During the first two years at UW, I spent the majority of my time invested in completing the prerequisite classes for nursing school. The culture of nursing pre-rec classes is an interesting one. While the course material is of course challenging, what surprised me most was the palpable competition between the students in the classes. Although it bothered at first, looking back, now that I have received my official acceptance to the UW BSN program, I believe it made me a stronger, more confident, and more self assured student in the end.
After struggling in CHEM 142, I was nervous to take chemistry again winter quarter. Although it was no longer "science for science majors," and instead the nursing chemistry sequence, I still had no idea what to expect. I have uploaded a screen shot of my test scores and final grade in the class. Taking this class made me realize how much a teacher can impact one's learning experience. Unlike CHEM 142, the class was taught without the use of technology (no power points, no ALEKS, etc.). I found that I can succeed in chemistry, and that I even like it when I go back to the basics: taking notes by hand in class, and doing homework the old fashion way-- problems straight out of a text book. Taking this class gave me confidence again, and allowed me to believe that I will be able to continue on my path into the medical field. I also discovered that I LOVE organic chemistry! I believe having such a positive experience winter quarter really impacted my feels about both science at UW, and my first year experience in general.
After falling in love with organic chemistry Winter Quarter of my freshman year, I decided to ad-hoc my next chemistry class (bio-chem) for honors credit. Many of the nursing pre-rec classes are quite large, so having the opportunity to work closely with a professor was really exciting. To receive honors credit, I decided to write a researcher paper exploring different treatment regimens for Low Density Lipoproteins (the bad cholesterol!), and the suggested mechanisms of action for each drug class. The three drug classes I explored were: statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors), bile-acid binding resins, and cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
In the spring quarter of my sophomore year, I took Human Anatomy. Although this was perhaps one of the most difficult courses I have ever taken (SO much memorization), it was taught by one of the most incredible teachers I have ever had, Catrin Pittack. Although she taught this nursing pre-rec class, her main role at UW was teaching in the nursing school. Taking this class made me feel invigorated and excited about applying to nursing school. Although I was still feeling down about not having applied sophomore year, taking this class made me certain that nursing was the path I wanted to take, and that it would be worth the wait.
During Summer of my sophomore year, I took my first class from the Nursing School at UW. One of the many pre-recs for nursing school is "Lifespan and Development." Usually NURS 201 is a large lecture class, as most nursing pre-recs usually are. However, since I took it during summer quarter there were only about 14 students in the class. The professor was awesome -- a senior member of the School of Nursing faculty, and I greatly appreciated being able to interact with him in a discussion based class. As one of our assignments we were required to observe children we did not know playing in their "natural" environment, and discuss our observations through the lens of developmental theories. I thought this assignment was incredibly difficult because I thought observing children playing without their knowledge was awkward and slightly unnerving. However, I think this is a good assignment to highlight, as it forced me to go outside of my comfort zone and I actually ended up learning quite a lot!