To Poplar and Beyond

“#HelloMyNameIs Deborah and I am a first year Student Children’s Nurse at the University of Surrey.”

It is amazing how quickly one short phrase can become a part of your identity or at least this has been the case for me. I must have said those words about a thousand times. Okay, maybe it is a slight exaggeration but I probably will have done by the end of my 1st year on this course! With my 1st placement rapidly approaching, it seemed like a good time to reflect on where I am on my journey, where I started and where I am hoping to be in the future.

It feels like only yesterday that I was in my room at the end of freshers week thinking, “ What have I gotten myself into?” I can honestly say that petrified doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling. It was overwhelming trying to figure out living in a new place away from home, not getting lost on campus, choosing which societies to join, making new friends, (and remembering all of their names). On top of that I was stressing about how to use Surrey Learn! Something I am sure everyone at the University of Surrey can identify with.

I apologize in advance to those of you who don’t like Physical Health Sciences (PHS) but here we go anyway… “Homeostasis: The maintenance of a constant internal environment despite external changes.” As much as I have tried, I literally cannot think of anything better to describe my University experience so far. Just when I think I have gotten to grips with one aspect of my course or just university life in general something comes along that sweeps me off course and I have to pick myself up and keep going. It is a never ending cycle of of adjusting and constantly readjusting and in truth, I guess that is what life is all about.

I remember going into the Simulation Suite on a Monday thinking, “I think I have got the hang of this module now”. That very week the module team brought in actors to pretend to be our patients…. the fear in the room was almost tangible. Looking back on it I have definitely grown in my confidence since then and now that I am feeling fairly comfortable with having the actors around, you guessed it…placement!

Quite a few of my friends are Student Midwives and it has been really encouraging hearing their experiences and seeing that they haven’t died of shock or anything like that. (Sorry, I can be a bit dramatic!) I have found that the friends that I have made at University are invaluable and I could not function without them. I have had lots of ups and downs so far and I dare say I will have many more. But I cannot stress enough how important it has been to have a support network both at home and at University, to keep you sane if nothing else. Every Sunday for the last couple of weeks, me and my flatmate (a Student Midwife) watch Call the Midwife together, laugh and cry together. It has made me realise that it is important to be real with those around you especially those who are in the same boat as you because no one else can really relate to what we go through as student Nurses and Midwives than we can with each other!

Last week it was announced that ‘Call the Midwife’ has been contracted 3 more seasons with the BBC till 2022…YAY!!! It is crazy to think that at that point I will have been qualified for a year! Even though it seems so far away, at the end of next month (April 2019), I will start my first placement (*screams*) and get one step closer to this reality. I don’t really know what to expect or what experiences await me but I am excited and slightly nervous…in a good way. I am looking forward to seeing how far I will have grown and for all the things I will have learned along the way.

Author: Deborah Akinyose, 1st Year 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.

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