Is university for me?

Is nursing at university for someone like me?

Considering university brings about a myriad of thoughts and feelings.  
For those who are fresh out of college, the prospect of moving away is equally exciting as it is daunting, choosing accommodation, arranging student loans, and meeting new flatmates. For the mature student, there is excitement but equally, there is the extra worry of going back into the world of education - of assessments, tests, essays – things that aren’t necessarily familiar. I have a unique perspective in that I’ve been in both these situations. 

Taking the leap to study

Higher education was a far away dream for me when I was younger. Coming from a low socioeconomic background which consisted of myself, my brother, and our single mother, money was tight, and employment was a necessity. While education was always imperative, so was ensuring we kept a roof over our heads. I studied an Access course, working alongside this and then took the leap into higher education to study Nursing, moving away from home and experiencing the all too familiar worries every student has.  I was worried about whether, as student from a low-income background with lots of demands on my time, I would fit in at university, but I need not have worried. Juggling employment, education and settling into a new city was a lot, but I had lots of support to make it work and I made some amazing friends from all walks of life. Joining societies and attending student nights helped and attending Freshers Week was a perfect way to meet people. 
Unfortunately, shortly before the end of my second year, I had an accident and had to leave my degree, I was told at the time that I would need to fund myself if I wished to return. I went back into the workforce but yearned for what I had lost.  

Making the move from healthcare to nursing

A few years went by and I began working in Healthcare. I was fortunate to have a supportive boss who encouraged me to reapply for university and to call Student Finance. To my surprise, I was entitled to my funding again and so began my journey back into education, this time as a mature student studying Adult Nursing.  University is comprised of people from all walks of life and I’ve found that variety truly is the spice of life. People of different socioeconomic backgrounds, heritage, ethnicities, beliefs, all come together for the same purpose; to gain an education and better themselves.  

Support to thrive on the BSc Adult Nursing

I’m now at the end of my BSc Adult Nursing course and could not be happier with how things have gone for me. The course has been fantastic, I’ve had so much practice time that I feel so confident going into the workplace now. The academics have been supportive and have challenged me to do my best and I’ve met some good friends who have broadened my horizons.   Alongside the course, there is a lot of support out there, be it societies where you can meet your ‘tribe’, mental health and wellbeing for when life gets overwhelming, library support for those who need a bit of insight into the demands of assessments or referencing, disability or additional needs support who can help with the application of Disabled Students Allowance and arranging extra support, or financial support where they can provide help with budgeting and Student Finance queries.  

One of the most exciting chapters of your life 

There is also the opportunity to apply for temporary employment while studying, with Unitemps, a company that provides temporary employment to university students. My message is that studying nursing at university may be daunting, but it is for everyone, no matter what your background or stage in life and it’ll be one of the most exciting chapters of your life. 

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