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Moving three hours away from home to live in a new town, barely 18, and to start studying Midwifery was very daunting, to say the least. However, if I had the opportunity to tell myself how incredible my time at University has been, all my worries would have been diminished.

Starting university is a universally intimidating experience. There’s a lot of uncertainty about what to expect and whether it’ll be for you.Ella smiling and holding a baby manikin

However, the second that I started Midwifery, I knew that it was what I was meant to be doing. I vividly remember my first lecture, all about anatomy and physiology, and how ready I was to learn more.

At Bournemouth University, they provided skills sessions before placement started, which proved immensely helpful in familiarising us with hospital settings, equipment like manual blood pressure cuffs, and professional conduct. We went out onto our first placement in December of my first year. This was a 2-week observational placement block used to allow us to immerse ourselves in the world of midwifery while still having the space to observe and absorb everything going on, without the pressure of performing skills right away.

These weeks allowed me to familiarise myself with hospital settings and knowing where things are, getting to know the team that I would be working with, and allowing me to adjust to the shift times!

Throughout the degree, you switch between University blocks and Placement blocks meaning that the skills and theory that you learn in University can be put into real-life practice on placement constantly allowing you the opportunity to learn and develop. I love the variety each week as it means that you can continue to grow in all areas of midwifery and find your niche. For me, I love working in the community and on the low-risk birthing suite, but I really love everywhere! I enjoy the continuity aspect of community and the freedom of running clinics, and I love the calmness of the birthing suite.

Whilst I have found Midwifery challenging at times, I am always reminded about the excitement I felt at the start of the course and how incredible the vocation is. If there was one thing I could have told 18-year-old me, it would have been to not be scared to put yourself out there and be confident! You work so closely with midwives meaning that they get to know you and your skill sets, so if they believe you can do something, you also need to believe that you can do it!

Finally, my other biggest takeaway from midwifery is to build up strong support systems around you, especially if you have moved away from home. I was lucky enough to meet some of my best friends through University accommodation who have helped me through everything, as well as calling my parents every day and sharing experiences with my wonderful course mates, who truly understand the challenges of the journey.

I also joined the dance society so that I could continue my passion for dancing and meet like-minded people! Dance has also meant that I have an escape from the crazy world of midwifery and is my form of self-care, so definitely continue any hobbies you have!

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