Approaching the last term of my second year is a frightening and daunting thought. But I have a sense of accomplishment for everything I’ve done so far.
Every student I’ve spoken to who is reaching this point in their educational journey is having the same worries: Will I manage the final year workload around my personal commitments? Have I done enough this year to get the average grades I need? What will final year entail? What job will I want to compete for?
Keep calm and don’t despair.
The key to getting through final year is to focus on what is needed at that particular point in time. Here are my Top Ten Tips:
- Start essays as soon possible. This will give you the time to reflect on everything you’ve learnt and enable you to fulfil a broad, precise, evidence-supported and well-structured piece of writing.
- Go for tutorials with lecturers as many times as you need to. This is not a sign of weakness but a chance to make sure you are on the right track in both theory and practice.
- Look out for new research or updates on techniques to keep yourself in the know.
- Get the most out of all placement by coming out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself; the fast pace of shifts will help you learn to work self-sufficiently.
- Find your own way of completing tasks to the best of your ability and ask for help whenever you need it.
- Use old exam papers and essay feedback to check back to when you’re unsure and to identify any weak areas. This may also help with present assignments as many features interrelate in nursing.
- Make useful notes, not copious ones during lectures. It is useful to write bullet points of how information will link to what you want to write to easily relate back to.
- Start to think about jobs and CV writing early into the 3rd year to take some of the pressure off during later in the year.
- Have regular days away from anything uni-related to give yourself a fresh mind to continue; making time for family and friends is essential.
- AND FINALLY… Have confidence that when you put all you can into something, you are doing the best to your ability and no one should expect anything more.
Reflecting back on the past 18 months keeps me going. My personal and practical achievements and the rigorous, demanding theory/placement blocks along with lecturers and mentors pushing me to the limit, has all helped me realise that I am capable of completing the course.
The transformational journey into a qualified nurse is not an easy one, but will forever be a valuable passage into a magnificent career choice.
Make the final year your favourite by doing absolute everything that is available to you, before you are flung back into the real world!
Leah Moger is in her 2nd year studying adult nursing at Bournemouth University: Yeovil Campus