Maintaining Friendships Old And New

I moved into halls for the first year of university despite already living in Manchester (well, Greater Manchester). I felt ready to gain some independence by ‘flying the nest’ and wanted to be within walking distance of university. When I lived with my mum before university I was only less than twenty miles away from the main campus so my friends from home who I used to live super close to aren’t incredibly far from my accommodation. The nursing course can get pretty hectic at times; more often than not all you want to do when you get back from placement is have a good kip!

Seeing my friends from home can be tricky to plan, to be honest, especially seeing as they have commitments like work and studying just like I do and it’s not just a ten minute journey involved in meeting up. I probably don’t tell them enough that I miss them, but I really do, and I really look forward to going home to meet up with my friends or having them stay over at my flat. Seeing my friends from home is so good for helping me stay grounded and true to my incredibly Mancunian roots and it reminds me of a big reason why I’m doing this course. I really hope I can make the people I care about and who care about me proud. If you don’t have the opportunity to meet up with your friends from home very often you’ll understand that the time you spend together is golden and you’ll appreciate it all the more. I’m so, so fortunate to have maintained friendships with such a brilliant bunch of people even after all these years.13151090_226356241076122_2131036156_nI enjoy spending time with the friends I’ve made on my course too, as I think we have a good balance between chatting about nursing as well as unrelated things. We’ll talk about what skills we’ve been learning on placement and helping each other stay motivated when writing assignments by offering suggestions of resources to look at and just offering a pep talk sprinkled with the essence of ‘as a fellow student nurse, I really know how you feel’ then five minutes later we’ll be having a conversation about something like make-up or food. I’m so, so fortunate to have made such a brilliant bunch of friends at uni.

My advice to anybody studying on a course that keeps you super busy (ring any bells?) would be to appreciate and make time for your friends from home whilst still being open to making new friendships at uni. Your friends from home will be glad that you’re enjoying yourself and have support for when they can’t physically come to see you. Believe me, you’ll have no idea how you would have made it through uni without your friends – old and new.

 

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Placement and Social life – The student nurses’ finest Juggling act

After a Long-day in placement it is essential to unwind

After a Long-day in placement it is essential to unwind

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.

The Squad

The Squad

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.