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14 September 2013

Road to Completing my Baccalaureate Degree


Some days are just naturally more amazing than others.

Finishing college. Birthday. The day you pass your licensure examination.

What could be better than all of those? Of course, it would be having all of those moments happening one after the other. Amazing, isn't it?

In less than a week after graduation, I started preparing for the biggest exam that I have yet to take – the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). I started preparing by attending the exam prep course offered in the university. Who would have thought I would go back to school right after I graduate? Believe it or not, those days felt like hell. At that time, my body and my brain have not fully recovered from the stress of graduating. I thought college graduation would be a breeze, but no it was not.

Like every college student, I had to take and pass my final examinations, and turn in every course requirement prior to graduation, and that includes an ultra thick college portfolio, which believe me, is a very brief summary of what I went through in nursing school. 

College Portfolio


Then my classmates and I started the preparation for big days – the Baccalaureate Mass, the Pinning Ceremony and Graduation.

Individual graduation photos and class pictures had to be taken. That too took a lot of preparations. I had to make sure my pinning uniform fit me. It was too bad that I gained a ton of weight after I got fitted for my uniform. Luckily, the uniform still fit me, but it was super tight around the waist. I must have looked like a girl trying to dress up as a sexy nurse for Halloween. Then I had to make sure I look good on my pictures since pictures last a long time. Hence, paying for a few professional services would not hurt. That said, I got my hair and nails done at a salon.

Nails Done for Graduation Photographs

The next thing I did was finding the perfect pair of white shoes that would go with the uniform. As a member of the female race, I do some shopping when I have the time, and I never realized how difficult it was to find decent white formal shoes until I searched for it. Luckily, again, I found a nice pair at the last minute. By last minute, I mean I was only able to make the purchase on the day I was going to have my photos taken. Imagine how exhausted I was on the day I was supposed to look well rested and glamorous. Lesson of the day: buy shoes early.

I know I did say to pay for professional services to help you look glamorous on photos that you know you will treasure for the rest of your life. I found out that getting my makeup done would cost me at least fifty bucks. Now, did I do it? No, I did not. I thought that with fifty bucks, I could afford to get myself another Urban Decay NAKED eye shadow palette. I’m no professional when it comes to makeup but I think I did a pretty decent job putting my own makeup on. After all, I read Bobbi Brown’s Makeup Manual.


Bought this as part of preparation.
After about three days individual photographs were taken, the class photos had to be taken. That meant squeezing into my pinning uniform again, putting on my makeup, and melting under the sun because we had our class photos taken at the poolside of a hotel.


Class of 2013.
Then the Baccalaureate Mass, which thankfully went by pretty easily. I’m not Catholic but I decided to attend the mass. Why? That’s because you only complete your first bachelor’s degree once in your life. Hence, I decided to experience everything a graduate would experience, and that included the mass. Did I do any special preparations for the mass? Well if you count practicing how to walk and sit a few days before the mass, and ironing my own hair, and putting on my own makeup, then yes I did a few preparations. Although compared to the other big events, the preparations I did for this event was nothing.

Baccalaureate Mass.
Some graduates might not understand this but as a student nurse, prior to graduation, our class had to have the Pinning Ceremony.

What is the Pinning Ceremony? As defined by the ever so trusty Wikipedia, the Pinning Ceremony “is a symbolic welcoming of newly graduated nurses into the nursing profession.” We were presented with our nursing pins and lamps (which we fundraised for) and we recited the Nightingale Pledge. Think the ceremony went by easy? No. We had to set up, decorate and practice for the ceremony. So yes, that was a bit exhausting as well.

Sash & Pins.
Because the Pinning Ceremony is a once in a lifetime event, although I had it twice because I went to Practical Nursing School prior to pursuing my BSN, I had to make sure I would look my best for the event. Did I get my nails done? Yes. Did I get my hair done? Yes. Did I get my makeup done? No. Again, that was for practicality reasons. I was (and still am) a broke student. But hey, for someone who barely used makeup, I think I dolled myself nicely for the event. And did I mention I channeled my inner Blair Waldorf for the Pinning Ceremony?


Sexy Red Nails for Pinning & Graduation.
Channeling my inner B.W.
Two days after the Pinning Ceremony, on which I did not come home until after four thirty in the morning, the graduation was to be held. Again, preparations, preparations, preparations! Did I get my hair done? Yes, I did. Can you imagine how stressed and damaged my hair got? That was a lot of curling and chemicals. Did I get my nails done? Oh no, I thought my red nails still looked good. Did I get my makeup done this time? I think you already know the answer.


Tassels.

Graduation.