Samantha Hill is a senior nursing major. Her hobbies include going to the park with her son and spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite poem is “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou.
Earlier this week, I was reading Shape magazine when a quote by Joan Baez caught my eye: “You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die, or when. But you can decide how you’re going to live now.” That quote hit me like a ton of bricks. Things had been so crazy for me and still are but those words woke me up and gave me a little boost — a much-needed boost.
I guess you could say I am a mother first, a student second and Publix cashier last. There are two things I have always known about myself: I’ve always wanted to be a mom and I’ve always wanted to be a nurse. It has been a challenge but somehow I’ve made it. I graduated high school in 2005. Then I went to Broward College and got my pre-nursing associate degree in 2007.
I gave birth to my son on July 17, 2007. The feeling of holding him for the first time is one I will never forget. Before Justin came into my life, whatever I did, I did for me first. But now I do things for him first.
It hasn’t been easy being a single mom who works and goes to school but with my mother’s help I’ve been able to do it. We live in a two-bedroom apartment and my mother works full time and I work part time.
My school schedule and my mom’s work schedule determine when I can work. When she is able to, she babysits so I can go to work. When I first started nursing school, I worked a lot more but as the semesters went by and my school workload increased, my time at work decreased, which meant less money in the bank.
There have been times when I didn’t know what the next day would bring. Would I be able to work or have enough time to study — or sleep? Would I have time to play with my son? For me, not being able to spend the time I would’ve liked to with my son was the hardest part. With time I developed better time-management skills, so I was able to make time for work, school and Justin. Sometimes sacrifices had to be made but I made them with good intentions.
People like to ask me how I do it. Honestly, I have no idea. I am a strong believer that we are never given more than we can handle. Sometimes it seems like I can’t take another step but I take a deep breath and keep on chugging. Soon I will graduate with my bachelor’s degree in nursing, take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, receive my license and, hopefully, soon after find a job.
In the past few years, I have learned that life isn’t always easy or pleasant, but without the challenges we’ve faced we wouldn’t be the people we are today. We just have to keep remembering that our cups are half full not half empty. A positive attitude will get you a long way in life.