When I tell people I’m a nurse, the common response is “Wow that must be a lot of work.” They aren’t wrong, but we are involved in more than just clinicals, wearing scrubs, and studying for anatomy. I believe that having activities outside of nursing provides much-needed mental breaks for our busy schedule.
I was involved with the yearbook all throughout high school, and I knew I wanted to continue involvement in some sort of publication in college. There is a club fair that takes place every fall where each club is lined up along Locust Walk with a table. As a freshman, overwhelming is an understatement when describing this event. As I strolled past club sports and a ridiculous amount of Wharton clubs, I was unsure of finding the perfect publication. Then, as we were about to leave, my eye was caught by a name...UnEarthed. This was the start of one of my favorite activities I’m involved with on campus. UnEarthed is a children’s magazine designed, written, and published by undergraduates at Penn. Every semester, we come up with a theme that all the articles center around and once the magazine is printed, we distribute the magazine to elementary schools in West Philly. Distribution is the highlight of the club for many members. Getting to read to a group of kids and show them your work is both fun and rewarding.
Having an activity that has nothing to do with nursing allows me to explore my creative interests. I started out in the club as a designer, which was super fun when I was able to tell kids that I designed a page. From there, I moved up in leadership, and I am now the VP of Public Relations. I am in charge of the social media for UnEarthed as well as recruitment that we run every semester.
I am also a member of a sorority, which has allowed me to meet great girls from all of the colleges, attend a multitude of events to better the community, and attend social events during weekends. I am also a part of the Knitting Club, which allows me to socialize with other nursing students while knitting and eating baked goods. Many weekends, me and my roommates travel into the city to shop a little, try a new restaurant, or simply spend time outside to give ourselves much-needed mental breaks. These activities are also a great way to meet people outside of the nursing “bubble.” Given that a cohort is only about 100 students and clinical/labs are only 8 people, you get to know almost everyone in the program.
So yes, studying from sunup to sundown every day can be beneficial for that one grade on that one test but getting involved in campus is how you will make the memories you remember long after graduation.