It has been a while since I have posted. And I feel really bad… But unsurprisingly placement takes up quite a lot of your time and I also have quite a busy schedule. This blog post mostly apply to students who are currently searching for a placement or who are thinking of doing one. If you are a second year student reading this, I hope this is useful and give you a realistic insight into what it is like for a second year student trying to balance everything in life.
I am sure people have already started to apply to placement and some of you might even have had interviews already. So I am so sorry that it took me so long to write part 2. But I hope it is going well and smooth for everyone as I remember that it is not an easy job and it does takes a lot of dedication and effort. I just want to say that you might be feeling a bit frustrated or stressed around this time of the year but YOU are doing a great job whether you are applying to a placement or not, YOU ARE A STAR! I remember I was so close to give up just a couple of months ago in March but life is always a surprise and now here I am writing about my placement on a Friday afternoon.
Some people might be very lucky that they have secured their placement very early on this year (lucky for them) but that does not mean that you or other people are in a disadvantaged position as you have just started looking or still waiting to hear back from companies/ organisations. I did not secure mine until March and I had my interview with the hospital that I am working with now all the way back in January. So I waited for 2 months to hear back from them and frankly speaking I was so ready to give up and was thinking that I would stop searching for a placement (well, not hearing back from them for 2 months was a pretty good indication to me that my application was most likely unsuccessful).
And it was such a stressful process, when you have to worry about exams (which is in Jan/June) and you have tons of assignments and deadlines on your hands plus that one or two societies that you are part of the committee for, it’s hard to balance all of these while you also try to have friends and a social life. But we have all been there and it will get easier I promise!
So here is a few tips on applying to placement while keeping up with assignments while fulfilling your duties to your society(ies) while going to the gym while meeting up with your friends while having a social life (so basically everything that a uni student has ever struggled with)!
First of all you should always treat you degree like a 9-5. This might seems boring and not what student life is like, but trust me this method helped me so much last year and will get you into a routine in no time and prepare you for the real 9-5 when you get into your placement. So my advice is to try to finish your assignments and reading and lectures within that 9-5 period or 9-6 sometimes. And that means the rest of the evening is pretty much all yours, and you can use your evenings to search and apply for placement as well as to work for your society. And you can take a few evenings off to go to the gym or go out with some friends to take your mind off from working and all the stress.
I know they say you should apply to whatever is available. But actually that will just confuse you and create an illusion that you can always apply for more and it never seems to end. My advice would be do some research before you apply to placement and limit yourself down to just 1 or 2 types of job that you would want to get experience from. For example, I wanted to get into clinical psychology so I limited myself down to only apply for clinical placement, especially those will give me experience working with patients or in a clinical settings (i.e. hospitals) and just a few extra research ones for back up. That helped to give myself a clear direction and I was able to manage my time a lot better since I am only apply to specific ones and I am not spending too much time applying. This means that I have spare time to do other things and meet up with friends etc. So spend some times to think about what you want to get experience from and speak to people who know about the jobs or the industry to help you get a better picture of what to expect and where to apply.
So far I have been working for my placement for about 2 months and a bit more, and I really enjoy it. I am constantly learning and being given a lot of responsibly which really help to develop my skills and knowledge as my supervisors and co-workers always encourage me to ask questions and give me loads of opportunities to do things on my own. To be given so much responsibility and freedom to work individually had really helped to toughen myself up and grow a lot as a person. And this is pretty much it for my post today. I will update soon and feel free to get in touch if you have any specific questions or anything you would like to know.
Here’s a picture of me and my friends from last week 😛