Well folks, that’s it….Year 1, (very almost) DONE! I can hardly believe it.
It will be unsurprising to you all that I have been feeling very reflective this week, thinking of everything that has happened since this crazy journey began in September.
I have re-read a couple of my early blogs in a bid to remind myself how I felt and what my expectations were. I can vividly remember the nerves in the pit of my stomach on that first day, walking over the bridge towards Uni and the millions of questions I had going over and over in my head. And expectations, well I think it’s safe to say, whatever I expected, this year was not it. It has been harder and yet more brilliant than I could ever have imagined!
So what have I learnt in the past 10 months?
I Am Capable
My learning has not been limited to the world of Nursing, I have learnt SO much about myself during my first year. One of the biggest things is (and yes I am going to look like a big head here) I am smarter and stronger than I ever realised. I have spoken quite openly about my previous experience of Uni and ever since the day I got THAT classification, I have always felt I could have done better. Well the grades I have received throughout the year have gone some way to prove that to me and hope I can keep that up throughout the course. And this year I also got over one of my biggest fears, talking in front of a group of people. In week 1 of the course I shied away from the opportunity to stand up and talk in front of our class and by the end I was able to get an A for a group presentation which had me doing the very thing I have always feared. Amazing!
I love Running
Speaking of doing things I never thought I would be able to do, I now run. Which trust me is a real shock! Some of my lovely ex-colleagues from Cirencester will recall the Race for Life I completed a few years back. It was pre-Little Man and I had all the time in the world to train but unfortunately, I just couldn’t find the energy (or desire) to train and as a result, I practically crawled across the finish line. And now, I can run 5k, non-stop and even enjoy the experience! And I really couldn’t have picked a better time to find this love of running because, it turns out, it is a really great way of dealing with stress. Which leads me on to my next lesson…
I have lost count of the amount of times I have cried during this year, cried and wondered what the hell I am doing on this course! But with the right support (thanks family), stress can be dealt with and you can always fight another day…and hear I am, heading into Year 2, with no regrets.
Friends are important
So okay, this isn’t a major lesson because I kind of knew this already but really, friends are the ones who have kept me going. It is very much like when I became a Mummy and decided, I already had amazing friends (which I do) and therefore I didn’t need to make “Mummy Friends” because who needs those?! What an idiot! And the same happened when I started Uni, I decided that my plan was to get through the course and as I didn’t NEED any more friends, who cares if I made any?! Again, idiot! The group of friends who I made at Uni have made this year both bearable and enjoyable. Thank-you ladies, you are brilliant. And those amazing friends I had pre-Uni, thank-you! Thank-you for standing by me and putting up with my lack of ability to actually arrange anything or reply to texts!! I love you!
Coffee is almost just as important
In one of my early blogs I mentioned coffee. Oh coffee, this is a friendship that has only become stronger throughout the year. Coffee, I love you. Thank-you for being so dependable and for picking me up when I’m down/keeping me awake when it matters!
My marriage is made of strong stuff
Absence may make the heart grow fonder but it also means you have to work 10x harder to keep a relationship going. During the week I basically move between the role of Student to Mother and back again, both roles are exhausting and leave very little energy for anything else. Thankfully I have a very understanding husband who doesn’t get cross when I have no energy to talk on the phone in the evening or when I arrive home on a Friday night and just want to sit quietly (with a glass of wine, of course). But all joking aside, it is very hard to cram your marriage into 2 days every week and date nights have never been so valuable. Thank-you The Husband for your unwavering support and for putting up with me, I’m lucky to have you.
I’m finally using my degree
One thing that hasn’t changed as the year has gone on is how often I think of my Grandma. I still wish she could see what I have achieved this year but take comfort in the fact that I am certain she would be proud. Wherever you are Grandma, please keep being my driving force, you’re more powerful than coffee.
And on that note, thank-you for reading and for everyone who has given me advice/support this year, I say it a lot but it really does mean the world.
One final shift, an evening of celebrating with my family and then the relaxation can begin!
The Uni Mummy, over&out