This will be my fourth year on staff with the Collegian and out of every story I’ve written, this is by far the most difficult.

Five years ago when I started my college career I never thought I would be where I am now. I had my future pretty much planned out for the next four years. I was going to take two years of prerequisites, spend two years in the nursing program, and graduate as an RN.

Laci Sutton

Obviously, this isn’t exactly how things played out.

I did spend two years taking prerequisites, after which I did start the nursing program. It seemed to be going as I expected until it wasn’t.

In the spring of 2022, I was in my final semester of nursing, just months away from graduation and my plans came crashing down around me.

Life had started to catch up with me and after an unfortunate series of events, I withdrew from the nursing program.

I remember sitting in the parking lot after having that conversation with my instructor and having a full mental breakdown. I called my mom and just apologized.

I felt like I had let everyone down. My friends and family had been supporting me through the program and looking forward to my upcoming graduation, and I had failed them.

I was embarrassed. I felt broken and hopeless. I was disappointed in myself. I honestly felt like that was rock bottom for me, and I had no idea how I was going to get myself back up.

I gave myself a few days to be sad and have a pity party before deciding this wasn’t how my story was going to end. I was so close to what I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl and I’d be damned if I was going to throw it away now.

I decided I was going to go back and finish this no matter what it took. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy process, but that didn’t matter. I was going to do whatever I had to do to make it happen.

I met with the program coordinator later that month and discussed my options. I was scared out of my mind just thinking about it, but she really helped ease my worries. She was encouraging and truly cared and wanted me to succeed.

I am proud to say I am currently on track to return to the program in January and finally add RN behind my name.

While this wasn’t a part of my plan, it’s a part of my story and I’m not ashamed of it. This doesn’t define me and this won’t make me any less of a nurse than if I had graduated in May.

I hope someone can find my story as one of encouragement. I know there are people out there who may have had similar experiences and haven’t yet had the courage to try again. Let me be an example that it is possible. You can do it. This is my comeback year, and I’m beyond excited to see where it goes.

Laci Sutton is a Nickerson senior studying nursing and journalism. She is on track to finish a journalism degree in December and nursing in May. She is the Collegian’s Managing Editor for Content.

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