Going back to school for a nursing degree is a big commitment, especially for those who already have jobs or families or just a busy schedule in general—which applies to almost every adult today. The personal and professional rewards of earning your degree can be vast, but, in the meantime, earning that nursing degree will take time, energy and hard work. So, how do you stay focused on the big picture? One thing our students say often helps them is developing a support system that includes a fellow student—a student sidekick, a partner in your education.
1. To Be A Watchful Eye
Having a peer and classmate who you know will hold you accountable is incredibly valuable. Once you know each other's goals, whenever things get hard, you can remind each other of your ambitions, of why you’re in school and of what you’re trying to achieve. Your student sidekick will have expectations for you to succeed, and when you don’t attend or participate in class, turn in your work or study for an assessment, they can call you or check in on you to see what’s going on and how they can help. Of course, when one of you is doing well, you can celebrate your accomplishments together as well—it’s no fun to only point out the negatives!
2. To Offer a Sympathetic Ear
Every now and then, you’re going to feel overwhelmed, and you might just want to vent. That’s perfectly normal. Who better to listen to you and give you the emotional support you need than someone who is experiencing something very similar? Your student sidekick will understand how hard you’re working and what’s going on in your classes, because they’ll be there too! More importantly, they’ll know you can get through this and encourage you to do just that.
3. To Lend a Helping Hand
As you work through your courses, you are bound to have questions and need a little help now and then. Your instructors and university support staff are great resources, but it’s nice to have a peer to ask for help too. Sometimes, reaching out to a friend for a quick question can be less intimidating, and they might be able to walk you through a concept you don’t understand in a new way. Also, since you trust them, you can ask your student sidekick for advice on specific professors, classes, scheduling, study tips, time management—you name it!
Do you already have a student sidekick at South University? Email _SUMarketing@southuniversity.edu to tell us all about it and how you’ve helped each other so far!
You can also find tips on getting to know your peers in this blog post or get advice from our faculty on how to succeed in your nursing career or degree program in an article from earlier this year.