…A very long time and a lot has happened. I see my last post was about starting university. Well I started. I feel like telling you I’ve quit as well, but I think it’s important for me to take a moment to elaborate that year – well those few months, before they get brushed under the carpet of life and become a little note on a CV. I got an ID card, I got uniforms; white dresses, navy trousers, striped, light blue shoulder pads with a red band on it (which showed I was a first year), I bought new, sensible, black shoes. I went to lectures, slept in some of them, I went to training sessions where I wore my uniform, practised CPR and bedside manners. I learn how to take blood pressure and do other observations. I learn how to test urine. I felt stressed. We also had assignments; one involved going on a designated walk and looking out for specific things, we then had to write about how two environmental factors impacted health. I went on that walk with a friend from college. She was in her third year of uni, I was a first year. I had taken a couple gap years and then decided to go for nursing on a whim.
I wasn’t the best student, I don’t know what I was doing, fighting myself? I slept late, didn’t sleep enough, I guess I didn’t take studying seriously. I should have. This was nursing, not a pure subject degree! It was practical, theoretical, stressful and demanding. I won’t hold back. I messed up. Big times. I screwed myself over and I am to blame.
I thought I could make it, I sailed through school just fine, French system and English system. A degree was the next logical step. Why shouldn’t I be able to do it? That question has no answer. It’s not even a question. This is life. We are humans. I am not the person I was yesterday even though I may look it. I’m definitely not the person I was in my last blog post. That is for sure. (yet I am). Life happens. I was on a medication that affected my memory. I needed to sleep regularly and well to keep myself healthy; but I was too busy being angsty and angry at something I couldn’t do anything about. I guess the only way to wake up was to fail so drastically. To be slapped so harshly. To have this ripped out of my hand so strongly. It was the only way and it is what happened.
Downhill started when lectures stop in the first semester. I was at home, with an exam to revise for and 2 assignments. I procrastinated. I also think the time of year (winter) and the medication didn’t help much, I’ll never know if I could have made it, there’s no point dwelling on that. I tried to pass. I decided to reach out for help, I got a deadline extension for my assignments, I revised for my exam and passed. I submitted my assignments and passed both. One good enough and the other just by 5%. It was a surprise I must say. I never…just passed anything in my life. I always did well. I felt ashamed, I felt like I should apologise to my teachers, I felt like I insulted them by getting that grade. The assignment wasn’t hard. It just needed dedication and hard work. I had no time and reality was looming.
Second semester started. I did not pull my socks up. I tried a little I think, but that semester happened really fast. There was intense biology as well as prep for placements in a couple of months and more theory to learn. I don’t know if I could have done it. I had an appointment with my doctor and decided to change medication. I started that and after a couple of weeks felt unwell. So I stopped the medication. I ended up in hospital for a night, when I got home I was still fuzzy. little did I know I was suffering from an allergic reaction – Stevens Johnson Syndrome.
Well what a depressing post, let’s end it on some better notes. I met great people during those few months, amazing people. They were splendid. I wish them to become beautiful, courageous, happy, strong nurses. I wish them to survive nursing studies. I’m pretty sure they will and those who don’t, well, I wish them the best in whatever they choose. This isn’t failure, its just a fork in the road. I met great lectures. One was named Katherine, there was one with a strong Polish accent, there was my scary tutor, there was the scary head of child nursing, the harsh but kind Michelle. The two very smart biology teachers, they’ll have a special place in my head because I’m a nerd and I loved learning about our organ systems and how they work. Amazing humans, amazing nurses. Amazing course. I loved it all. All that I learnt was useful and practical and just the way I like it. It helped me deepen my understanding of life and/or teach me new skills to apply in life. I wish I’d taken it more seriously.
The university, City University of London, was great. There was help I could have sought more of, but I didn’t know. I was intimidated and scared. I joined a Mandarin class and loved it. I joined clubs and enjoyed those too; but nursing is intense, I was at the deep end and hadn’t swum for a long time.
For the past 2 months I have weighted the pros of cons of rejoining the nursing programme. I have gone from one end of YES IM GOING BACK to the other of NO, NOPE, nope. I’ve been asked a few time if I’m really quitting. I’m writing this and two paragraphs ago I felt a little pull of “let’s go back and try again” and as I write this I remember all the “for” arguments, all the things my friends have told me. One told me that someone doesn’t find their way out of the wood because they don’t keep going long enough. Maybe…but i feel…it’s time…to put this at rest. To hang up this nursing uniform. Maybe just for a little while? who knows…