UST CON

YOUR SCAN TRON SHEET IS THE NAME OF THE GAME

Some professors tell their students that it’s not about knowing the entire coverage. It’s mostly about understanding and familiarizing yourself with the stops and turns of the lectures. But that’s the thing. The amount of information discussed in every subject every day is enough information to feed a battalion. One meeting of obstetrical nursing or pediatric nursing or pharmacology is enough stuff to memorize for a month. BUT NO. From where I’m from, you’re expected to memorize AND understand everything as it is said. As if it’s not enough to catch up to the power point presentations through speed writing while having to listen and understand at the same time, some professors give quizzes right after the lecture. While most professors succumb to the plea of students to move the quiz to next meeting, others ain’t really enticed with the idea of going out of schedule.

Regardless of the time given, most students only review for an exam the night before.

BAD STUDY HABITS OR WHAT? You tell me. The way I see it, the only reason students these days delay what needs to be done is because they’re already so fed up with the amount of school work that gets slumped on their desks while still in school each day. Nursing requires you to be in UST EVERY SINGLE DAY at most times (even Sunday but that’s only because of NSTP).

“Why not just use the book? We just got everything from there.” says most professors. But here’s the thing elders, THE BOOK SAYS EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING. We can memorize it from page to page (highly impossible though just a figure of speech) but we still won’t be able to answer the questions in the exams.

WHY IS THAT?

Because nursing requires you to think. So.. yeah. You can’t only be diligent in studying. You’ve gotta be smart enough to know which is which when they start turning every single thing up and down, round and round. Don’t take anything as it is because most probably, your 1+1 example is gonna be trigonometry or calculus with a graph that needs knowledge of the Pythagorean theorem in the test.

Yep I got so frustrated with this sem’s preliminary examinations. Every single exam got on my nerves. They were all so hard and I cringe a little as I shade every unsure answer.

The UST College of Nursing major exams (monthly, preliminary and finals) held thrice a semester, unlike the regular 2 grading periods for most colleges in the university, come in all multiple choice. Say there are 4 choices from A to D.. meaning you’ve got a 25% chance of getting each number correctly, claiming that you have no idea which is the correct answer of course. Not counting the 5th choice that comes in letter E, that says none of the above, your chances of getting a point is reduced to 20%. This extremely tricky choice, as much as the all of the above, is the most tempting thing. You use discrimination and you were able to eliminate 2 other choices out of 4 giving you a 50% chance of getting it correctly. According to experience, even with a 50% chance of a correct answer on your side, you’ll most probably get it wrong anyway.

So the week after examinations, you sit in class with a pounding heart as the scan tron sheets are being distributed. You call every saint you know wishing and praying that the score on the upper right side of the paper makes it to the 65% passing rate.

And when it doesn’t, there goes the 40% of your grading period down the drain. All the sleepless nights and hardships just like that… so what to do now? Cling on to the 60% class standing that comprises attendance, quizzes, assignments, class participation, etc. But what if you’ve got numerous absences and failed quizzes? HA HA. Good luck. Either remedial or you’re gonna be one year behind.

You think the exams are all your worries then again.. that’s where you’re wrong. In actuality, major exams are the least of your worries. Yes, they have the biggest percentage but studying wouldn’t really be that hard compared to the activities that would involve a lot of time, participation, cooperation and effort. Lucky you if your subject only consists of lectures and quizzes but have you ever wondered about all the others? There are some subjects that require good writing skills and as if that’s not enough, a voice for public speaking should make you equipped. Apart from that, you also need to be very well-rounded what with the artistic skills needed for script-writing, videography and movie productions for a certain English class. There are also extra-curricular activities during Nursing Week or other parts of the semester that makes you feel as if you should’ve just taken multimedia arts or fine arts or communication arts so as to justify for the lack of relation to nursing of the activities you were doing. Then again, that’s just a part of the 60% YET not doing it may really cause you your grade.

BUT you know what? That’s just the way it goes. Nothing you can do about it.

Amidst all that, I like how other colleges view my course. They don’t look down on it unlike the others out on the streets. They say nursing students are smart because our course is one of the hardest in the university. But yes.. it really is. It’s demanding as hell. It requires you to be in school the entire day listening to LONG lectures and taking HARD quizzes. You’re forced to wait for a professor the entire time no matter how late he or she is because once he  or she arrives even with only five minutes left and checks the attendance, you’ve got no excuse when you’re marked absent. So in short, no free cuts. Other evil thing is there’s such a thing called FA or failure due to absences. You’re only allowed three absences per grading period while two tardy amount to one absence.

I have come to realize though that whatever we study is not at all that hard to understand. I speak for myself as I say that what makes it really hard is the amount of important information we need to remember ALL THE TIME. It’s not as skill-demanding unlike those courses in Beato Angelico. Not as complicated as the math from the Fr. Roque Ruano building or as time-consuming as the readings of the students at Albertus Magnus.

I can never blame it on the college because the products are truly the best in the field. My brother, a witness, is an alumni of the UST CON. He once told me that he only realized that the elders were right in what they say. I was dumbfounded so I asked what he was talking about. He told me that when he practiced nursing, it was only then did he realize that Thomasian nurses are really good. I won’t say the best but definitely above the rest.

There’s just so much things to say!

We may always feel inadequate when we go on duty two times a week but we’ve got the best clinical instructors in town! Our socialization skills may be put to the test when we interact with our patients, but every experience is a learning experience. We may feel weakened or with lowered self-esteem when we couldn’t even do a proper drug analysis or how we’ve done FDAR or NCPs and case presentations many times yet we still don’t think we’re any good. We may lose time for everything but that doesn’t make us any less a person. Although the path we’ve taken is harder than most, it makes us better people. The training we go through is incomparable. We can care for you in a way no one else can. And we are what you need in a way you didn’t even know. Our interventions can make you brand new. And I don’t mean to brag but I’ll say it anyway: Thomasian student nurses actually go to the best nursing school in the Philippines. (From the stats of annual nursing board exams)

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