Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes, open them and all my work would be done.
Then I wake up and realise it’s all a dream and the tower of library books, papers and folders comes crashing down on top of me.
For me, the last few months have been extremely hectic and emotional.
Family life has been tough with three children who all have their own agendas and who will ultimately always come first. I have found it hard to manage at times, but having a supportive university network of friends, lecturers and family has helped immensely. Many people close to me have asked “Louise, are you sure you’re coping? Have you taken on too much?” and my answer is always “I will be ok!”
I thrive on being super busy and having my mind occupied by lots of projects; without them I feel I would not cope at all. Take it all away and who would I be?
As student nurses, we have to believe in our own abilities. This is something I’m learning to do more, especially having overcome some personal life-changing challenges over the past few months. I strongly believe that we should always listen to ourselves, not what others are doing. That said, it can be hard to hear the statement: “I have already done that essay and it was easy” when you’re struggling yourself.
Life throws us all challenges, and when I started my nursing course I did not anticipate what they would be. I have found support from my university and from counselling services a great help. Many students fret about the number of assignments due in and about being back out on placement soon with a large workload, but imagine being a staff nurse in charge of a ward, juggling all the challenges this brings; surely this is a walk in the park comparitively?
I would advise any students who are finding aspects of the course/family life tough to seek advice as soon as you can. Use the support of your university and you will be amazed what is available for you - if you don’t ask, you won’t know!
I keep telling myself I am on a challenging course, and acknowledging this and finding ways to relax has helped. Find your own coping mechanisms - exercise, a nice meal, bar of chocolate, day out with friends. Because before you know if your three years will be over and you will be a qualified nurse.
I hope other students see that they are not alone. It’s a demanding course that will ultimately change your perception on many aspects of life, but starting my training is the best decision I have ever made.
Louise Goodyear is Student Nursing Times’ Adult branch student editor