‘’I get by with a little help from my friends’’

#HelloMyNameIs Emily, and I am a third year student children’s nurse.

It’s a grey and dismal day. You’ve just finished a tough row of night shifts. You’re tired, you’re feeling a little clueless as you’ve asked your mentor a lot of questions today, you’re feeling a bit demotivated. You’re also missing home and feeling a little lost amongst university life. You ask yourself, ‘who can I turn to about this?’. ‘Who will understand where I’m coming from?’.

It’s another day. You’ve had a great day on placement. You gave your first injection, it went well. You chatted to a mental health patient and made her feel less afraid, it went well. Your mentor quizzed you on information that you’d learnt from her on previous shifts, it went well. You also braved going to the gym on your own for the first time, it went well. You attended a society that you’d been meaning to go to all term, it went well. You’re feeling positive about yourself and how university life is going. You ask yourself, ‘who can I talk to about my successes?’. ‘Who will feel proud of me and congratulate me on my achievements?’.

When asked to write this blog post, I began to consider my time at university so far. From reflecting upon my first day in university accommodation to time on my most recent placement, I recognised that it hasn’t always been an easy journey. University seems to throw challenges at you that you never expect, pushing you to your limits. Yet, it has also been an exciting experience, where I have learnt an unbelievable amount and met an incredible bunch of people along the way. And it was then that I realised how I’ve made it through the good, the bad and the ugly. With friends. You know, the ones that make you laugh until you cry, the ones you can turn to on those grey days for comfort, the ones who commend us on what we do well and push us to be the best that we can, the ones who you can chat away to and lose track of time. These people are important, and I can say with great confidence that when you ask yourself on those slightly harder days ‘who can I turn to?’ or consider on the brighter days ‘who can I talk to about my successes?’ the likely answer will be your friends. Why can I say this with such confidence? Because I was that person feeling a little tired and clueless, feeling a little demotivated. I was that same person who had a positive day and felt like things were going well. And the answers to my questions were always the same, my friends.

Whether they are friends made through nursing, societies or simply just by stumbling across each other, they are there for the bigger things such as making you smile when you don’t really want to or leading you into the light from the dark. But, they are also there for the smaller things, like being honest that your outfit doesn’t quite match or being a listening ear when you’ve fallen out with your siblings. Now, I know that I have outlined the positive parts of friendships, and that sometimes, naturally, you argue, and you fall out, but more often than not, the ones that mean the most do something to make you realise that they generally do just make your life that little bit easier.

I imagine that for those of you who are still reading this, a few of these people have sprung to mind. Whether it’s a single friend or a larger group, it can be easy to forget in our busy lives how important they are to us. So, I guess to narrow down my waffling, what I’m trying to say is keep your friends close, those who make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live a little better.

Em x

Author: Emily Reed, Year 3 Student

Disclaimer: This blog contains personal opinions of students only and does not necessarily represent the views of the Children’s Nursing team, School of Health Sciences or the University of Surrey.

If you’re interested in writing a blog post for us – whether it’s a one-off about something in Nursing you’re passionate on, or as a regular contributor, please email Beth Phillips (bp00183@surrey.ac.uk), Ellie Mee (em00607@surrey.ac.uk) or Maddie McConnell (mm01664@surrey.ac.uk) – we’d love to hear from you!