For my fellow Midwifery students

We love our Midwifery course, however, if you are struggling with the demands as I know many of us are, I hope that reading this helps. I’m not suggesting that everybody is finding the course challenging, but if you are, you’re not alone.

It’s called the two year slump. Our routine is the same, we are constantly working, living away from family and friends, our overdrafts are our best friends, we eat ungodly amounts of take away, there is a significant drop in exercise, a longing to stay in bed all day. It’s something we’ve all experienced at some point in our time as students, and I feel that towards the end of our second year as midwives it’s becoming more difficult.

I know that it was understood even before we started the course that it was going to be challenging, and that there were going to be good days and there were going to be bad days. The bad days can range from a lack of sleep and a bad mood to a difficult shift on placement which makes you want to give up altogether. What we need are the good days, making memories that are worth remembering on the bad days.

When I’m on placement I struggle being on my own, and not everyone is lucky enough to be placed somewhere with fellow students. Shift patterns can be so tiring and at times exhausting, enough to stunt your motivation to stay healthy, active and productive. All plans for going to the gym and losing weight begin with good intention then end up down the drain. We meet deadlines by the skin of our teeth and count getting out of bed before 12pm on a day off as an achievement. Or at least, I hope this is not just me. My point is, things tend to go a bit downhill at some point which is absolutely fine, provided we are supported and feel able to get back up again.

I was recently feeling a bit down about being so tired and unproductive and was discussing with a friend how much I was missing being at uni and with friends, and just hearing that she felt the same made everything ten times better. Knowing that other people are going through the exact same as you can make all the difference. We have worked so hard just to get onto the course with work experience and exams and personal statements and interviews and various other personal tests. We have moved away from home and families to become financially independent students. In just a couple of short years, we have been through all of this together and are still holding on tight to the degree that is getting us to where we want to be individually. If we’re strong enough to make all these changes and come this far, we are more than strong enough to make it to the end of this course.

This two year slump is going to end, and once it does we will all be back on track. Most importantly we are all going through this course together, and I know that I have the support of my girls and they have mine. We can look forward to moving back to university, catching up about placement, eating healthily and being productive again. We’re on Year 2 out of 3, and the final year is going to be the big one.

In the meantime, we need to keep taking each day as it comes, looking after ourselves with plenty of sleep and plenty of celebrations because I think we deserve it – we catch babies for a living. If that doesn’t deserve a decent cheers then I don’t know what does.

Cheers to the baby-catchers! We got this.

Emma x

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