Navy blue scrubs, U of M patch sewn on the left sleeve, ID badge on, and a stethoscope around my neck. It’s the second day of winter semester and as I stare at myself in the mirror, I realize this is my future; in 4 years, I am going to be a nurse.

I applied to Michigan’s nursing school on a whim. During my senior year of high school, I was still clueless about what I wanted to major in. I knew I wanted to go into the healthcare field, but I was teetering between being a doctor or a nurse. Little did I know that applying to U of M as a nursing major was going to be the best decision I had ever made.

The nursing program at the University of Michigan is notorious for being one of the most rigorous and challenging in the country. Upperclassmen warned me that classes were going to be difficult, that I was going to consider changing my major at least 3 times before freshman year was over. The nursing program has challenged me and pushed me far beyond any boundaries I thought I had before coming to college, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The information I’m learning now is essential to my success as a future nurse. I’ve learned information like how a positive bronchophony test can indicate lung consolidation and that beta-blockers are used to treat irregular heart rhythms. No more memorizing useless facts; in college, I am actually learning pertinent information for my career.

I wouldn’t have been able to survive my first year of nursing school without HSSP. I applied to be in HSSP because I wanted to live with other future health care professionals, especially more nurses. The other nurses in HSSP have become some of my closest friends. We share the burden of frustration when studying copious amounts of material for anatomy and collectively celebrate the success of passing our assessment check-offs. The nursing program in general is already one of the smallest programs at Michigan, but the size gives all of the nurses a strong sense of unity because we share the all same classes during our undergraduate studies. To quote High School Musical, “We’re all in this together!”

It’s a misconception that it is impossible to be a nursing major and also be part of a Michigan Learning Community. In fact, being part of HSSP has greatly contributed to my success in the nursing program. The support I’ve received from the community has kept me motivated because it’s easy to get frustrated when exams, homework, and projects all start to pile up week after week. Additionally, HSSP gives me the opportunity to live with 12 other people in the nursing program, so I always have people to study and walk to class with. To anyone wondering whether it’s possible to survive the nursing program and be in HSSP, you can definitely have the best of both worlds. And to any potential nurses or HSSPers reading this, I hope to see you next semester!