Once Carolyn proved to herself she was not only capable of succeeding in college but succeeding at a very high level, she realized there was more to life than getting A’s. You can certainly be proud of a high GPA in college, but Carolyn has found that scholarship funders look beyond academic success and more than that, it’s hard to sustain that pace. Here’s Carolyn:
I’m able to relax a bit more now. I think that’s why I got the B this semester, but it was also sort of a planned B. I hoped that I wouldn’t get the B, of course I hoped I would get the A, but the first semester of nursing school, I was a nervous wreck. I was trying so hard to get the A. I heard that it was near impossible to get A’s in nursing school, and everybody said when we were going in “if you’re an A student, expect B’s, if you’re a B student, expect C’s.” But I really just wanted to keep getting A’s.
I worked really, really hard, but I drove myself nuts. I was crying at least once a week, just stressed out about my coursework and I was really studying too much. I got an A minus. I got the A, but it was an A minus and I cried about it. I thought,
“This is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous, I’m doing this too much.”
I was participating a lot in the student nurse association (SNA) at my school as well, and the president, he’s a B and C student. I realized that he’s successful. He’s seen as a successful student and he works hard and he’s doing student leadership, and he’s not an A student, he’s a B student.
I started to realize that success wasn’t completely determined by your GPA. I really wanted to be able to do stuff like student leadership, and I know to get scholarships you need to do volunteer work but the way I was working, I didn’t have time for that. I decided that if I wanted the good scholarships and if I wanted to participate in student government, which makes you a more rounded student and it’s good for when you’re applying for jobs, then I was going to have to strike a balance.
So this past semester my plan was to study a little less so I could have time to participate more in the SNA and to do a little bit of volunteer work. It was mildly disappointing not to get the A, but I still got a B and that’s good in nursing school, and I’ve been managing to volunteer with two organizations and I got voted president of the SNA.
My plate it still very full, but I feel I’m doing a lot more, I’m varying my focus.
I think it was good move because it made me a very good applicant for scholarships because I was able to show I wasn’t just a one-trick pony, but I was doing all this other stuff too. I think bottom line, I didn’t cry every week this semester like I did the first. I wasn’t working myself to the bone. I still made time occasionally to go ballroom dancing and hang out with the nursing school girls, even though our hangouts were usually student nurses association functions.
It was definitely more balance, because I just couldn’t keep going at that pace forever.
The Divorce Coach Says
Carolyn’s message here is very consistent with what I was getting from all the academic advisors my daughter and I talked to on our recent college visits. It’s not that B’s are considered successful, it’s being able to point to the other activities you’re involved with and how those activities contribute to your community. Without the other activities, a B is a B. The same concept applies for job searches also.
As Carolyn says too, getting some variety in her life was important in keeping her energized. That’s a message I think anyone going through divorce can apply: if you’re juggling work and kids, you have find some time in there for you. It might only be half an hour at a Starbucks, someway to reward yourself.
Photo credit: quinn.anya