A common question I have been asked is how I am coping with the academic side of my course, especially with two young children to distract me at home. I made some decisions before starting the course about how I would manage my time. At school I was the type of person to leave everything to the last minute and then not do it very well; but since I've grown up and now that I am doing things I am genuinely interested in, I find that I actually look forward to doing my work and the thought of leaving things just scares me. So I've been organising myself really well; starting my wider reading early, getting an early start on my assignments and typing up my notes from lectures. I'm not a swot, I just know I have to work hard if I want to be a midwife and that it's the academic side that will challenge me the most.
One of the best things I have done so far is to never attempt to study at home. I always go to the library. When we have a day at Uni where we finish at lunchtime, I stay for a few hours and study. If we have a long gap between lectures, I go to the library. If I didn't have children of my own, I have absolutely no doubt that I'd be doing things differently but you have to find what works for you. I am extremely lucky in that I have a husband who is extremely supportive and understands that I need time at the library even when he hasn't seen me much. I find at the library I instantly put myself in study mode, I can concentrate far more easily as there isn't anything to distract me. The Uni libraries are wonderful too; I can use the books whilst I am there, the Internet to look at journals and search the web for information. I have even found YouTube a great resource for studying some of the biology - there are some brilliant videos showing exactly how the blood flow works in the heart and around the body - this has really helped me a lot.
So the last three days were spent in Uni and I can tell you straight it was a complete shock to the system after three weeks holiday. We were in with back to back lectures from 9-6 every day apart from an hours break for lunch. And if that wasn't bad enough, for each lecture we were at opposite ends of the campus so it was a speedy walk between each lecture too. It was all very intense with lots of talk about our upcoming assignments and exams. And so the reality has hit for quite a few of my year group and lots of people are starting to worry about our first assignment which is due in October. Having already started mine I'm certainly not feeling too stressed yet but I am also fully aware that I will re-read and re-write it many many times so I need that head start.
It was wonderful to catch up with my fellow midwifery students and found out how they were all getting on in their placements. We've already had such a variety of experiences and it seems we are all enjoying the work we are getting to do; which is of course the most important part. So now I am off into the Community part of my placement and I'm really looking forward to it. I am hoping to get lots of experience at booking women in and doing their antenatal checks and of course if there is a home birth - well that would be fantastic but I won't be holding my breath!