Entering the Big Bad World!
It’s hard to believe 9 weeks ago, a pale faced, nauseous, nervous wreck hit the M1, far from bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6am to begin her new venture as a student nurse. Delighted with myself for getting as far as the big smoke without any major mishaps and with 45 minutes to spare, the next big hurdle arrived. Parking!! Up and down and up and down Strandmillis road, going through at least ¼ tank of fuel with 9am fast approaching. Eventually with a few minutes to 9 I found what I thought was a God sent parking space, just a short dander from where my first lecture was. Wrongo – landed back to a lovely parking ticket; hitting student life with a costly bang!!
Next up was the real business, Lecture one. After my parking issue I was in quite a fluster, briskly walking to class, almost running, puffing and panting – spot the fresher!! Fashionably late I eventually arrived, opening the door to a lecture hall jammed with 300+ prospective nurses all attentively listening. My heart sank, my stomach felt sick and, well, my face was flying off me to say the least. To my horror the lecturer stop in his tracks, glaring at me fiercely, and before I knew it I had turned 300+ heads – far from the fantasy of the One Direction song lyrics “You’re turning heads when you walk through that door!” For what seemed like forever the only noise in the room was my hurried footsteps and heavy breathing as I scanned the hall for an empty seat. Much to my delight I found one two rows from the front, far left! Well, lets just say it was an eventful start to University life!
After a few weeks dining alone, getting lost manys a time around campus, and trying to locate my car up whatever side street it had been abandoned on that morning, I eventually found my feet. Lectures, tutorials, practicals, placements; it all seemed like a new language at first. Not having the security of teachers ‘spoonfeeding’ you to ensure you have your work up-to-date was hard to get used to, but it wasn’t long before I got chatting to girls in tutorials, and, well, its true what they say – everyone’s the same. It’s easy to feel like you are the only one who is new to the whole uniqueness of university life, like you’ll never meet any friends, and maybe even question yourself at least 5 times a day as to whether your cut out for life at university!! But, it’s all normal and it’s not long before it becomes second nature, so hang in there!!
So, here I am – after an intense initial 6 weeks of group work assessments, an exam, 6 practical classes which are a huge reality check, giving us great insight into life as a nurse, I SURVIVED, Yay!! Despite nursing consisting of a heavy workload and constantly checking emails to see if there is any last minute reading material to be covered before classes, I thoroughly enjoyed my first 6 weeks of academic study. I have really bonded with a lot of girls in my class and they have become an essential part of life at university – always time for a wee bit of banter and a cuppa tay amidst the hard graft, of course!!
Currently, I am about to begin my 4th week out on placement, and I am absolutely loving it!! Time flies when you’re having fun, I cannot believe I am over halfway through already. I am in a School for Children with Learning Disabilities – and count myself to be in an extremely privileged position; the children I am so blessed to be working with, simply cannot be described; they are honestly so special!! No two days are the same and everyday they never fail to keep a constant smile on my face. We are currently well on the way to getting into the spirit of Christmas, most definitely spreading Christmas cheer, singing loud for all to hear; and it’s only November!! I am singing Christmas play songs in my sleep, its great!!
The staff and resources within the school are invaluable, simply put. I am gaining so much knowledge and experience throughout my time at the school, but more importantly, it helps puts life into perspective. My attitude has definitely changed from my first day. It’s helped me to realise not to take small things for granted and to see the positive in all situations; “What many of us take for granted, so many others pray for!”
Aside from university life, I have a hectic social schedule at the minute, it’s crazy!! The main upcoming event being the Annual Dinner dance for my club, Aodh Ruadh Ladies, coming up this weekend. This is a really special night of the year for our club; a night where the football boots and playing gear is put to one side and everyone gets dressed up to the 9’s, coming together as friends and family to celebrate the successes and achievements of the year. We acknowledge all playing members, coaches, parents, winning teams and individual awards for excelling players throughout the year. It’s a great night to be involved in and the craic is always mighty. It really is at the pinnacle of our club motto; “One Club; One Family”. As always, it is eagerly awaited and is sure to be a good night!
Until next time,