There were two things Kerry’s cohort were looking forward to when they first started: hearing about the social side of the course and trying on their uniforms
The first few days at university can be a pretty daunting time. For me, the night before was filled with endlessly checking my bag.
Have I got everything I need?
Fourteen black pens… Check! Just in case, you never know, they might run out… simultaneously or one after the other.
Three pads of paper of varying sizes… Check!
An array of colourful gel pens neatly presented in order of the colours of the rainbow… Check! They were never initially packed that way but I seemed to have done it in my nervous anticipation.
Pencil case and bag which colour coordinate beautifully… Check!
During the first week, we didn’t have any lectures as such. We spent a lot of time in lecture theatres however, filling out various forms, hearing about the rules, regulations and various policies. There were “meets and greets” with module leaders, academic tutors and members of the academic faculty.
Truth be told, excitement aside, it was very draining.
The whole week seemed like an information overload, but it was all important information that we needed to know. Plus, lots of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.
Throughout the first week’s timetable, there were two sessions which the majority of people were looking forward to. The student union talking to us and the uniform fitting.
The student union came in to speak to us, they were trying to hype everybody up and throwing inflatables out in the lecture theatre. There were talks of free entry to clubs, free shots, karaoke and party buses. At this point I felt myself sink lower into my seat while I wistfully thought of the recent Saturday nights I’d spent letting my hair down by having some full fat milk in my tea whilst watching the X-factor.
“The student union isn’t all about partying”
This sort of thing isn’t for everyone and being a mature student, like a good portion of my cohort, it wasn’t for the majority of us. However, for our younger colleagues these were great opportunities for them to settle into the university, meet friends and feel part of the city that was to be their new home for the next 3 years.
The student union isn’t all about partying though, they can help you with issues you face at university, such as problems in halls, issues with facilities and course-related situations. The student union also hosts a range of societies, no matter what your hobby or interests are, there is bound to be a society of people with similar interests. The union can also offer a range of volunteering opportunities which are worth considering as these can strengthen your employment opportunities or support your learning.
“A sense of pride and accomplishment sinks in as you realise that in three years’ time you will be a qualified nurse”
The uniform fitting was probably the pinnacle of everyone’s week. At the fitting everyone was excite because this is the point when you find yourself stood looking at yourself in the too-tight tunic and baggy trousers that you’re trying on for size that it hits you: “I’ve really done it, I’m a student nurse”.
A sense of pride and accomplishment sinks in as you realise that in three years’ time you will be a qualified nurse. Hold on to them baggy trousers, as the years will fly by.
This pretty much sums up my first week in a nutshell, I left university to head home at the end of the week with more than enough hand outs than could even fit in my bag! I’m going to need a new bigger bag… and colour coordinating pencil case, of course.
Kerry Brunker is in her 2nd year studying mental health nursing at the University of Worcester
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This article is the answer to the last question in Student Nursing Times’ Freshers’ Quiz