Surviving and thriving at university

Amber Sage

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

23 July 2019

So I knew starting university to study midwifery wasn't going to be easy. There were going to be some challenges ahead, but I have picked up some mega-helpful things to enable me to thrive. Here they are...

1. Have a solid friendship group

This could be a small group of friends or a larger circle, everyone will be different.

When you start the course, the lecturers tell you how important it is to rely on each other through your studies and they couldn’t be more right. You may have the most supportive family and friends outside of the course but they will never truly understand the challenges of your course. I couldn’t have got through the last two years of the course without my little friendship group. We revise together, study together and just keep each other strong. There is honestly no better support than your fellow students on the course.

2. Be organised

Keep a diary of when you’ll be in placement and also your uni days. This will help you to organise things like time to write your essays, time to revise during exam season or plan days out/social events. Sometimes you’ll also have uni days in a placement block, reflections with your trust group or revision sessions at the university. Being organised is a must!

3. Set aside days/hours to write essays

In first year I just did my essays when I had the time and honestly, it was a struggle. In second year I made sure I blocked out days in my diary specifically for writing essays. This was reflected in my grades and made it a lot less stressful.

4. Revise early!

Exams can be daunting, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to revise little and often. The earlier you start, the more the information will go in.

It can be a lot to spend hours and hours on end trying to revise, so I have found it better to spread it out (keep snacks handy and give yourself plenty of breaks during the day)! Revise with friends as well: what you don’t understand, someone else may be able to shed some light on!

5. Keep hydrated during long shifts on the wards

 Keep your water bottle handy and ensure you drink plenty throughout the shift (there will be time to pee I promise you!). Ensure you take a good lunch (or have a good dinner if on a night shift) and try to get some fresh air on your break if possible.

6. Keep in touch with your personal tutor/link lecturers

Lecturers are a fantastic support and you will need them during the course. Keeping in touch with them will help you to build a relationship and they honestly will support you through everything.

7. Take some ‘you’ time

Studying and being on placement can sometimes take over. Of course it is a priority but you must have some time to yourself! Ensure you set time away each week to do something that you want to do. Switch off from midwifery and enjoy some free time, because looking after yourself is so so important!



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.