I’m in a strange place right now.
Throughout May, since my last blog post about it, I fretted and worried about my future on the course. It got to the point where I was sure I was going to leave. However I went to France for 4 days with my parents and little brother, intending to keep my doubts to myself, but ended up spilling the beans. I spoke to both my parents, individually, for hours. I made a decision to stay, and felt better for having made a decision. I decided to try to do many of the volunteering things I hadn’t signed up for due to the unpredictable nature of the course. I put the doubts to bed, and continued on to my second placement.
I hated it, in summary. Again. It was in fact slightly worse than my previous placement. I just thought to myself, ‘well – I’m obviously not destined for a hospital. This is a stepping stone to whatever it is I want to do, which I have yet to discover (but isn’t nursing).’ My mental health remained good this time, and I was able to live a slightly more normal life whilst doing the shifts.
I then organised a routine compulsory meeting with my personal tutor. I filled out the form beforehand, quickly summarising that I had had doubts but was now staying on the course- and the volunteering things I’d recently signed up to do, as well as a brief bit about my home life and interests.
The meeting was yesterday, and it was not what I expected. She was so lovely. In a nutshell, she said ‘why are you doing this? If you’re going to stay, you need a very good reason- someone specifically saying that you need a child nursing degree to do what you want to do. No one is making you do this, and it sounds like you hate it. I want you to be happy. For most students, the placements are what get them through the hard times- but they are your hard times’. She had a point (understatement), and over the course of the almost 2 hour chat (!) I realised I’d started speaking about the course in the past tense.
Since May, I’d put the decision to the back of my mind because I was so relieved to have made a decision. I was too hasty. If my tutor thinks that, then I shouldn’t ‘just wait until the community placements… just wait until you can choose your own placement in 3rd year.. now you may as well finish’ which is the line I get from the other students on my course. In some ways, if I’m going to leave, it needs to be now- a dignified exit, not dropping out because my flimsy ‘decision’ doesn’t stand up to the pressures of constant placements and the academic work on top.
She also said that I should have children sooner rather than later, if that is what I want- there is nothing stopping me. And I should foster, if that’s what I want- again, there is nothing stopping me…Apart from my fears of what other people think; my parents, my boyfriend’s parents, my siblings, my friends from my school. She said I need to make decisions for myself, and for our future. I felt pretty empowered.
So I’m now in the curious position of still attending two tutorials today, but finding out the awesome local nannying job I applied for last night want to see my CV, and registering my interest with Barnardo’s to accept emergency teenager night placements, and with Leeds Council to begin the fostering process.
I can see this. 3 days a week nannying, which would be making more than my current allowance. The remaining 4 days a week filled with training with various organisations, occasionally hosting a teenager, and soon fostering; respite placements, arranged short breaks or support care.
Living my life- not just waiting. (sidenote- We could also arrange a wedding without me being a ball of stress..)
As my tutor said- staying would be the easy option, as it would mean no changes, but it’s an incredibly difficult ‘easy option’ to put myself through, and doesn’t make a lot of sense. So I guess I’m saying goodbye to the course.
But really, I have no idea what I’m doing.