New student editor Alisha Poole has some tips for those of you looking to make it through your first year as a student nurse…
If you’ve just started your first year as a student adult nurse, welcome!
I’m sure you’re still super excited and ready to dive into learning (as well as enjoy freshers!). But before you know it freshers will be over, the novelty of university will have started to wear off, and you’ll start to feel the pressure of juggling your workload, your placements, your social life and possibly a part time job.
Hopefully I haven’t scared you off! Nursing can be tough, but there are some things that you can do that will definitely make things easier for you and take some of the pressure off…
1. Get yourself a planner
Seriously, I know how cliché it sounds, but you really do need to nail how to be organised if you’re going to study adult nursing. The work will soon pile up and you can easily lose track of things, so find a planner that you like and force yourself to use it!
2. Find out how you take notes
Do you like to write on printed PowerPoints? Do you prefer to write in a plain notebook? Would you rather doodle as you listen to make the pictures align with your leaning?
Whatever your way of note taking is, stick with it and it will become your best friend over the next 3 years! If you are unsure of how you prefer to take notes, it is a bit of a case of trial and error until you find a way you like so give them a go and any others you can come up with!
3. Find out how you learn best
As with note taking this can be a bit of trial and error. There are some quizzes you can take online that will point you in the right direction, but you really do have to do what is best for you.
Once you do find out though, stick at it! Do you learn best by writing things out over and over again? Maybe you prefer to record your own voice and listen to it back?
Perhaps you like to cover your whole house in sticky notes or pictures and mnemonics? Whatever it is, even if it is an amalgamation of all of these things, take it on board.
4. Review your notes
I actually can’t stress this enough. There is no worse feeling than falling behind and feeling like you will never catch up again.
Some of the classes you will take can be quite heavy going and mentally draining, you’ll want to go home and have a nap but I urge you just to review your notes from the day one more time before you chill out.
5. Start revision early
Love flashcards? Great! Start making them after your second lecture.
I’m serious! The sooner you start them, the sooner they’ll be ready for you to review and you won’t spend all your time sorting out your revision tools and instead you’ll actually be able to use them!
However, you best revise, make time for half an hour or so each day, it’s not that long when you think about it, and you’ll be so thankful that you consolidated that knowledge early so that you can grasp the more complicated topics later on.
6. Make the effort to make friends
The friends you make will be worth more than their weight in gold. They’re the only ones that will understand the stress you’re under and the way you’re feeling. Whether it’s a study group or a late night catch up you’ll need them throughout your course.
7. Make a list of your due dates
Having a visual representation of when things are expected of you is super helpful to have, you can even tick them off when you’ve completed them!
8. Look after yourself!
I’m not sure how I can make this sound as important as it is.
Think about it, you are studying a degree in how to care for people, you MUST learn to care for yourself. You need to ensure you’re taking time out for yourself regularly so that you can relax, otherwise you will burn out.
Looking after your body by eating well and exercising will always benefit you too.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ever. There is no such thing as a stupid question.
10. Stay positive
Enjoy the experience, don’t wish it away! Take it from me, your third year will be upon you before you know it!