Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A New Beginning

This blog originally began in March 2014 as a way to document my time at university. It was picture heavy, and consisted of shots of me and my housemates (who I still love very much even though I don't live with most of them anymore) having fun, usually in our university accommodation, affectionally dubbed "House 42". At the time I was 19, in the second semester of my first year of university, and studying English Literature & Creative Writing. A lot has happened between then and the time of me writing this (March 2015), but a year since its inception, this blog is beginning again but in a very different way. Although I've considered the idea of creating an entirely new blog for this endeavour, I don't want to lose any of the posts I made before. In a way, it's nice to see where my journey began, even if at that point I had no idea what journey I was actually setting on.

During my first year of university (September 2013-June 2014) I realised undoubtedly that I did not want to study English. It wasn't the degree itself, and definitely not the university, which I loved (and I will talk about more later). I just knew that I wasn't right for the course. I would sit in lectures and think: is this all there is? I'm sitting here learning about dead poets when I could actually be doing something worthwhile? And getting into debt while doing it? Don't get me wrong - that's not to say I don't think studying English or the arts isn't worthwhile. It is, art is hugely important and not something I've sacrificed since quitting my English degree, but for me it wasn't enough to pursue as a career. Although I found it difficult to put into words, I just needed more. 

For a long time I'd been seriously considering becoming a paramedic. (The amount of times I said to people while studying English that I wanted to become a paramedic and the response was: Wow. That's a really different career choice, is too many to count.) I was lucky enough by this point to know a qualified paramedic, and I was living with and had become good friends with a student paramedic. I also knew a few qualified nurses and a few student nurses, so I was getting a good insight into what it was like being a student in these areas, and some interesting tidbits from those who were qualified practitioners. There was something about being a paramedic that drew me in, and I think a lot of it was probably the pre-hospital environment mixed with always seeing new things and being kept on your toes. I didn't, and still don't, want something without variety, something 9-5, something that doesn't involve meeting lots of people with lots of challenges. I'll probably change my mind when I'm 40 or something, but emergency care really interests me.

That said, I was a lot closer to what I actually wanted to do, but something wouldn't quite fit. I doubted myself a lot. Once you've had an idea in your head for years though, even if it's one you've never seriously gone after, it's hard to shake off. By March 2014, I'd submitted my UCAS application for Paramedic Practice at the university I was studying at, got given an interview invite, I accepted it, and then sent an apology email and withdrew my entire application. I just knew it wasn't for me, even though there are so many aspects I still love, there are also points that put me off, and I wanted a career I was really sure about.

This is the point where I go completely crazy, decide to become a doctor, visit loads of med schools, take my UKCAT, go on work experience (which was awesome, and I will do a post about in the future) and then realise that I don't want to become a doctor, I can meet all of the academic desires I have on a course that will still give me a life, I want more hands-on care with people, and finally, finally, it all starts to fall into place. Sometimes you have to go through a lot of no ways, maybes, and not sures, before you finally get that definite yes. 

Paediatric nursing. That was the decision I made, and since making it, I have not regretted it once. It has everything I wanted - variety, opportunity to specialise in different areas, a way to keep on progressing upwards and developing my skills, an opportunity to help and care for people, a way to incorporate my prior knowledge of being a sick kid that will actually be of benefit (I will talk about my childhood illness in future posts, too), science... the list feels endless. It took me a long time to get to this point, lots of thinking, a LOT of researching, work experience, working as a play worker with kids with disabilities, talking to healthcare professionals and students, 3 rounds of UCAS (thanks to all the teachers who put up with doing my references even when I wasn't a student there anymore) and about 100 personal statement drafts and revisions. Now I'm at the stage where I have been accepted onto a course at the university I once studied a year of English at (I finished the first year by the way, and didn't drop out halfway through because a) I loved my housemates and the university too much and b) I don't like quitting halfway through things) and I'm SO excited to start this new adventure.

So that's what this blog is going to be about. My journey as a student child nurse and being a fresher all over again. Welcome to this crazy ride!

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