Being a regular student I’d say is equal parts social as it is educational. We however, are not regular students. This is a difficult concept to get to grips with as we are getting a degree at the end of the day and we do go to the same University as the others but we are student nurses so our three years are social, educational and practice based.
I won’t lie, there have been times I’ve missed out on an event or two because I’m starting placement the next day at 7.30 or because of the extended semester for example but you completely forget about the time you couldn’t go to Juicy at Joshua Brookes because you’re too busy telling everyone about the time you pulled out a 2 foot long chest drain or when a patient stopped you in the street and thanked you for your hard work.
I play Women’s Rugby for the University which involves various training sessions a week, fitness on a Saturday morning and Games pretty much every Wednesday (and vital socials on Wednesday night). Missing placement hours is not an option as it’s a 100% attendance course, however being clever with your off-duty is completely allowed. My 2 day placement was scheduled as a Thu-Fri however sometimes I would need the morning to remove the last of the face paint (Socials are always fancy dress themed) so I would request to be on a late shift or would work on a weekend.
The key here is communication. If your mentor is OK with it and you’re not falling behind on hours then it will keep everyone happier in the long run if you don’t compromise on your studies or your social calendar. So invest in a good diary and get planning, the sooner you plan the easier life becomes… Trust me.