Master the art of balance
Like so many college freshman, Maria Khan was nervous going into her first semester at IU Northwest. However, she found comfort in the fact that the campus was close to home and featured a smaller community, compared with other colleges.
“I’ve always been reserved and more of a to-myself type of person when I was in high school,” Khan said. “I knew I would feel most comfortable at a smaller college.”
Fast forward a few years, and Khan has found her place in the small campus community. In May, she’ll graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. “I chose nursing because of the flexible nature of the profession. Nursing offers a variety of opportunities including bedside, beyond bedside care, and advanced practice careers,” she said.
Her time in the nursing program is already paying off. She was recently selected as an intern for the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. This honor comes as a result of her high academic achievement and her top place within her class.
Thanks to her position within the chapter, she’ll have her NCLEX licensure exam paid for in full.
Beyond completing her exams, Khan has big plans for the future. She has plenty of ideas for careers and is thinking about earning a doctorate in anesthesia. But for the time being, Khan is content to take life as it comes. “I’m trying to enjoy the process of my journey,” she said.
Khan said that IU Northwest has been instrumental in helping her meet her goals along the way. She emphasized the benefits of connecting with like-minded people and building communication skills that are indispensable to the nursing profession.
But looking back on her college experience, she notes that finding her balance was a challenge. “Oftentimes balancing academics with all the other components in my life felt like an obstacle,” she said. “But remembering my purpose reminded me to keep growing.”
As her final semester comes to a close, Khan hopes that current and future nursing students will also master the balancing act. She recommends being gracious with yourself and remembering that mistakes are all part of the growing process.
“Know your priorities, plan ahead, but still create that balanced environment for yourself,” she said. “In the end, all of those factors tie together as the key to success.”