"Does the professor take attendance?"
"I don't think so..."
"OK, good! I'll just be back next week then. I gotta do something anyways."
We all nursing students asked this question to our friends or have been asked of this I'm sure sometime in our college nursing classroom life. Some day or another, you'll find yourself bored or unwilling to go to class since "She just goes over what I read last night" or "The PowerPoint slides will suffice."
I've done it. I've skipped classes.
And then I've regretted it.
What I've learned is that showing up to class is far more than showing up for a course you've enrolled in. When you attend class, you do justice to the tuition you paid and the money is costs per unit. When you attend class, you pay respect to the professor by being present and ready to learn. When you attend class, you attend a community of students eager as you to learn (or sleep or eat since you skipped breakfast). When you attend class, you meet with friends (and those you do not like) and share a commonality of sitting and listening. When you attend class, you simply show up.
In regards to life, showing up is big. It's not just being on time, watching a dance performance of a friend to show support, or going to an opera house that you don't like but for your significant other you will [or have to]. Yes, that is part of showing up but is not the most important.
Showing up does not only mean physically being there; more importantly it is your mentality showing up.
What matters is not how you look like when you show up (it's OK to look sleepy or if you forgot to shave this morning), but how you are when you show up.
Here are a few guidelines I've followed and I hope you adopt some or even make your own set for Showing Up.
Showing Up: The Guidelines:
1. Showing Up = Being Present.
Be on time [or even early]. Show support. Be there for others without them asking for you. Be present because you care. Be present even if you don't care because it matters.
2. Leave Your Ego Out the Door Before Entering.
Be respectful of those present around you. You are showing up for something or someone; not yourself! Everyone can be selfish but for at least a moment try not thinking of what you will gain from being there. Enjoy the moment.
3. Put A Smile On
Studies show that if you smile [despite feeling crappy], your mood will elevate. Even if you don't want to be there, don't show with your body language of slump shoulders and a sulking attitude. That will surely deflate the moods of others. Instead, mask those negative signs by smiling and showing gratitude to the simple fact of being somewhere and not nowhere.
Plus, you don't want to be known as the one who injects negative vibes or brings the party down. Join others and have fun already.
4. Think Positive. Be Positive.
It's not about why you showed up; it's about how you are when you show up. No one will know that you got a flat tire going here. No one will know that you just failed an exam yesterday. No one will know that you lost $20 to some stupid 3 cups and a ball street gamble on a MUNI bus (that happened to me Freshman year...damnit). Of course, no one will know any of this even unless you told them.
All that matters immediately to the receiving people around you is how you are when you show up because that's the first thing they'll know immediately. Be positive and they too will greet you with positive vibes. Showing up and immediately talking about how that stupid flat tire ruined the day and well you'll receive "Oh I'm sorry!" and all but...that's probably it.
Even if you do share the bad news with people....
5. Laugh It Off!
Humor I think is one of the best gifts that we are given that doesn't require classes to take or money to buy. Learn how to use humor. Learn how to embrace it and receive it. Learn how to give it. Learn how to to laugh at yourself!
I hope you enjoy this post and next time, Show Up for sure. Take care.
WILIN "What I've Learned in Nursing" is a new blog reel that takes bits and pieces from what I've learned as a nursing student at University of San Francisco (c/o Fall 2009) and apply it to the rest of the real world. It is my attempt now to "combine" photography and nursing as many people have suggested who know I am conflicted with nursing and photography as a job/career.