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When the doubts creep in, remind yourself: 'I can do it'

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It’s that time of year again when humid and sweltering days turn into chilly mornings, and amber leaves scatter on the ground. Summer draws to a close, but as the old adage goes “every end has a new beginning”. This September, many students will embark on an enlightening and exciting journey as a student nurse.

carl magan

carl magan

Carl Magan

Entering a new realm can seem overwhelming at first. Everything is new and questions bombard your head.

But this is totally normal.

Whenever I reminisce about my experience as a first-year student nurse, I wonder how I made it through. During my first year, I felt incompetent and useless as I tried to force whatever was taught in the lectures to seep into my brain.

As the days and months flew by and assignment deadlines loomed, thoughts of failure haunted me. At the time, the light at the end of the tunnel seemed farther away than ever before; darkness seemed to envelop me.

Was it all bad? The short answer is no.

”I decided to plan what I needed to do to make a go at it”

The first few steps I stumbled and frustration dominated my thoughts. But one of the 6Cs resounded in my head: commitment; to become a great nurse, I needed to be committed. So, I took a deep breath and decided to plan what I needed to do to make a go at it. I made a study plan and followed a simple mantra, “I can do it”.

In fact, as a sign of my commitment I invested in a diary, highlighters and different coloured pens to organise my schedule and stay on track. I prepared myself to fight this battle and devoted 4 - 6 hours each day to do my assignments, with Eye of the Tiger blasting in the background, helping to amp up my motivation.

The light at the end of the tunnel was closer than I thought after all.

If you’re a first year student, let the first year be your lesson - a guide to greatness.

”Remind yourself: ’I can do it’”

Yes, mistakes are expected. Yes, at times, you might feel that the ground you’re standing on is beginning to crumble, but don’t worry. “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” as Franklin D. Roosevelt once said. Close your eyes whenever fear and hopelessness starts to cripple you and let his words sink into your brain. Remind yourself: “I can do it”.

In retrospect, my first year was a learning experience and I advise first-year students to gear up and purchase the much needed tools for top organisation: folders (lots of them), diaries, pens and notebooks.

The summer is ending and cold, dark nights will soon be afoot… don’t be afraid, an exciting journey is about to begin!

Good luck!

P.S. Don’t drink alcohol days before your assignment deadline (especially if you’ve not finished it) - it might not be a wise idea!

Carol Magan is in his second year studying adult nursing at University of Chester

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