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Is student life what you expected?

  • Comments (5)

When I left college I decided to get a job rather than go straight into university. I didn’t feel there was anything that sufficiently interested me enough to dedicate a large portion of my time and money in pursuing. And I didn’t buy the argument from my friends that if you weren’t going to university you would miss out on the most exciting time of your life.

However, during those years at work I began to experience a niggling feeling of anxiety that something exciting was happening just beyond my reach. I felt like I was missing out.

So after much thought, in September 2010 I enrolled in a three-year nursing course. I knew I wouldn’t be in for a stereotypical student life. For a start I wouldn’t be living with my parents but instead I had a young family of my own. I would be a nursing student which adds another level of professional scrutiny on your conduct as a student. And I would also be spending half of my time in practice rather than on campus.

But I still wasn’t prepared for just how different university would be from my dreams and expectations.

Those years of anticipation had painted a picture in my mind of sitting by an open fire sipping on real ale and having philosophical conversations with my fellow students. I imagined that I would be a member of a whole host of societies. I thought I would be preparing speeches to be delivered at the debating society.

In reality, I spend a lot more time studying than socialising or thinking progressively.

Maybe we should all enter university with realistic expectations. However if there is some aspect that you long for then you have to be the one to make it happen. If you feel like you are just on a conveyor belt from lecture hall to library and you long for something else, then you need to do something about it.

As we are living in an age when money governs time management I know my early vision of university life was unrealistic.

What were your expectations going into university, were they different to reality? Is student life what you expected?

  • Comments (5)

Readers' comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    as a mature student with a family myself, life at uni is different to what i thought it would be. i was expecting to be taught all the 'nursey' skills i would need to make myself the next 'super nurse'. what i found instead is being crammed with theory that, on the face of it, has little to do with the real world on the wards. i have to do a lot of extra study and research to find stuff that is relevent. but the other half of the course, the part on placement, is out of this world. am learning a heck of a lot more out there. all things considered though, my only regret with my nurse training is that i should have atrted years ago!

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  • Anonymous

    #started years ago# even

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  • Anonymous

    I agree! I'm almost qualified and I'm terrified!! I feel I would be a lot more prepared if I'd been taught in a clinical environment more than a classroom but a lot of what we've learnt that I didn't see the point of has come in useful, such as using evidence based practice to argue something clinically, without knowing how to think using critical analysis etc I wouldn't be able to argue my case.
    For me the most important thing has been from using peer support, with friends and with other students on the ward. As a management student I make sure I make myself available to the first and second year students, practicing my mentor skills as I go. I remember being the terrified first year and clinging to other students because the staff nurses were all so scary!

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  • As a mature student with 3 older children I came into nursing to fill a gap left when I went down a different career path nearly 30 years ago and because my children are old enough to be independent of me. I saw it as my time to get cracking, pull the brain from under the carpet, brush it off and make it work again. I love all the learning in lecture, although EBP does fry my ickle brain cell somewhat!! the placements are brilliant and every day is a challenge I am enjoying. I can't wait to qualify next year and put into practice everything we are being taught. I did think the workload would be heavy and it is but, if you are organised and embrace all the help available it is achievable.

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  • Anonymous

    Ive been qualified 4 years and during my training thought too much emphasis was placed on theory however, now i am a staff nurse i actually see the point in it! I was a mature student my main gripe was the ageist remarks i received from mainly the medical team; I was 34 hardly old when I started.

    I had 12 years experience as a HCA and although I do get the odd day where I wonder why I came into a profession which can be so bitchy at times, I do love my job. It was a hard course and I didn't get the best of mentors but now as a qualified mentor myself I really go that extra mile for the students in my care and make it a positive experience.
    Good luck all of you, keep going it will all make sense somewhere down the line.

    It is terrifying your first few months as as a staff nurse but just do your best and ask when unsure. I hope you all get as much pride and self satisfaction as i do!

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