Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Starting as a paramedic student

Lauren Woods

Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Allied Health and Social Care
Course: BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science

30 May 2024

Wow, where do I even begin? Starting at ARU as a paramedic student has been such an amazing experience and I have honestly loved every minute of my first year.

Starting my journey

Before I started my journey at this excellent university, I was apprehensive and very nervous as to what university life was like. Certain thoughts like if I would make lots of friends, if I was going to be able to balance work and studies and if the course was definitely what I wanted to do entered my mind. When I began on my first day all of my worries were put at ease as with the support network around me; I just knew I was going to love it.

Not knowing what you are going to encounter when you begin is totally okay and normal; how do you know what to expect if it’s something you’ve never experienced before? However, knowing that everyone is in the same position as you and everybody is starting a new university and course, these thoughts can be shifted into much more positive ones. Being nervous is a good thing, as it shows you care, but how exciting is it knowing how many new people you will come across, learn things from and grow with? It is a new chapter within your life you don’t think you’re ready for, but it is honestly the best experience you will ever have.

Balancing work and studying

Balancing work and studying can be difficult. I have been there. Working four shifts at McDonald’s and then three or four days at university. However, it is how you balance your time and hours of study that matters. I thought that before I started I would be able to maintain the long hours the essay writing and exam revision. Still, university can be difficult, it can be challenging, so putting your career in Paramedicine first is the main priority. When I did this I felt so much happier and less stressed with essay deadlines.

I have learnt so much within my course - not only how to care for and treat people in the worst moments of their lives, but how to treat all people with the respect they deserve no matter the patient. I have learnt how to speak and approach people in a way that is calm and reassuring. I have learnt that you make lifelong friends at university. I have learnt that Paramedics truly are heroes and I am honoured to be on my journey to becoming one. I have learnt that this is a challenging yet extremely rewarding role. University has taught me clinical skills like drug administration and how to give drugs to patients. All the lecturers are previous or current paramedics which makes being in university so real, they talk about their life experiences out on the road as a paramedic and how to become the very best you can be. They support me every step along the way and my personal development tutor, a lecturer who supports you from day one, has been so amazing. I wish I had known before I started I would have a PDT as he has answered every question I have had since starting the course and supported me and my university friends very well.

University facilities and opportunities

The university has fantastic facilities and opportunities to revise and study in, like the endless floored library and the study skills sessions the librarians lead, for students to practise academic skills. There are multiple places you can grab food like the canteen and the different buildings, even a cheeky Chinese for a Friday afternoon to finish the week off well! The canteen does a £1 meal which is vegan and a bargain so I recommend that for sure, they are so tasty!

My first year has been phenomenal and I am so grateful to have met some lovely friends, have amazing teachers and have had so much fun. You will love it if you join the ARU family, try your best and embrace all the new challenges and experiences you come across. Good luck!

Find further information about campus and student life.


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.