3 ways I manage stress as a UC nursing student

To be successful in nursing school, it's important to care for yourself. Here's how I do that

By: Kate Falkner, Bachelor of Science in Nursing '24; Nursing Student Ambassador

Since starting college, I have learned how important it is to find something outside of school that you are passionate about. In high school, we are constantly focusing on what we can do to look like a well-rounded student on our college applications. But what happens after you get to college?

I respect my limits.

Last year, I definitely struggled with remembering there is more to college than studying all the time. I'm not saying that studying and school should not be a priority in college, but that it is important to learn your limits. One thing I am still learning today is when I've reached my limit and need to give myself a break. It is so important to prioritize yourself or else you will regret the memories you don't make and will feel burnt out.

Kate Falkner lifting weights

Lifting weights in the gym

I exercise regularly.

One major way I have learned to change my habits is by going to the gym. In high school, I ran cross country and track, but I had really bad anxiety during races. I still love running, but I found that I really love lifting. By going to the gym, I have started a healthy outlet for my stress and emotions. It also is really validating to see my progress and moving up in weight. Through going to the gym, I have also found another way to connect with my roommates because they enjoy going, too.

I care for myself so I can care for others.

Of course, the gym is not for everyone and that's okay! What I'm hoping you will take away from this is to put yourself first. If you cannot take care of yourself, how can you take care of others? That is something I constantly say to myself when I notice I have been piling too much on my plate.

Self-care is something I think that many nurses struggle with. They constantly try to do right by others and sometimes give so much of themselves that there’s nothing left for themselves. I also think self-care is important in discovering who you are. Life is a learning process. It’s okay to not have everything figured out and not know what you’re passionate about. The biggest takeaway I want whoever is reading this to have is that life is not all about school. Make it a priority to be happy and find what fuels you.