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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WILIN: You Fail When You Quit

You Fail When You Quit

Finally! I exhaled when I saw this part of the screen approximately 11:45am. I thought it be most fitting to describe probably the most frustrating era of my life to conclude my nursing student for good and share what I've learned from it all.


For any visitor here who doesn't know me, I'm JJ and yes I [officially] graduated from the School of Nursing at University of San Francisco. And for those who know me and still don't even know my first name, it really is Jasef [pronounced Jah-Sehf]. This test is THE test I struggled with. It's called the HESI exit exam [stands for Health Education Systems, Inc]--basically a standardized test for nursing students in which we take at least 3 of them and then the final exit exam in which you need to pass at least 78% for USF to graduate and leave school behind.

I'm not going to lie and will flat out say I took this test SIX (6) TIMES. I'm not going to mention though how much each test costs =( haha... Nevertheless, I'm glad it's behind me but I will never forget what I really learned.

I'm sure everyone knows by now that not everything will go your way exactly as you planned. If you haven't experienced it yet, you will for sure. There will be times when you feel that you've done your all and still you're not getting what you expected or planned for. There will be people out there who will cross their arms and simply say "No." There will be times when you're just denied by the situation, time, or a "higher being" if you believe in one. It flat out sucks in simpler terms. When you want something so bad--literally within your reach--and you just can't get it, it's frustrating to say the least. [Remember that time you walked down the toy aisle with your parents and found the toy you wanted and held it and hugged and refused to give it up... even bargained that it will serve as your birthday and Christmas gift to only have to leave it back in the toy aisle?? Yes, that's how much you want it and yes that's how I use to bargain with my mom].

Get enough of these denials in life and it will break you. I don't care how man of a man you are or how tough you claim you are, when you are passionate of something and/or believe in something so bad that it doesn't come true or go your way, you will break down. For me, I cried. I cried when I didn't pass the third time when I realized I would have to stay another semester in school in order to retake the exam(s) until I passed. Yet, I looked forward and saw what I needed to do.

I studied, didn't pass, so I changed up my studying habits. Ok didn't work again--changed my habits again. And yet still didn't work. I don't remember how many times I cursed to myself as this process repeated itself over. To top it off, I felt that I owed this passing of this exam to my family and girlfriend who really believed in me as well [so yes, there's the added pressure I put on myself].

Fast forward to today after I promised to myself I'd pass and an anxiety filled morning and 4 runs to the bathroom during the exam to pee because of a needed Red Bull after waking up at 5am and sleeping 12:30am, I did it. Not to mention repeated cursing to myself and saying in my head "SHOW UP!" and shadow boxing and jumping in the bathroom to get the blood circulating. haha

As for the title for this entry, there are exceptions. When you quit something that doesn't interest you any more or doesn't benefit you any longer, you did not fail. [i.e. quitting smoking, quitting to learn piano because you no longer like it, etc]. I'm talking about when you quit trying to do what you want in your life, then ultimately it is failure. This is of course in my opinion.

In a way, I've learned that you will be denied someway or the other if you want something to happen or want something in general for yourself. I've learned that these are only hurdles and are not roadblocks. The world [and/or God] is testing you--trying to see how bad you want it. You attempt to go over that hurdle and even if you trip or stumble on it, you pick yourself up, patch up your cuts and continue the run to the next hurdle.

[Side note: finding a job? That's another hurdle for me after I pass my NCLEX-RN boards which is also another hurdle =) ]

You may even veer to an intersection and find yourself lost. I certainly did as I doubted myself while studying if this is suppose to be for me and all that negative stuff. But after you cleared your mind of the negative thoughts, it should be time for you to see that map and find yourself back on that correct road. If you want it that bad that is, you'll even force yourself back on that road to your passion or want.

While obtaining what you want can be self driven, it is rarely that case. With that being said, I will thank a few people here who helped guide me back to that road and helped pick me up when I fell [repeatedly].

To my family: I thank you for the continued support and prayers. You never stopped believing in me. And thanks bro [Kuya Den] for always putting things in perspective: "This test is nothing compared to the rest of your life..."

To my friends: thank you for being there for me and offering the encouragement and study tips. To my USF friends, thank you for literally being there for me. =)

To my teacher Dr. Higgins: thank you for being patient with me throughout two semesters haha! I appreciate your will and confidence in me to overcome this.

To my girlfriend, Cher: thank you for being there when I cried and basically broke down. Thanks for being hard on me to be resilient to study and pass.

And finally to my Mom: thanks for your never-ending love and support. I appreciate the times when you chose not to get mad at me for the inability to pass but instead kept pushing me to just study and work even harder.

Thank you all again! For anyone reading this who just stumbled on a hurdle and is having a hard time, don't quit. You know what you want is within reach, so stick with it and keep your eyes on the prize. Do it long enough, and you'll get to it no matter what. Scratch that: Make sure you'll get it no matter what. Keep strong, be strong.

At my computer on day of test (left to right): ear plugs in 35mm film container, name placeholder I got when I covered an event to remember who I am, a note I had my mom write on a Post-It, a love poem my girlfriend wrote from Rumi from a Valentine's gift, and finally the big eraser I've used in ALL my tests since 8th grade through high school and now all my nursing tests at USF. The script says "Good Luck at SI! [St. Ignatius]" by my best friend at the time Herissa.

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.


den said...

Very inspirational! What you've learned from overcoming this big hurdle in your life is something everyone should always remind themselves from time to time. There will always be a trial that needs to be overcome and this message is definitely something that can motivate a person to not give up. Congrats Lil Bro.

jo said...

Yay, JJ! Congrats! :)

JJ Casas ( said...

Thanks Kuy Den and Jo! =D

paulobeew said...

I've never read such an inspirational blog...

JJ Casas ( said...

Thanks for the read! I hope it helped someway!