Nicole’s Story

“I am learning not to compare my story to others. There are a few things that I wish I could go back and re-do, or wish I had made a different decision. But, those decisions are what brought me to where I am today, and each day is a step forward.”


When you were younger, what did you think your life would look like?

I thought my life would be debt free, like my parents. I thought I would be able to own my own place, live somewhere with mountains and lots of green, and commute to my dream job as a nurse working in a hospital. I would have my two dogs for roommates, and as far as being married or not, I would leave that up to God!

I thought I would live in a cute cottage-like house close to neighbors and far enough from the city to enjoy the quiet, but still make fun day trips into the city when I wanted. I have always been content with my own company as a kid and saw myself being the same way as an adult. I would live close to my family, or if not, I would at least talk to my mom every day.

How did your dreams for the future change?

I think having debt put a dent in my dreams for the future. It was not ideal moving back in with my parents after college while I was in nursing school and now trying to save up to pay for student loans. I still dream of living in my cottage one day in a beautiful place, but for now the reality is I have some work to do before I get there.

What were the kinds of pivotal moments that led you to where you are today?

One moment that comes to mind is when I found out I had failed a class in nursing school. I was devastated, and as a result had to wait a semester before another spot opened to take the class. In that time I took a part-time job and felt a little lost and defeated while waiting. However, when I re-took the class the following spring, I was put into a new cohort, with a group of girls I really connected with, and that got me through some rough times while in school.

More recently, in the spring of this year I was offered my first job on noc (night) shift as a new nurse. Although working nights wasn’t ideal, taking that job provided me with the experience I needed to apply for a better job, and pull myself out of a poor work environment. I worked four months on noc shift and have recently been hired for a position on days, which I am very excited about!

What are you learning right now?

I am learning not to compare my story to others. There are a few things that I wish I could go back and re-do, or wish I had made a different decision. But, those decisions are what brought me to where I am today, and each day is a step forward. I am learning to be okay with my life not going where I thought it would go, and that’s okay! Because I have had experiences since graduating college that I would not trade for the world!

What do you love about your life in this moment?

I love that I am working as a nurse, and with starting a new job I will have more time to spend with my family and friends. I love the freedom of not being in school and starting my career as a new nurse!

What brings you joy/fills your soul?

I love to read. Any opportunity I get to relax and read a good book brings me joy. I am currently reading The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty and would recommend all of her books if you like fiction. Spending time with my sweet Labrador Maxx, exploring coffee shops, relaxing in my jacuzzi, and exercising are all things that also allow me to re-charge, and fill my soul.

If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

College is not for everyone, and you don’t have to go just because all your friends are going. Know what it is you want to do, and the best way to be successful for you. If college is a necessary step, then go! It is a great experience, but just be sure you know what you want.

What do you wish everyone knew about health, fitness, and dating?

As far as health and fitness, there are so many diet plans, exercise methods, and companies promoting oils that supposedly have health benefits. I would not pay attention to any of that! Find what you love to do and what is enjoyable for you, and that’s it! It’s especially easy with social media to compare what we are doing (or not doing) to others and it’s not worth it because honestly, is anyone’s life as great as they portray it to be on social media? Probably not.

When it comes to dating—trust your intuition! You know when someone is not right for you, like trying on a pair of shoes you really want but they don’t fit.

How can readers connect with you? / How can people keep up with what you’re doing?

Feel free to follow me on Instagram @nicolemarissa20.

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