Iron sharpens iron. This is talking about how the character of those we spend our time with will rub off on us and our character on them. You may be thinking, how on earth does this apply to nursing school? And yes, it may be a stretch but all I can do is speak from experience. I know firsthand that by surrounding yourself with friends who will push you to be the best you can be, support you, and encourage you (and by you doing the same for them), you will be able to manage the stresses of school and life more effectively and enjoy your experience. On the other hand, by doing the opposite and surrounding yourself with people who are "negative nancies" and not encouraging, your experience may not be as enjoyable.
I was able to live with other girls from my program, which was amazing because we understood the pressures and demands of the program and were able to be there for each other. As well, I have been able to develop close friendships, and through countless coffee and lunch dates have been able to talk about our successes and struggles and be a support and encouragement to one another.
Although I valued and cared for them dearly, I didn't fully understand how privileged I was to have this support until I moved home during my last year and was no longer able to walk across the hall and talk about my day, or drop by a friends house on the way home from school. I really missed them and had to work hard to overcome the distance. It then became about maintaining these friendships and building new ones.
For me, I have seen the value of surrounding myself with people who have inspired me to be a better person...not just a better student. And hopefully I have been able to do the same for them.
Who are you surrounded by? Who are you sharpening?