Dear Diary: Do I Even Want This Degree?

Alternatively titled: why it’s okay to keep on with a major you’re unsure about.

I write this at 8:31 AM as I sit on vacation in New England, looking at “”, just having finished my second year of nursing school two months ago. In other words: these are not the things I should be doing.

As every family member with whom I come into contact asks how my school year went, I can’t help but find myself saying “it was okay…” and hastily adding “but I’m not sure I like my major anymore.”

What no one tells you about sophomore year is that school becomes very real without any smooth transition into the workload. Suddenly the novelty of freshman year has worn off and you are left staring directly in the face of your chosen career path, not quite far enough advanced in your studies to see what your life in that path might look like, but far enough to understand the large, overarching responsibilities this degree will give you within your field. And at nineteen years old, that was (and is!) absolutely terrifying to me.

In addition, as millennials, we’re constantly told we’re finicky, unable to commit, and lack the drive and initiative to succeed. So we lose sight of the end goal: to live a happy life and enjoy the things we are doing. We are afraid to change career paths because we think others will judge us. We become rooted in the things to which we’ve committed because we’re taught it’s better to play it safe- “who knows what the economy will look like in 4 years when you graduate?” our parents say. Or, my favorite, “if you think I’m paying for a [liberal degree] you’re out of your mind. How could you ever get a job with that?”

We become terrified to not continue on with these practical majors and plans we’ve picked for ourselves because they’ve been “pre-approved” for our lives. Deviating from that is unknown, uncertain, and flying in the face of comfortability. And that’s something we as young adults are never taught to navigate.

I’m a really big quote person. I collect them for times in my life where I really feel like I could use a good one (or I just need a really solid instagram caption). One I’ve felt has guided me through my life comes from Hannibal, a politician from B.C. times. “We will either find a way, or we will make one.”


And I think that’s how we, as students confused about our futures, have to look at it. Our degrees confer worth in and of themselves by very nature of their existence. I am learning that having confidence in myself to exude the more fundamental values of my degree and my Temple education (perseverance, tenacity, grit, dedication, critical thinking, integrity) will make me marketable to employers no matter what.

Also, grad school exists! School is not going anywhere. You can always start over. No matter how fantastic the school, transitions are always rough, and deciding what you want to do at eighteen and being expected to stick to that forever truly is impractical. It’s okay to think you might not pursue your major once you graduate. Your education is an invaluable experience no matter what. Have confidence in yourself, your advisors, and your family and friends, and (more than likely) everything will turn out fine.

Here’s to finding your way (or making one).

Until next time,


Things I’ve Learned from Being a Campus Advocate


Often, people will ask me what my least and my most favorite thing about Temple is, and to them I say the same answer: our 26,000 undergraduates. If you’re a little socially awkward (me), having such an abundance of people with whom you have to interact everyday can be a tad overwhelming. But, having 26,000 people means you get to find others who share the same and similar passions, activities, and experiences as you. I was lucky enough to find these people through our campus’s Wellness Resource Center. There, I work as a Peer Educator, where I help to arrange and facilitate programs designed to help create a more safe and healthy student body and campus. I adore my job, but one event stands out to me in particular!

As I’ve mentioned before, last year I had the chance to help bring Temple’s first National Eating Disorder Awareness Week to campus. This year, as a rising assistant to the assistant director of the WRC, I had a much more active, hands-on role, and took on most of the responsibilities of planning.

Y’all. Being an advocate is hard work.

In my spare time, I write for NEDA’s website Proud2BMe, and recently wrote an article of 5 Things I’ve Learned from being a Campus Advocate. Here, I’ve sort of paired them down to explain what it’s like to be an advocate at Temple!

1. If you build it, they will come…

2. ….Maybe
Just like Dr. Seuss warns in Oh The Places You’ll Go,“bang-ups and hang-ups
can happen to you, too.” The biggest thing I have learned from helping
organize these events is that there is no way to predict how popular they will
be- and that can be frustrating. Eating Disorders are often shrouded in
secrecy, which means those who are suffering may not be incredibly willing
to step forward and participate in an event that brings awareness to said
disorder. In addition, being a part of such a large university means events can
get lost in the shuffle- there is a certain art to generating interest your event
or cause, or that can be very difficult to gauge when you are new to the scene.Thankfully, Temple has things like Owl Connect, where you can see all the clubs and organizations and the subsequent events they are holding on campus. I also get a lot of my info through Twitter!

3. You may have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable
NEDA week takes place because we as a society aren’t talking about EDs or
the issues that surround them- and being the only person to talk about them,
especially in a college community, can be really intimidating. Advocacy isn’t
easy, but…

4. It is absolutely worth it
For every shred of self-doubt, fear, and hesitation I have had when it comes
to being a campus advocate, seeing my work positively impact others has
inspired me to keep going. Temple has been really receptive, positive, and encouraging with regards to this, with even Temple News covering some of the events we hosted. Not only have I grown intrinsically on a personal
and professional level, but those I have connected with through this advocacy
have also helped me grow on a level that I did not think I would ever reach!
Contributing to a culture that helps uncover and prevent eating disorders is
such a unique position to be in, and I think has been beneficial for both Temple’s
campus and me!

So there you go! Even though there are hang-ups and scary parts of advocacy, being at Temple, where there is such a positive campus community, makes it easy to do these things. I’m so incredibly grateful for a school that makes it easy for me to do what I love- and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Until next time-


Finals: As Told by a Nursing Student

Hello after a very extended absence!

As 2015 comes to an end, so does the Fall semester here at Temple University! Finals have finished, and us res hall students have packed our bags and flown the nest for winter break! But the finals feelings are still real, y’all. Being a nursing student was the best decision I ever made, but it’s tough work! Because it’s so different than what every other major experiences (no judgement!), here’s what finals week is like for a Temple Nursing student!

Alright, so you’re getting ready. Lecture has ended, clinical is done, and you’re getting ready to show off your skills for the final practicum! You’re feeling pretty good about it….


The partner you’ve recruited is a little less assured.


But not to worry! You go in, kill it, and you’re feeling a little more assured you’ll be a great nurse!


Now you’re ready to start studying for all the didactic/theory parts of your semester!

You crack open a book and it seems like everything you learned just flew out of your head over the semester….giphy-23

And who thought it was a good idea to test on 20 chapters of knowledge!?


You know you knew the words “Atelectasis” and “Cholecystitis” at some point in the semester but right now they’re essentially Greek..


Anyway, days go by, and you’re in a groove. You’re recalling info, pushing it back into your brain, and memorizing drug cards like nobody’s business


5 days have gone by now, though, and you’re starting to burn out a little. You come home from the library every night like


And after 2 all nighters, 17 chapter, and 14 study guides you’re definitely feeling the burn…


But eventually the studying ends and it’s test day! You’ve busted your butt and you’re ready to ace this exam!


But then you open the first page..and the second..and you’re not really sure what’s happening at all.


But you just smile, hunker down, and answer those NCLEX style questions the best you can.


And then you’re all done! Fin, terminado, etc. Now it’s time to pack up your things, go home, eat way too many holiday treats and gear up for another semester!


Have a great break y’all!

Until next time!




California Dreamin’

The amount of things I’m afforded the opportunity to do, as a Temple student, is simply unreal.

Like what, you ask? Like, traveling on scholarship to a conference in sunny San Diego, California. Crazy, no? That’s exactly what I did this past week, and without the experiences and connections given by the university, I never could have made it happen.

Last February, with the help of our fabulous Wellness Resource Center, I was able to help bring the first National Eating Disorder Awareness week to campus. We built a life-size Barbie and put it on display in the Student Center. It was great!

Because of this experience, I was put in contact with the National Eating Disorder Association (aka NEDA), becoming a content contributor for their Proud2BMe website. In early July, I was granted a scholarship to fly out to California for their annual conference.

The opportunity was way too good to pass up!

Wednesday morning I got on a plane and headed out. Of course, I couldn’t make a journey halfway across the country without stopping to have some fun! I was able to hit Mission Beach (y’all, let me tell you, California sunsets are unreal) and Balboa Park. Both were so different from Philadelphia, and the East Coast in general!

IMG_2495 IMG_2498 IMG_2511

The conference, of course, was amazing. I attended sessions mostly geared toward engaging the college student population (shocker!), but was also able to attend sessions on family involvement, research innovation, the neurobiology of an eating disorder, and so so much more. To say I learned a lot is certainly an understatement!

I also met some amazing people, people from walks of life I’ve never even considered. I bumped shoulders with the smartest minds, women and men engaged in research and treatment that change the lives of so many. Not only were they amazingly talented within their fields, they were so nice! Never had I met a group of more welcoming individuals.


To be given the opportunity to experience this all…it’s something I never would have thought of when deciding on college. But man, am I ever glad I ended up where I did.

But don’t worry, San Diego…


I’ll be back for ya!

Until next time!

Who Run the World?

My relationship with running has been precarious.

As with all great things, running has served as a sense of stability and healing when my life was a little less than “all together.” Growing up in the Poconos, I had access to some of the most beautifully scenic trails to run and hike along. I hated them.

Coming to the city was a breath of fresh air for my running “career.” Dodging cars, people watching, great brunch spots at the end of my runs, public transportation to take me back if I got too tired…I love it all.


My favorite place in the world to run is down Fairmount Ave., past the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and onto the Schuylkill Banks. You’ll see people of every age walking, biking, and running!

Living here also means I get to attend some pretty incredible running experiences. Two weeks ago, comedian Kevin Hart paired up with Nike to put on a free 5k group run for Philadelphians. Hart was born and raised in North Philly, so him returning and giving back to the community in this way was such a special event! And, you know, we all got a free T-Shirt, which is never a bad thing!


If you turn right at the Art Museum, you’ll reach the backside of Boathouse Row (Temple has just leased a space and should be in construction soon!). Here is Kelly Dr, one of the most popular places in the city to walk/run/bike/skate, and for good reason- it’s shrouded with tall trees and lies adjacent to the Schuylkill, and if you’re lucky, you can sometimes see the rowing teams practicing!

Finally, one of my last favorite places to run is Broad Street itself. Peeping down South St, seeing the Grand Masonic Lodge, City Hall, and everything (and everybody!) that hustles down the major thoroughfare of the city…it makes running not just an exercise, but a cultural experience. And of course, my favorite part is seeing the Temple “T” mounted on Morgan Hall North and knowing I’m almost home.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 6.43.46 AM

Until next time,


Labor Day Weekend + Hellos!

Hello there! Welcome to my first blog post. I’m Kaitlyn, a sophomore nursing major here at Temple University. I love my major and I do it well (or so I think), and I’m so excited to be able to share my journey of studying/doing what I absolutely love. On that note…

This weekend was a great weekend to be a Philly college student, between the Made-In-America festival and the Temple vs Penn State game!

Let’s talk a little more about the Penn State vs Temple game though. Coming to Temple, I had no idea what rivalry there was between the two schools until they played each other last year. Unfortunately last year they lost, but this year…let’s just say history was made. 

Not only was Lincoln Financial Field (which is the NFL Eagles’ stadium, so, pretty big) SOLD OUT, but Temple WON by 17 points! PSU’s quarterback was sacked (basically, he was tackled while still holding the ball) eight times, which is really an astronomical amount- but it made for excellent entertainment. The excitement from students and alumni was so incredibly palpable, I could feel it from the TV screen!

Yeah, I wasn’t actually there (oops!), as I already had some other super cool plans out in the city! The biggest one was a mural arts tour of sorts. Running east to west throughout the city is the Market-Frankford line, often called the “el” as it is a type of elevated train system. That looks something like this: 

If you ride the el into West Philadelphia, you’ll see a series of billboard looking signs amongst the rooftops of old brick buildings. Only, they’re not billboards. They’re love letters. I know, crazy right? They’re pretty amazing, though. The story from the artist goes that it’s a man who rides the train every day trying to woo a woman who also rides the train (fun fact-Current Philly mayor Michael Nutter met his wife Lisa on the train!) I am a total sucker for love, so I awwed all the way through! Another really interesting thing is that these were all done in spray paint because they weren’t meant to last more than a couple of years. Residents and tourists alike love them so much, though, that they’re in the process of being preserved and restored in order to keep them around for a long time. They serve not only to show the aforementioned story, but they’re representative of the love between the city and its residents, as well as the community members themselves.

PicMonkey Collage

On Monday we ventured out to South Street to hit up the Philly AIDS thrift shop- what a unique place! Keeping with the theme of the weekend though, we saw some more really awesome mural art.


And that concluded the {long} weekend! Now it’s back to class and studying and nights at the library…until this weekend, that is!