Published: Mar 07, 2012 12:00 AM
Modified: Mar 06, 2012 08:32 PM
As my time at Carolina comes to a close, I find myself looking back and wondering if made it the "time of my life."
I spent many an afternoon lying in the quad in front of Wilson Library, drank my fair share from the Old Well, and even managed to snag riser seats for my senior Duke game. But what if I missed something?
What if in a year I remember that random restaurant I never got to try or regret not buying tickets for that concert in Memorial Hall because I wanted to spend my Friday night at Top-O instead? I suppose that's something I'll have to live with. But I will at least take heart in knowing that I left my own little stamp on UNC-Chapel Hill in the form of the first Heels for Healing 5K and Kid's Fun Run.
I knew I wanted to be a Tar Heel long before I knew I wanted to be a pediatric nurse. Lucky for me, the two coincided and I spent the greater portion of my time at Carolina merging my passions with the help of the Association of Nursing Students. Through ANS, I spent time building houses with Habitat for Humanity and cooking meals for families of sick children at the Ronald McDonald House. I participated in "Tar Heel Explorations," a day of interactive nursing education and fun for Girl Scouts and helped collect supplies for the homeless community and North Carolina hurricane victims. ANS provided me with a wealth of service opportunities and pushed me to stay involved, both inside and outside of the clinical setting.
In the last year, I have served as the vice-president of ANS and quickly fell into the role as race director for our biggest undertaking yet - a 5K race for BounceBack Kids, a local nonprofit that serves children with life-challenging medical conditions and their caregivers. BounceBack Kids provides free programs to its participants, including sports activities, social events, and support services. It not only serves the ill child, but siblings and parents and other caregivers.
BounceBack's mission is so important to me. I may be assigned to that one patient lying in bed, but their loved ones become my patients, too. As a nurse, family member and friend, I've learned that illness does not just affect the one diagnosed. Hospitalization, sickness, and disease take a toll on all those near the patient - physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I am thrilled to be in a position that I can support an organization with such an important goal. This race has become more than a service activity for me - it has become a source of passion and drive. I look forward to the success of the Heels for Healing 5K as well as the programs that it can help support for the future. I invite you all to share in my excitement as this wonderful event comes to fruition.
So maybe there are things I haven't done at UNC and perhaps I'll look back and kick myself for missing out on something. But this I know - even if I missed a karaoke night or campus scavenger hunt, I did not miss the opportunity to make a difference to the children and families that I am about to devote my professional career to. And that has made all the difference in my Carolina journey.
For more information about the March 31 Heels for Healing 5K and Kid's Fun Run, visit www.bouncebackkids.org/5K
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. To register or donate, visit www.sportoften.com
(search "heels for healing").
Lisa Skiver is a nursing student at UNC.