Choosing to join the medical world and to dedicate yourself to a vocation of helping others is a noble and meaningful decision. During the first year of your endeavor in this arena of live saving work, however, there are some very important things you should know.
Real life nurses don't have lives that resemble those from the 'Grey's Anatomy' or 'ER' television programs. This means that the high drama scenarios of working with a gun pointed to your head, or the fiery hot romances just aren't realistic. You will be grateful for that before you are halfway through year one.
The work is hard, the hours are long and don't expect to ace every class, that even includes you scary smart students. The verbiage, the skills and the information will more often than not be completely foreign to you, which leads to the next consideration.
There is always more to learn. Nursing perhaps more than most professions mirrors the fact of life that bookwork doesn't always translate well to hands-on real world experience. Remember (not only your first year but for your entire career), that there will always be more to learn. Each experience, patient and situation can offer an experience that will make you better, more equipped and smarter for the next situation.
Nursing school is temporary. In layman's terms this means that schooling won't last forever. Learning will, but those endless hours studying, learning and memorizing the daunting amount of information being required of you will come to an end. Nursing school can be the make or break for many hopeful nursing students, so if this is the career you desire then push through - there is an end in sight, even when you can't see it!
Arguably the most important tip and reminder is humor. That's right, humor like "haha", and it will save your life. The hours, stress, difficult individuals you may encounter and other unforeseen pressures are guaranteed to present themselves. Learning to laugh will enable you to survive the toughest parts of this journey you've chosen.
Congratulations on this noble decision, and good luck.