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Student Stories - Get to know Jess a first year Child Nursing student

Jess Venables

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

1 November 2023

Jess shares what it is like in your first term of being a student, and tips she has to manage life.

Hi, I am Jess. I am studying Child Nursing at ARU and in my free time I like to bake and spend time with my family.

I have wanted to be a paediatric nurse since I was twelve and I have worked hard to get to where I am today. I studied Health and Social Care at college to get into my course and I applied to university as soon as applications opened. I had my interview in December 2022 and was lucky enough to be offered a place a few days later. I was over the moon when I had my offer come through, I even cried happy tears because I couldn’t believe that I had actually gotten into university and that I was going to be able to make my dream come true, to be a paediatric nurse, and make younger me proud.

I started university in September 2023 and I am currently in my fifth week. It has been a crazy journey so far but I am really enjoying this new adventure and I feel settled now. I will admit though, I have had my moments and my struggles throughout this first part of the journey, but that is completely normal when starting university and I don’t know a single student that hasn’t experienced this.

At first, I found it difficult to juggle everything. I was attending university, working a part time job, studying and helping out at home. After the first two weeks I had started to settle more and got into a routine. I found that having a written to do list and a physical calendar/timetable helped me to keep on track. I also allocated myself specific study times for different things, for example on a Thursday I do all the pre-work for the next week so that I can spend the weekend doing the post-work from that week. Having a plan helps me to keep on top of everything so that I am not falling behind.

Sometimes it can feel like you are two months behind even though we have only been at university five weeks. It is completely normal to feel that way and most the time you aren’t even that much behind. It can be overwhelming and tough but it is going to be worth it when you get to walk away with a degree and start your life. Getting into university is an achievement, attending all your lectures is an achievement, reward yourself for the little things and remember that you are doing amazing even when it feels like everything is too much. You have come this far, you can do this!

My best advice to new students would be to make the most of this experience, attend every lecture, take any opportunity you are given, reward yourself for the small things, organise your study space, have a physical timetable/calendar and always remember that you are doing your best and that is enough, be proud of yourself for getting this far.

Come and explore

Jess studies BSc (Hons) Child Nursing at ARU. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.


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.