Updated: Feb 5, 2019
Hey, guys, I feel like I'm always speaking so highly of my alma mater, Southern University and A&M College, so this, my friends, is the SUSON session. I'm going to talk about everything SUSON and how I made it through nursing school. I chose to attend Southern University for a few different reasons! First and foremost, my grandfather was a big supporter of historically black colleges and universities especially because he attended Grambling State University in Grambling, LA. He majored in education and believed that as long as you had an education and knowledge you could do anything that you set your mind to. Notice I said education and knowledge, not a degree or diploma. You can gain an education in so many different ways because let's face it, college is not the right route for everyone. I know so many people that do not have a college degree but are doing so many great things with their lives! It's all about doing what you're passionate about and the work ethic you have to reach your goals! But I digress.
I have a lot of aunts and uncles who went to Southern so it was not a surprise to anyone when I chose to attend. I've been going on the bluff since before I could walk. My mom and I lived in Baton Rouge a while before moving to her hometown to be closer to our family. Although we moved away, I never forgot our trips to Southern and seeing Lacumba, the live jaguar mascot, they had on campus back in the gap. It was a classic case of "you can take the girl off the bluff but, you can't take the bluff out of the girl." At a very young age, I have been told that I always said I was going to Southern. Although I applied to many colleges, I only put Southern on my FAFSA, real dedicated I know lol.
Another reason I decided on Southern was the success of the nursing school. When I finally decided I wanted to become a nurse (separate post coming for that) I found out that Southern's nursing school was the best of the best. There is a reason you see #SUSONMADE on Instagram and Twitter. The amount of hard work and dedication you have to put in at SUSON, and honestly other nursing schools as well, is unmatched. But let me be biased, my school is the BEST! We have been named "Nursing School of the Year" countless times by the Louisiana State Nurses Association and Louisiana Nurses Foundation. Professors of the nursing school have been awarded prestigious honors and in recent years comps and NCLEX pass rates have skyrocketed! Yep, that's my school. I knew it was destined for me to go there! So sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the first part of Surviving SUSON.
I have never struggled in school: NEVER EVER! I graduated from high school with a 3.9 and as salutatorian. I never really had to study hard because school work came very natural to me. Moving forward to college I just knew it would be a breeze as well. And to tell you the truth, it was at first! I glided through pre-requisites with little to no problems, making A's and B's. Not only was I making good grades, but I was also living my life to the fullest. I was going out the night before an 8 AM class and definitely in somebody's club every weekend. I felt as long as my grades weren't slipping then it didn't matter. I thought I had this college thing under control. Little did I know the semester I was accepted into nursing school all that would change! I started college in August of the year 2014. I was accepted into nursing school the spring semester of 2016. I went into nursing school with a 3.9 GPA.
The Life-Changing Semester
As I said before, I never really had to study for anything but baby when I got into nursing school it was like culture shock to me. MY TEACHERS DID NOT PLAY! Southern University School of Nursing is known for its prestige and takes pride in being the best of the best. Although I was going to Southern from birth, SUSON nurses are just made different. Moving on, the first nursing classes I had were nursing process 2 with Dr. Williams and pharmacology with Ms. Thyssen. I used the same little study practices for my first two tests and passed with B's. This was okay with me. I didn't really study for either test as I should have. I wasn't out at the club as much once I got into nursing school. I hadn't really started focusing on studying though. It wasn't until I failed the second pharmacology test that I decided it was time to get my act together. Most of the people from one of my previous study groups were all in nursing school so we decided to make a study group. I can't even front, my study group was the truth! They helped me through a lot of tough things I experienced during my first semester especially keeping me focused and organized while pursuing other things: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Yes, I joined the most prestigious and best sorority while figuring out the craziness of nursing school. Most of them were older than me too, so they were like big sisters and brothers to me. I never got in trouble with teachers in school either. My first or second clinical day was the first time I had ever really gotten into trouble in class. My professor Dr. Williams apparently had told us to print and bring these forms to class. Well, I guess I missed that memo. Like 6 or 7 of my classmates left these papers at home too and honey she put us out of class. I was only missing one paper but she said that we were unprepared for clinical because we didn't have all our required materials. She also made us sign a clinical warning and made us go in front of the disciplinary board. When I tell you I called my mama in tears lol. I just didn't understand why this lady was so hard up about a piece of paper. Needless to say I never ever left materials again. I ended the semester with a B in pharmacology and a C in process 2. I literally stayed up 2 days, taking small naps in between, prepping for my finals. My friends and I were so relieved the first semester was over and we threw a pool party with lots of margaritas! My first semester in nursing school was a slight wake-up call but it wasn't until the second semester that I truly WOKE UP!
Second Semester...New Me?
Going into my second semester of nursing school I thought I knew exactly what I was doing lol WRONG! I knew nothing at all but I'll wait to explain. Moving forward, I just knew I had balanced my personal life and nursing school. My line sisters were added to my support system this semester too so I couldn't be defeated! This semester was right after a very devastating flood in Baton Rouge that had displaced a lot of my friends and teachers so, needless to say, it was a bit chaotic. Also, I had moved off campus into my first apartment with three roommates. See a lot of changes...and I swear I thought I was on top of the world! I decided to continue to stay with my study group from the previous semester. I mean we were lit and passing why wouldn't I? Starting out, it was the same people but when people got word of the group it began to expand. At one point I thought our whole class was in the study group. One thing I learned about study groups is if there are too many people in the group, nothing will get accomplished. I started to feel that I wasn't benefiting from the group anymore so guess what...I left. Bloop! Anyone that knows me can tell you I don't care. I felt like I wasn't learning anything anymore. There were absolutely no hard feelings towards the people in my former group, I just couldn't learn in that environment. So now I asked myself, what's next? Well, I'm ashamed to admit my next move for me was to party lol. Remember, I had just become an AKA. My line sisters and I were getting invited to parties all over. I literally was in the club three times before my first test for back to school parties. Anybody in nursing school will tell you no ma'am, no sir, you don't have time to do that. Labor Day weekend I was head first in a Kappa party at UL with my line sisters. Where should I have been...studying! Miss Undefeated over here thought she could do it all. It wasn't until I failed the first test that I had to check myself yet again. I called my aunt to tell her because she's like my best friend and I knew she would pull that auntie mechanism out that would gather my life without hurting my feelings, unlike my mom who would completely flip out. So after gathering myself and swearing off parties until at least after I brought this failing grade up, I got to work. But let's not forget, I DON'T HAVE A STUDY GROUP. My roommates were all in nursing school. One roommate was in the class below me so I couldn't effectively study with her and the other two were in my class but they didn't study well in groups. God works in mysterious ways though. One of my friends from my old study group had left too and 3 of my classmates were also looking for a study group. Boom, we became a study group. We met at my apartment complex's study rooms. It was lit. We became really close throughout this process and I can honestly say these are some of my lifelong friends. All of us were successful in passing this level except one but that didn't break our friendship. I made it out with a C but guess what shorty, C's get degrees lol.
I honestly hope this helps someone to not make the same mistakes that I made during my tenure of nursing school. We had a professor that said on my first day of nursing school orientation, "If you give SUSON the next 2 and half years of your life, we will give you a lifetime of prosperity." I took that statement for granted my first year in nursing school but at the end of semester two, I valued it so much more. Do you have any nursing school stories or advice to give? Please feel free to comment below and be on the lookout for Study Tips and Surviving SUSON Part II next week!
A Few Pictures From My First Two Semesters In SUSON
The Klassic Nurse 💋
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