The constant balance between personal life and NHS student life

Laura Green

Faculty: Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Midwifery
Category: Nursing and midwifery

16 July 2015

Along with the many positives that accompany studying midwifery there are sacrifices that need to be made to successfully complete the course. Unfortunately a lot of these sacrifices are of my personal life and my other commitments.

As my course is NHS-funded, it is an extremely intense course with very few weeks respite. Unlike other courses that have long holidays during the year and several months off in the summer, midwifery is a constant balancing act of academic studies, placement hours and any spare time.

When I first thought of applying for the course I attended an open day at the university campus and was told that I did not have enough UCAS points. My heart sank as the options were explained to me. I could look into access courses in order to gain the extra points I needed along with my previous qualifications to stand a chance of gaining a place. I can still remember vividly sitting on the green sofas in reception crying, with my boyfriend trying to console me whilst telling me I could do this and that he believed in me.

Starting and completing a one-year access course was a massive sacrifice for me, as I would need to leave my full-time job and my midwifery dream would be delayed another year. Thank goodness I successfully gained a place on the access course, managed to gain good grades and get offered an interview and subsequently a place on the BSc Midwifery course at Anglia Ruskin.

Now that I am studying on the course and have learnt how to prioritise my time, here are some tips and advice on how to stay on top of your workload whilst also enjoying social events.

  1. Plan ahead, don’t wait till the last minute to finish an essay.
  2. Be flexible with your schedule. By allowing time before work is due in, you can afford to swap some activities in your schedule and still be on target.
  3. Be honest with your friends about your commitments and schedule. They may understand a little more if they can see you are working to a deadline but have some free time once that essay is submitted.
  4. Choose your study area carefully. Make sure you are in a quiet area with no phones, tablets or TV where your attention can very quickly go to Facebook and watching all the soaps instead of studying effectively.
  5. Make realistic goals for yourself. Set yourself a few small tasks that you want to achieve whilst still having down time.
All of these tips will aid you to complete any essays or work that has been assigned to you in an effective way, therefore allowing more free time when you can schedule all your social events in after. As long as you’re strict with your time, there is more than enough time to have a brilliant social life whilst also staying on top of your studies.

My family are all supportive of me following my new dream and try to help where they can. When I have days where I feel it’s all getting on top of me, I just have to think of the end goal of being a midwife and accomplishing my goal. I will get there somehow, slowly but surely.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.