At the beginning of this week I started my three year degree in Adult Nursing, a huge career move from working in Marketing and earning a salary! I knew I would have to give up the full time salary for a student loan, something that I wasn’t sure straight away if I could make work now that I have a few more bills than I did at 18 (I will touch more on this in a future post on budgeting!) And of course figure out how to write essays and take exams again! I would be lying if I said it was an easy decision, it most certainly wasn’t, but I really want to share a bit more about why I made the decision to leave my full time job to pursue a career as a Nurse.
First and foremost, for a long long time I thought about it almost everyday, and if that isn’t a sign I don’t know what is?! While there were parts of my Marketing job that I liked, I knew that I didn’t want to be sat at a desk every day. By nature I am not a particularly jealous person, but when I saw people from school, people I knew and people younger than me going into their nursing degrees, or graduating, or getting jobs in hospitals, I couldn’t help but think ‘I wish that was me!’, so it just got to the point where I knew I had to get up and do something about it, else time would fly by way too quickly and before I knew it it would be too late and I’d regret not making the decision.
As cliche as this may sound, I have always had it in my head that I want to help others. For me, a job that I know will have an impact on others lives and is hugely rewarding, is the kind of job I have always wanted to be in. I love being around people, and am normally one of the most talkative in a room, I never run out of things to talk about! And for me, Nursing was perfect for that. A job where I can help people when they need it the most, talk to people all day long, and meet people from all different walks of life. For a while now I haven’t felt that anything I do has particularly fulfilled the want to help others, yet I knew that I could get that fulfilment through Nursing. The more I thought about the job, read about it, and watched hospital documentaries the more drive it gave me to do it.
Another huge factor for me was age, at 22 I know that it will still be quite easy for me to study and juggle my life around my studies/placement. Not that ANY age is too old to study, but I know that for me personally if I left it for in the future when I may have my own children, I would 100% struggle to juggle home life with studying. Having said that, there are people on my course who do have children and have done access courses previous to this degree and managed that, so if you do have children and are thinking of studying, GO FOR IT!!
Despite all the positive thoughts towards wanting to be a nurse, one of the biggest set backs for me was the fear of failure. In fact this was THE set back. I’ve never dealt well with it, being hugely competitive with myself, so pairing that with a previous bad experience at University, the thought of failure again was unbearable. I would literally talk myself out of applying, convincing myself that it was better if I didn’t go as then I couldn’t fail. The best way for me to overcome this has been talking, trying to rationalise why I feel like that, and how to manage those feelings. And also realising, how can I fail if I don’t even try?!
So how did I actually decide to get the UCAS application in and get the ball rolling? I’d had a bit of an up and down year last year and for one reason or another came home one evening feeling SO deflated and a huge failure, and I’d had enough. I knew I wanted to succeed, and after toying with the idea of being a Nurse for so long, I just got home and thought stuff this, I’ll go for it! No one else could apply for me, no one else could make the decision to quit my job, it was all down to me! So I did it! In all honesty, I have never been that fussed about having a degree just to say I have one, I am of the opinion that a piece of paper with a qualification does not define you as a person, but the only way for me to be a Nurse is to get one, so that I am doing! Whilst I literally did just come home one evening and thought right I’m going to apply, it took me a very long time to get to that point! Just over three years in fact…!! I completely trust the timing of it all, and have had wonderful experiences before starting this degree, but honestly if you want to become a Nurse and apply for a degree (or any other course), the only person stopping you is you!
I hope this has been somewhat helpful, and I cannot wait to share more of my journey over the next three years!