April 16, 2020, by sleatherland
COVID-19 Diaries: adjusting to studying at home
Sophie is one of our first-year student nurses and is sharing her experience of what it’s like to be a University of Nottingham student during these challenging times.
Read her first instalment about how she’s adapting to student life in isolation.
The transition in to the first year of university is hard; believe me, I’ve done it twice. The stress of being away from your parents, meeting a plethora of new people and getting lost trying to find your next class is almost reminiscent of the first few weeks of year 7, only this time you’re an adult, and you’re expected to act like one.
After the first semester things tend to have settled down. You know where you’re going, you’ve got your friends, and you’re (hopefully) enjoying your classes. By early March, student nurses have already got their uniform, NHS ID, and are well into clinical skills and bioscience lectures. They can accurately take manual blood pressures, explain the importance of temperature in maintaining homeostasis, and complete a National Early Warning Score chart to assess a deteriorating patient. But they are not prepared to face a global pandemic.
Which is why we’re at home, our classes online and our placement postponed until next year. I thought the hardest part about the move to online learning would be motivating myself to get up and join in on lectures and workshops (which believe me, hasn’t been easy), but the thing I’ve been struggling with the most is knowing I can’t help in my role as a student nurse. In theory I could help, like the second and third years who have been invited to work on the front lines, but in practice I know my help wouldn’t be effective. And that’s something a lot of first years that I have spoken to have echoed.
But we must keep pushing on, and while the other years are battling with the pandemic, as first years we have our own battles. Getting used to online learning is like going back to September: endless emails, uncertainty around how exams will work, and trying to navigate a new way of learning. I’ve found keeping a strict routine and thorough planning has helped me somewhat, but I have friends who are parents who are juggling childcare, work and revision and don’t have the ability to plan ahead. If this first week is anything to go by, it’s going to be difficult, and we’re going to have to work hard to keep on top of things. But I know we’ll get through it.
These next few weeks are uncertain and are definitely going to be a learning curve. But I know that as a year group we are going to be able to adapt, and that we will come out of our degrees stronger because of it.
The University of Nottingham’s coronavirus guidance is available on our website. We are regularly updating this information and you should use these webpages as your main source of information about our response.