Thursday, 1 June 2017

Why I decided not to pursue Nursing - 1 Year On

This time last year, after a lot of consideration, I declined my offers to study nursing at university. At the time, I was suffering from hypoglycemic seizures more often, and was advised that I may not pass the occupational health check that is required when working as a nurse. Even though I never actually failed the check, I decided, bearing in mind that these hypoglycemic seizures may take a regular appearance my whole life, that I would try and find another path, so that I wouldn't have to fight my entire career. I understood why I might be able to work as a nurse, someone could be in my care and something could happen to me, putting them in danger, it is just hard to swallow that my type 1 diabetes was holding me back.

I spent a couple of months with no clue what I was going to do once I left school. I applied to apprenticeships I didn't want, I applied to a stack of jobs I knew nothing about, and all because I hated being in turmoil, with no plan. My lack of enthusiasm for these must have been apparent as I never got any of these jobs or apprenticeships I applied to! I then decided I needed to talk to my guidance teacher at the time, and she suggested that I apply to another course at University through UCAS Extra, which is where you can apply late for university if there are still places available. Me and my mum searched nearly every course  that had spaces available, and I decided to apply for a course called Community Learning and Development, with was at Dundee University

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Soon after I applied to this course, I got another opportunity. I was a finalist in the Young Scot Awards, and at the award ceremony, St. Andrews University announced that anyone who was a finalist would be offered a place at their university. I followed this up, and went to a meeting with them. They said they could offer me a place there, and so I was left with a decision. Should I go to such a prestigious school as St. Andrews, or should I go to Dundee and study a course that I was genuinely interested in. Again this was such a hard decision. In the end I choose Dundee, because the course was more work-based, and I felt that fitted me more. I was honored to have such options about where to go next after months of being so confused about what to do next.

The end of school, and the start of university was such a hard time for me. Leaving the safety net of school and actually having to decide what I wanted to do next was incredibly difficult, but I feel I have made the right decision. Things haven't been so smooth sailing over the past year, with moving away and having to discover how to live by myself, meeting new people, starting a new job, the learning curve was incredibly steep and at times I have been overwhelmed., however I have passed first year of my course, Community Learning and Development, and have hopefully found my future career.

In terms of my type 1 diabetes while I have been at university, things have been tough. I do still have seizures, the new routines have sometimes been difficult, and this is something I still do need to get to grips with, but on the whole I feel it was a good move. I can't imagine how different my life would be if I had pursued nursing.

Looking back, I was so stressed for ages because I had no plan. It just goes to show that things do work out in the end.

Until Next Time,

Alyssa x

P.s This is a blog post I wrote over a year ago, explaining my decision for declining my nursing offers at university.

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My name is Alyssa Faulkner. I am a Type 1 Diabetic Teen living in Scotland. I currently use a Medtronic insulin pump and an Enlite CGM, and am a volunteer for Diabetes Scotland.