So there I was; almost a year ago now on campus as an enrolled, accepted, and anxious university student. I had found the perfect course several months earlier in one of those tiny little pamphlets unis give out to prospective students, detailing why they’re the best at this and are at so and so employability rate blah blah… now, thinking back after my first year, I am so glad I actually read it!
UOW, aka, the University of Wollongong, is a chilled out, science and innovation heavy University that is around 2 minutes away from my house. Although I was considering going there, there are quite a few reasons why I don’t think I ever would have. Despite my early entry into a law degree, as well as an advanced nursing degree, the thought of possibly seeing 90% of my high school cohort scared me a little bit! I loved the people I went to school with, but following the HSC and a little bit of time overseas, I was more than ready to branch out. Thus, when I spied the Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, a double degree that includes a YEAR overseas, I was sold.
On my first day of orientation featuring the iconic and beautiful UTS building!
For anyone considering nursing (I will blog about this course in the future so don’t expect me to cover it all now! too much reading!), be ready to cut up organs in Health and Homeostasis, try not to fall asleep in 8am lectures and 3 hour labs for Assessments and Therapeutics, and actually engage in at least some of your tutorials, even if they leave you thinking ‘how is this going to make me a better nurse?!’.
The trials of a first year student of any faculty revolve around things such as getting a good timetable (if you don’t, try and stick it out… it’s only 10-12 weeks!), learning how to do the correct referencing (I failed an assignment because of this!), making friends, balancing work and play, as well as many, many more! From my experience I would have to say that focusing on your subjects and doing a tiny bit of pre reading is the best thing for a bit of a boost academically, while socially, just going up to someone on the first day is the easiest thing! I knew ABSOLUTELY nobody, as I was from a city 1.5 hours away by train, and yet within the first few weeks I made a friend who was originally from my area, was doing the exact same double as I am (rare) and also wanted to be a midwife following nursing!
Overall my first year was awesome, and I don’t regret my choice to commute to a Uni in Sydney. Although I do believe that my personality and ability to want to be independent, and not tied down to a certain place, allows me more freely to do this than someone who is set on a more conservative avenue of career achievement. My way of doing things means at least 6 years at uni, a year in Spain, hundreds of hours of clinical placements, and being well into my 20’s before I actually start in what I want to do for a living! Nevertheless, the beginning of this path has been amazing. I encourage anyone to follow their passion, no matter how far away it takes you. Jump out of your comfort zone, and the good thing about uni is you can always jump right back.
My first placement was at RPA in Sydney – Here is my amazing facilitator and some of the girls I was with!
If you want to read a bit more about me, UTS, the Health faculty and more, follow this little blog post: http://utshealth.tumblr.com/post/154709246073/nursing-travel-and-babies
Feel free to comment with any questions, comments, and let me know what your stepping outside of comfort meant, or why you haven’t done it yet!