I cannot actually believe that Year 1 is finally over. Although it feels like forever since most people finished in May, the year has gone so quick. I never thought that I would have seen this day since this has been the most challenging year of my life so far. I wanted to quit midwifery since December, but now I look back I am so glad I stuck to it. I am so lucky to say that I am training in a profession that I love and that I am passionate about.
I am going to be totally honest and say that it hasn’t been the best year, but it’s rather been a battle. Due to a lack of self-belief and self-esteem I thought that I was doing the wrong course, or that I just wasn’t good enough. However with the right support from the university, friends, family and my mentors at placement, I have made it so far, and I feel that no matter how hard things get, I will get through it. And if I can make it, then anyone can. I thought that by reflecting on the actual course, it might help other people who are about to start university.
No matter how much education you have been through, you are never fully prepared for degree-level work, unless you have been to university before. Having come straight from Sixth Form, I have been used to being “spoon-fed” information. Therefore it was a big shock that I had to be very independent when completing assignments, and lecturers aren’t the teachers that I used to have at school. I had never had to complete an actual assignment before, so I had to really force myself to manage my time wisely. Now I will be honest and say that my time-management is not the best and I did do things quite last minute, so one tip I can give is do not do work last minute! Another thing I struggled with was completing university work whilst I was on placement 4 days a week, which again brings in time-management. A lot was being demanded from me from placement but also from university, which was really difficult. It is really difficult to balance these things and also making sure that you are having a life outside work. I really don’t know how I have managed to do it, but all I can say is that without the right support, managing my time wisely or not having time for myself, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
I hated going to placement. I felt like I couldn’t do anything and I also did not feel supported by some people, so I think this is what slowed down my progress. One thing I have learnt is that you need to make sure you are working with someone who supports you and does not put you down, so don’t be afraid to change the people you work with, whilst remaining professional of course!. I think that I kept comparing my progress with other people, which is the worst thing to do since everyone is different. Yes, placement is fun because you are caring for people. However, the early mornings and the late nights meant that I constantly felt like a zombie, especially when everyone was socialising and I would be like “oh no, sorry, I got work tomorrow.” There were times when I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, but I realised that others felt the same. Being on a course that is 50% theory and 50% clinical is not easy, but I think it’s been the best way to learn as you get to practice and actually do the things that you have learnt in lectures.
I hope that I didn’t ramble too much in this post, but I thought it was important for me to be honest. I am sure that you can tell that I really struggled and that it hasn’t been easy. However, for those that are about to come on the course or anyone that is finding it difficult, it might not get easier but you will get better. So don’t ever give up. Whenever I felt like quitting I kept thinking that out of the thousands that applied, I was chosen to be on the course with just 16 places. And even though the next two years will get harder, I have come so far. For anyone reading this, don’t give up! You’ve got this.