Hi everyone! It took me awhile to really sit down to reflect on the past year and make goals for the next year. It has been a wonderful year and I have learned a lot about myself. I accomplished a lot being a nursing student and now officially having my own blog. Read about my highlights, struggles, my lessons, and what I am taking with me into 2018. It is pretty lengthy but I promise it’s worth it because it is personal and you will definitely get more insight into who I am.
25th Birthday Celebration
I am pretty big on my birthday lol because it’s the one day it can be all about me and I can be a brat and do whatever I want and get away with it. LOL jk (not really) my favorite part is being able to spend time with my loved ones because we’re all grown and have busy lives so it’s hard to link up. They did a very good job at making me feel like a princess this day. The day before my birthday, my boyfriend took me out to our favorite steakhouse in Philadelphia called Del Frisco’s. We went home and I was surprised at midnight with a cake from my family (our tradition at midnight in our family). The next day, I unfortunately had school on my actual birthday but I came back home to a surprise from my younger sister Carolyne. She decorated my room with pink streamers, balloons, and rose petals. It was just so cute and I really felt like a princess. She even made cupcakes and my boyfriend got me pink roses.
I celebrated my birthday two separate nights that week in New York City and Philadelphia because my sorority sisters live in New York so might as well have two different celebrations. Both nights consisted of dinner and then going out after. I even had a custom snapchat filter YAY! My boyfriend got me a green tea fondant cake from Silk Cakes in New York and it was just so delicious.. best cake ever 🙂
My boyfriend and I heard about this because my sister’s best friend was interning here and was like come visit me! We did research and saw pictures so we decided to go celebrate our one year anni here. It was so beautiful and I can go on and on about my Bali trip but that can be talked about in another blog post. My favorites from this trip are parasailing, having our own personal pool in our personal villa, sunset dinner on the beach, and having a floating breakfast in an infinity pool. This was definitely one of the most romantic experiences/vacations I ever had in my life and I am glad I was able to experience it with my boyfriend.
I used to be so into music festivals and events but hey, I’m getting old now so I’m slowly retiring from it LOL but when my cousins were like okay let’s go to Coachella, I’m like sure why not? Smh peer pressure. I love Cali a lot and I always wanted to live there so why not come for a music festival. I went to Coachella in 2016 with my sorority sisters and had so much fun so I had to come back since I am kinda a veteran now lol jk. One of my favorite thing is shopping for Coachella because I just love being extra and dressing up for festivals. It’s always exciting to find clothes and then accessorize with jewelry, rhinestones, and flash tat. Thank god my cousin is also my hair stylist so she made my hair extra popping!!! I also love the feeling of dancing in an open grass field to my favorite artists and have the nice California breeze flow through my long hair. Yup, definitely something everyone should experience once. I probably won’t go back a third time because twice is definitely enough and I cannot do another 3 straight days of partying lol.
Puerto Rico Family Vacation
Growing up, my cousins and siblings are all really close. We always talked about going on vacation together but never did but we finally did it this summer without any parents! It all started when we saw airline tickets to San Juan on sale so we all joked around and ended up booking it the same day. There were 12 of us and we rented a really big vacation home on air bnb plus a big 15 seated van. There was a little headache with checking in and renting the van but it all worked out. We explored the caves, nightlife, and beaches. The weather and beach were so beautiful. My favorite part was definitely going to Old San Juan to where all the colorful buildings were. That area has a lot of food and souvenir shopping and we did most of our shopping there.
My boyfriend been wanting to go to Maine for awhile because he loves seafood and it’s known for it’s seafood here. He would joke around and say he’s going to go himself because I don’t eat seafood and it would be a waste but little did he know, I surprised him for his birthday! I didn’t know what big gift to get him but I do believe that the best gift you can give someone is your time. Besides my winter/summer breaks, I’m really busy with school and usually work on weekends so it was special for us to have a weekend getaway for his birthday. It meant a lot more to him since I bought him everything he needed for the trip including clothes, shoes, duffel bag and took him out to eat his favorite foods which consist of seafood, sushi, and steak.
Maid Of Honor
One of my best girl cousins Ashley asked me to be her maid of honor!!! Omg this is so exciting. I grew up with her (literally known her since diapers LOL) and to see her grow up, get into a relationship, experience their love together, and now getting to be on this journey with her to get married together is just amazing. I cried when she asked me to be her maid of honor because it is an honor and I am just so incredibly happy for her. This is my first time being a made of honor and I have no idea how to do it so I’m just winging it on the way and using Pinterest as my best friend. Stay tuned for the wedding in August 🙂
There were so much that happened in a year that I can’t possibly talk about everything that happened but to sum it up, I spent it with loved ones, found new friendships through nursing school, went on a couple vacations, and will continue to do the same in 2018 <3
2017 Lessons Learned
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This was one of my biggest struggle and I struggled with this in two different ways. I’m at that age where most of my friends already have their careers, engaged/married, and/or have families. And here I am 25 working on my second bachelor’s degree with no kids and not married. Long story short, I went away for school and majored in Exercise Science wanting to be a PA or PT but then realized it wasn’t for me and nursing was what I wanted to do. It was very stressful applying for nursing schools because Rutgers had a certain curriculum that made it hard to transfer credits. It took me a year to take finish prerequisite courses to even begin to apply to nursing schools. That process was really stressful because I got waitlisted and even rejected from major ones and then I got accepted to two and decided to go to Aria. This program is a diploma program which bridges with Penn State for a Bachelor’s program so it’s a little longer than an accelerated program. I struggled a lot the beginning of the year when I found out about other programs where it only takes a year to be a nurse with a second degree and here I am in a program that will take me twice as long. I was mad at myself that I did not do more research into more nursing schools because I was just desperate to get into any school at this point. I wanted to get started on my career already and get married and have a family (see “slow down” section below). I became depressed comparing myself to others and feeling like at 25, my life had to be together. I felt old and I just wished I went to a 4 year nursing program straight out of college and I would have a career already by 22 but I am 25 still in nursing school and trying to get my life together. It was really hard but I am slowly letting go of this and realized that there is a time and place for everything. Everything happens for a reason and that’s true because I would not had the friends I have today or the experiences I had if I did not went to this school. In addition, everything happens at different time for different people. It is never too late to achieve your dreams and someone else’s journey is completely different than your own journey. In 2018, I will be proud of my struggles and the person I have become and will continue to do things at my own pace. Don’t let a number (your age) define you at all and I’m letting go of thinking I have to do this and that by a certain age because I am making my own rules and guidelines as I go.
You know the saying, “stop and smell the roses..” well it’s a good saying and I finally learned to put this use this year. This original cliche meant to take time out of your busy day to stop and appreciate the beauty of life. For me, the beauty of my life is my family. I am guilty of always being on the go and always working or at school or studying that I come home and go straight to my room without even saying anything to my parents. It does not take long at all to say hi to my parents and ask them how they’re doing but I just did not do that at all. For 2018, I want to slow down and really appreciate everything I have in life, especially my family. I pick up a lot of shifts at work because I was bad in college and racked up on credit card debt so I just want to pay them off so consequently, I would miss family occasions and even family holidays because I choose to work instead. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big family person and I love my family but I chose to work in order to work on my finances. I realized that I am taking care of it and being responsible and it’s not like I’m swimming in debt or anything so that should not be my highest priority right now. I will have the rest of my life to work (I am still in nursing school now) and that family is now so I just need to slow down, enjoy where I am at, and spend more time with my family while I can.
Relating to what I said before about comparing myself to others who are married and have a family at my age, I need to slow down LOL. There is no rush to get married and have a family yet. I need to first focus on myself and finishing nursing school. I have a boyfriend and he has been super supportive of me and I always felt guilty because he has a career and I know he wants kids but he would always tell me “babe, there is no rush.. we’ll get married when we get married and have kids when it happens.” I love him so much for always supporting me, being patient with me, and reassuring me that everything will be okay. My current goals are to finish nursing and travel before settling down and starting a family. Like I said before, everything happens at different times for everyone so go at your own pace.
Do what makes you happy
At the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows what you want and what makes you happy so go make it happen… and no you don’t need anyone to make you happy because self-love has to be accomplished first. For awhile now, I was really scared to start blogging because I was scared of the criticism and the haters saying stuff like “oh she wanna be ig famous now,” “oh you have time to blog,” “why do you even wanna blog?” Idk why I thought like that but I did and I was scared to even start a blog because I didn’t know if people would like it or even follow it but then I realized I wanted to blog because I love writing and sharing my experiences. When I realized why I wanted to blog, it didn’t matter to me what people thought or if anyone even cared to read about what I write… I’m doing this for myself and because it makes me happy knowing it’s for the right reasons.
It’s Okay To Not Be Perfect (taken from my how to survive nursing school/finals blog)
This is something that I struggled with and is slowly working on. I always been an overachiever and always had to be perfect. I am the type of person who gets an A and gets upset if it was not a high A. Nursing school is tough and the exam questions are not like regular exam questions either. Even if your answer is right, there is another right answer. I used to beat myself up over not having the perfect grade even though my grades were always pretty high. I am my biggest critic and it is good in a way because it motivates me but then it really hurts me at the same time. I slowly learned to let go of this because it is not healthy at all. I developed a mindset where I don’t have to be perfect everyday at everything I do; I just have to try and be happy. As long as I was getting good grades and taking care of myself, that’s all that matters.
It’s Okay to Put Yourself First
One thing I realized is that it’s okay to say no and put myself first. I am way too nice in the way that I feel like I cannot say no to people at times because I would feel guilty since I am the type to want to help others. I’m the person who will have exams coming up and a paper due but I will say yes to my supervisor to cover his shifts, help my siblings out with their homework, bake for a friend’s party while being my parents’ translator’s all at the same time. It gets overwhelming trying to balance everything at once and taking on more responsibilities than I should. When I am stressed and overwhelmed, I am a completely different person in that I act out and may say things I don’t mean to someone for no reason at all. I realized that I have to take care of myself first because being tired and stressed was just miserable and that is not who I am at all. I learned that it’s okay to say no. Real friends won’t be mad at you and will understand. You can always offer other ways to help or let them know you can help at a later time.
In a similar way, once I started blogging I was all like omg I need to post a picture everyday and post blogs frequently and that was getting hard to do while balancing work and school. I thought I needed to post everyday to keep engagement with my followers but then I realized I do need to put myself first. I should do it when I can and want to and not make it seem to be a mandatory thing to do. I enjoying taking pictures and posting to instagram and I enjoy blogging so I didn’t wanna take that feeling away and turn it to something that I will later on despite and be tired of. I realized I need to take time for myself to take care of more important things first like my health and my academics. Social media and blogging is a hobby and something I enjoy doing but it’s not my life and I should not stress over it.
- All of the following lessons I just listen above.
- Spend more time with family.
- Adapt a healthier lifestyle.
- Don’t sweat the little things.
- Finish nursing school and become a pediatric nurse.
- Be happy!