Advice

#Goals & Being a Student-Parent

A woman with long dark hair in professional attire against a soft-focus natural background
NU Scholar Karrie Yi shares her tips as a full-time parent, student, military veteran, and military spouse.

Karrie Yi

NU Scholars April 2019 Cohort

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education – San Diego. U.S. Navy Veteran

Every day as a mother of twin boys, a veteran, a wife to an Active Duty military service member, and a fulltime student, hard work seems to follow me like a shadow. Sometimes this shadow is friendly, and other it gets overwhelming. Hard work became a part of who I am years ago, and I have learned to embrace every challenge and view it as a self-improvement milestone. In doing so, I have learned to change my perception of this hard work from a daunting “shadow” to a softer “silhouette.” First, I start my mornings early and give myself the necessary time to fully wake up and enjoy my coffee.  This time to myself gives me the energy and focus to change my perspective on any shadows into silhouettes of opportunity. As I drink my coffee I ask myself some easy questions like “What can I do today? and “What tasks have a deadline today or coming up?” Then I ask myself my favorite question, “Was that coffee good enough to start the day?”  

Besides a decent cup of coffee in the early morning, my motivation to continue comes from my amazing family, which consists of my twin boys and my Active Duty husband (whom I met while I was also active duty). My husband and I see eye to eye on the importance of constant self-improvement and taking ownership of our lives and goals, supporting each other’s educational and career pursuits while also acting as active role models for our boys. As a family unit, we understand the level of commitment and time needed to achieve each and every family member’s individual goals and dreams. In teaching my boys at a young age, I can actively show them how the silhouettes of hard work aren’t meant to be feared, but are a natural part of life. The simple tasks that teach independence all require hard work, but also instill self-ownership in one’s actions, education, and professional life. These silhouettes push each of us to confront obstacles and to build our personal legacies. 

            I came to National University to complete a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, with a dream of building my own child learning center from the ground up. The NU Scholars Program offers me amazing leadership development opportunities, connecting me with community leaders whom I can learn from and who can help me achieve this dream. This program also connects me with equally dedicated, talented, and likeminded peers who support me in maintaining and pushing my high standards and accomplishments. Finally, this program continually connects me with mentors who help guide me through my educational experience. I am so appreciative of National University and of the NU Scholars Program for giving me the tools that I need to start my journey as a professional and as a leader.  

Military, Navy, nursing, Parents, self care

Meet Pam: Veteran, Nurse, Parent, Student, Scholar!

Pam Schreurs White Coat Ceremony
Pam at her White Coat Ceremony, four months after writing this blog post – Congratulations Pam!

Pamela Schreurs

Bachelor of Science, Nursing

https://portfolium.com/PamelaSchreurs

https://www.instagram.com/pamela_schreurs_nuscholar/

Greetings! My name is Pamela and I am a mother to two wonderful children, as well as a nursing student at National University.  I am also a US Navy veteran, and my husband is currently active duty.  It can be a struggle being a full-time mom and nursing student (especially if a spouse is deployed!), but I have felt very supported since starting my journey at NU.  In my downtime I enjoy spending time with my kids, volunteering with Girl Scouts San Diego, and taking time for myself.  One big take away from nursing school has been that self-care helps make you a more present nurse and parent.  I feel blessed to have had fabulous instructors who incorporate integrative therapy into the classroom, and I am excited to weave meditation, aromatherapy, and guided breathing into not only my nursing practice, but also my home life.

In July of 2018, I was accepted into the NU Scholars Program.  Through NU Scholars, I have been able to support peers’ community service projects, and am planning my own project hosting wellness workshops for elementary-aged girls.  I will also be hosting SafeZones LGBTQ literacy training for NU staff, faculty, and students to help promote a safe and welcoming environment for all who attend NU.

The NU Scholars Program has a strong emphasis on goal-setting, and I have learned a lot about how to set and structure concrete short- and long-term goals. My short-term educational goal for this year is to fully commit myself to the last two weeks of my psychosocial nursing rotation.  This is perhaps the most important rotation in terms of therapeutic communication and empathy, and I want to absorb everything I can before beginning my next rotation.  My long-term goal is to graduate with an excellent GPA in July – nursing school is tough, but I pride myself on putting in the work I need to maintain my GPA.  I cannot wait to have my kids help me put on my white coat in a few months, it is going to be one of the best feelings in the world!  After achieving this first long-term goal, my next long-term goal is to continue my education at a master’s level, focusing on pediatric mental health.

Clubs, Education, Graduate Student, self care

Hard Work: Becoming a Teacher

Bethany Rickman headshot

By Bethany Rickman, NU Scholar (July 2018 Cohort)

Master of Education with Single Subject Credential, English – Fresno

If someone would have told me, 8 months ago, that becoming a teacher while earning my Credential and masters would be the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life, I might not have totally believed them. You see, I’ve always considered myself to be a hard worker, and I’ve been able to accomplish most goals that I’ve put my mind to with relative ease. So, I assumed that this goal would be no different.  

But I was wrong. 

Or, rather, I was mentally unprepared.  

The truth is, I have never worked so hard or had to balance so many responsibilities, objectives, and, quite frankly, emotions, ever before.  

Now, this is not to say that I regret setting out to accomplish the goal of becoming a teaching intern and earn a Credential and master’s degree. It has been the most rewarding 8 months of my life. But it has also been the most stressful.  

Although I was unaware of the extent of the hard work around the corner, I was still able to draw on my past hard-working and goal-achieving experience, and combine that with the incredible support and resources I have received at National University.  

So, if there is anyone out there who is about to embark on a journey similar to mine, allow me to be the person who tells you that you are about to work the hardest you ever have in your life. But this warning is not meant to be foreboding, and it happens to come with some helpful tips: 

  1. Use the University Resources- National has an incredible library, writing center, and more! I have absolutely used the writing center on several occasions to help me finalize a paper or perfect my APA formatting. If you’re struggling to complete, perfect, or even understand your coursework, use these resources!  
  1. Create a calendar- You’re going to have so many assignments, observations, assessments, adjunct duties (or whatever the equivalent is for non-teachers) and they’re all going to happen on the same day! Ok, maybe not literally, but it will definitely feel like it. Having some sort of calendar of events will help you keep track because, trust me, you won’t be able to keep it all straight in your head. I’ve tried. And failed. Not only will a calendar help you remember important dates, but it will also help you prioritize and pace your workload.  
  1. Reach out to like-minded colleagues I have been so fortunate to meet dozens and dozens of incredible and inspirational colleagues in my time at National. Whenever I have a question about an assignment or need someone to peer-review my Cal TPAs, I have several people that I can turn to and trust to support me in reaching my goals.  
  1. Join a Club- Now, I know it sounds crazy to add one more thing to your plate when you’re already working this hard. But joining a club has not only widened my peer circle, but it has made me feel like I am part of the bigger picture here at National. Sometimes, being bogged down in work and coursework can feel isolating. You’re so hyper focused on your own goals that you don’t stop to realize what an amazing institution you’re a part of, and the role you can play in giving back. Since joining a club, I not only have an outlet to help relieve the stress of working hard, but I have also met more incredible colleagues and staff who also play a role in supporting me in my personal goals.  
  1. Make time for self-care- If there’s one last thing I can leave you with, it’s a friendly reminder that you are a human, not a machine. You need to stop and take a breath every once in a while. In fact, schedule it on that calendar that you just created. Whatever helps you decompress and re-energize so you’re ready to tackle your next goal, do it! You NEED it!  

Now get to work!