Go to Paramedic School they said!

Go to Paramedic School they said…it will be fun they said…

Just kidding, nobody says that.

My cap and gown came in the mail this week. It’s kind of funny if you think about it: you spend a year learning how to do everything you can to save someone’s life and then bang: insert your card number here and pay $75 so you can look like part of a cult and you can walk across a stage and get a diploma to certify you can save lives, but just kidding it’s actually blank because you’re extra and won’t be finished with school for another three months. Come back then if you’ve passed and we will give you the fancy paper to go inside the fancy paper holder, and if you don’t pass well at least you got to wear a cap and a gown, better luck next time!

But ah go to Paramedic School they said!

College is weird. You see I did the whole campus thing for two years, (minus living in a dorm and I know I know that’s the real college experience but I’m sorry I just can’t live in closed corners for a year with someone like that, heck they could give me measles or mumps now a days). But none the less I did the rest of it. The waking up early, or sometimes forgetting to wake up, walking the mile to class and showing up looking like someone plucked you off the corner only to realize class was cancelled, go back home and take a nap, and then try to make it to that next class on time. The big giant classrooms so distracting that sometimes you questioned wether you were even in the right lecture. And the ramen noodles, oh the ramen noodles. And while it was all lovely, truly just so sodium filled and sleep deprived and lovely, two years of it was enough. To think I had originally signed myself up for six years of that- what was I thinking.

But go to Paramedic School they said!

So I did, and being the smart person I was, or at least thought I was at the time, I cut the six years in half and made it three. I know I’m always one for the shortcut! Well three years has almost come to a close, and while I’ve realized I could have made it even shorter and done it in two years, I just really wanted to squeeze in an extra year of seeing how high my sodium levels could get while living on Ramen ya know? (Hopefully you don’t.)

I think at the end of ones college experience they usually say things along the lines of “I’ve grown so much as a person. I’ve made so many incredible memories. I met all my bridesmaids there! It was such a wonderful time! And oh the parties were so great!”

But go to Paramedic School they said!

If I’ve grown as a person at all it is not in the sense that I discovered some divine internal virtue and had an eye opening moment in my math textbook that made me realize how much I appreciated calculus and all it taught me. No. I’ve grown as a person in the sense that I now constantly speak at a 11/10 volume, because apparently my 10/10 volume required others to need hearing aids to understand me. “DOES THIS HURT?” 11/10 isn’t a big step but we’re getting there. I’ve also grown in the hospitality department, I’m really good at asking people to put their seatbelts on, and to “be careful on your step out of the ambulance”, I’m still working on the courage to remind my passengers to keep all body parts inside the aircraft while it’s moving, maybe someday, baby steps. Another big area of growth for me has been beating my previous records of how long I could hold my urine inside of me, and how long I could eat my insides before I required actual food because I had no insides left. I’m particularly proud of those last two. I suppose I have grown a little more in some far less exciting ways, I should probably include those too so that I make my mom proud. Mom, I’ve learned how to be semi-confident and to always remember to drink coffee before I open my mouth at 7am.

The incredible memories I’ve made haven’t been studying abroad and drinking Guinness in Ireland (did I get that right?). They weren’t made on spring break in Panama City. Kudos to you if those were yours, all the power to you bro-ski. For me though the incredible memories were my first field intubation, getting ROSC on a patient, a “good job kid” from my preceptor I look up to. Also on the list would be the first time I was called something repulsive by a patient that was quickly followed with “you’re a pretty white girl”, because well welcome to Indianapolis, it’s pretty incredible, and pretty memorable.

I can assure you I haven’t met my bridesmaids because well most of the people I’ve met average about 20 years on me. (And thank goodness for that because someone around here needs to be mature and make the big decisions- surely that won’t be my job in four months will it?) No offense Glenda, but I’m concerned that by the time I find a compatible human match (hopefully it’s a human) it might be time to attend your funeral, I’d really hate to get your hopes up. However, I have met some truly incredible people that have taught me more than I could begin to type. They’re just really good kinfolk if you know what I mean. I’ll take some good kinfolk over potential bridesmaids any day, sorry Glenda. Plus your bridesmaids won’t tell you the dresses you pick are ugly, they’ll just wear them, but the kinfolk- they’ll tell you they’re ugly, and that’s what I need in my life.

And as far as the wonderful time I’ve had, well…once I got peed on. So maybe that sums that part up for you.

OH! And I almost forgot the parties! Probably for a reason considering I can count all the college parties I attended on one hand. I could never enjoy the parties because I was too busy counting Jimmy’s respiration’s while he was passed out in the corner, someone had to be responsible there right? Me? Responsible? One breath…two breath…maybe 7 total? I don’t recall learning that was a good number…wake up jimmy!

But go to Paramedic School they said!

In all seriousness the last three years truly have been an incredible experience, particularly this last one, which has tested me in more ways than I ever thought possible. I definitely don’t always come out on the other end in one piece but I sure do try. And for all the random pieces that have been chipped away and put back together over the last year I guess you could say I kind of came out on the other end okay, or at least it appears that way. Image is all that matters anyways right? Who cares about sanity these days!

Cheers to college…and hoping I don’t trip over my gown, or sneeze off my hat, but most importantly that in three months I hopefully get the actual fancy paper to put inside my fancy paper holder.

And to all those that have given me the pep talks along the way, you are the true heroes in my story. This girl requires at least one pep talk a day.

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