afford college; all of my friends’ parents could. I have since learned that I have been very fortunate to have parents who could give me everything I needed and some things I wanted; I’ve also learned that the real world is an unforgiving place for some people, that life is not fair, and that I must work hard if I want something.

My perception of people has also changed. I used to view people as static entities that were defined by their current situation; I saw a snapshot rather than a story. However as I’ve watched my own story being written I have begun to view the lives of others as marks on a timeline. For example, as a child and even a teenager, grown-ups were grown-ups, parents were parents, and teachers were teachers. I can now see that other people are just living their story; my parents were once in college, they once had their groups of friends, they once were a young couple, and they once looked ahead in anticipation of what life would bring them, just as I do now. We are all human beings walking along the timeline of life, each at a different point on that line.

Finally, I have learned a great deal about myself through my college experience. I came to Belmont knowing only one person from my hometown. What I wanted most was a fresh start, somewhere where I could redefine myself and leave behind some of the stupid things I did in high school. I was self-conscious, sensitive, and still horribly bitter and hurt from a huge fight with one of my best friends senior year. It’s taken some hard falls and painful lessons, but I’ve found that no matter how hard we try to change what people see on the outside, we will always be the same person in our core. The task of growing up is to find what we like about ourselves, to find what we can change, to find a way to relate that part to other people.

I’ve discovered a few things during my time at Belmont:
When you doubt yourself, you give someone else reason to doubt you.
Always be willing to change for the better.
And most importantly, never waste time being angry with someone you care about.

My Letter of Intent to the Vanderbilt Nurse Residency Admissions Staff

Posted 24 January 2009 by luxonomy
Categories: Uncategorized

To the Vanderbilt Nurse Residency admissions staff:

            As I prepare to graduate this coming May, I have had to consider who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming as I face the exciting transition from student nurse to RN. It is remarkable to think back to my first clinical semester, during which the thought of entering a patient room scared me half to death. I remember waking up each morning terrified that I’d “never make it” and clinging to the hope that Belmont would instill in me the skills and virtues necessary to be a successful nurse. It has been a long and difficult journey, one that has stretched and challenged me far beyond what I could have ever imagined, but I am now beginning to see the fruits of my labor.

            Belmont has been a valuable part of my growth in both the clinical setting and in life. The nursing instructors I have had over the years have done nothing but encourage and gently guide me in my journey as a nurse.  They continually dedicate their time, give of themselves, and share their knowledge and experiences. I have made the journey from fear to confidence in the clinical setting because of my instructors; they have modeled for me sound judgment, responsibility for one’s actions, and a joyful, giving spirit.

            As I look forward toward where I hope to be in the near and distant future, I see myself as a well-rounded nurse who is dedicated to a lifetime of learning, who is firmly rooted in nursing theory, and who is able to apply this theory to clinical practice. I see a woman who adheres to that which she believes is right, who puts her patients first, and who strives to work to the best of her ability. Finally, I see a human being who wishes to connect with other human beings by bringing joy, a smile, and hope to others during times of need.

             I chose to apply to Vanderbilt for two reasons. First, Vanderbilt is a teaching hospital that is committed to expanding the knowledge and experiences of its employees. I see the Vanderbilt Nurse Residency as a valuable opportunity for me to learn as much as possible during my first year as a nurse; I also see the Nurse Residency as a wonderful network of support from both my peers and my superiors. Second, Vanderbilt has a reputation in Nashville and surrounding areas as being the “go-to” hospital for exceptional medical and nursing care, which is something I wish to be a part of. I have a passion for cardiovascular medicine and am especially interested in your heart program, about which I have heard great things.

             I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Elizabeth V. Lux

Our Primitive Response

Posted 20 January 2009 by luxonomy
Categories: Uncategorized

Last night I lay awake, unable to convince my body that 3:00am is in fact “late”, and past the average person’s bedtime. Maybe it was the Energizer Bunny taking my never-ending to-do list for yet another victory lap through my mind (I have truly been conquered), or excitement over the history that was made this morning as Barack Obama was sworn in. On the other hand, maybe it was the caffeine I foolishly ingested at 6:00pm coursing through my veins. Scratch that; it was the fact that due to my inverted sleep cycle my body processed 6:00pm as 11:00am, therefore allowing me to drink my coffee without a second thought.

As I lay there attempting to sort out this from that, up from down, 6:00pm from 11:00am… three thoughts crossed my mind. Two of them I decided to save for later, but one remained.

I had quite an outburst the other night. Four-letter words flew like bats out of a cave before I knew what I was saying or why. I’d love to excuse my words as hasty and unwarranted, claiming I “said things I didn’t mean”, but the truth is the opposite. I meant what I said (the things I can remember, anyway). Yes, I do feel used. No, I don’t feel like you give a shit. Now, before we go forward pointing fingers and making accusations… I recognize that a good portion of this mess is my fault. I dug myself a hole, invested my time and my emotions of my own volition. I didn’t take the easy road. I chose to give despite the fact that I received little in return. 

While I don’t regret the things I said, I do regret the manner in which I said them. I was angry, but because I was hurt. There’s something about the pain we experience when we feel wronged, where the first instinct is to throw up a wall in self-defense, to stop the bleeding, to try and salvage some of that which was lost. Sometimes there seems to be nothing more assuaging than to hurt back. We respond primitively; like injured animals, we snap at anyone who tries to touch us where it hurts. But the truth is that injuring the one who injures us only feeds the cycle, and creates more anger and pain in return.

I’ve been wounded.

I’m terribly angry.

But I truly am sorry for the impertinent blows I dealt you concerning a certain third-party (I’m sure you’re aware of that which I’m referring to). And I’m hoping that as always, the roadblocks of the past lead to new paths in the future.