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'Fear can be a powerful thing'

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I’m a big believer in sharing stories. As I sit here pondering on what to write for this month’s student editor blog just 24 hours before the Student Nursing Times Awards, I am faced with a dilemma.

Do I, a) start eating my Sainsbury’s basics ready salted crisps now and feel satiated for the next 30 minutes;

or b) wait until I’m 200 words in and feel smug that I was able to hold off for those two precious hours?

These are some of the many life-changing decisions a student nurse must tackle in their day-to-day life.

In all seriousness though, I have become incredibly reflective over these last few weeks. I blame it on the ‘mid third year blues’. You know, that time in your training where you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and realise that actually, you would rather turn off the power supply and awkwardly hover in the tunnel a little while longer.

Fear can be a powerful thing and while many peers are discovering their dream jobs, I’m seeing September as this blank void. The best way I can describe it is when Nemo reaches the end of the coral reef and stares out into the big blue abyss. Yes, I suppose my life at the moment is resembling a Pixar animated movie, but finding Nemo likely isn’t going to solve this one. Not this time anyway.

Tomorrow however, all these feelings will subside because tomorrow is a day for celebration. The Student Nursing Times Awards celebrate the very best in student nurses and nurse education, and being shortlisted for two awards has been both an honour and an eye-opener.

See, going back in time to the days where I was at school, I was never what you would call one of the ‘highest achieving kids’. Sure, I was content with the grades and experiences I came out with, but returning to university for the second time ignited a genuine drive to make a difference and make a change.

All too often I think it can be so easy for us to notice only the things that we believe are going badly in our lives. Maybe we didn’t quite get the mark we hoped for or the job we longed for. Maybe we just don’t know what we want yet.

But it’s important to be mindful. Be mindful of those things that are going well and never allow your internal biases to obscure that vision. Acknowledge the beauty of the coral reef but realise that if Nemo can still make it back alive despite venturing into the abyss, so can you.

I am 97% certain that this time tomorrow I will be experiencing the “Imposter Syndrome”; a concept that describes a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. Honestly, when I discovered this term less than a year ago it was almost as though I felt complete; finding the word of all words, in a sea of more words, that so eloquently explained to friends why my experiences of joy following good news tend to be so short-lived.

Nevertheless, once I’m seated with my fellow comrades and teachers, while a part of me will feel uncomfortable, I know that such feelings will be momentarily overridden by the presence and company of so many wonderful, inspiring individuals. One things for sure though, looking down at the state of my fingers nails has left me with an urgent need to bring this to a close.

*Proudly grabs bag of crisps and nail polish*

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