Let’s talk about second year blues

If you’d asked me in the summer months about second year blues, I would have told you that it was a little bit of a ‘myth’ and that if you kept yourself organised you would be fine. I even wrote a post containing tips to survive second year . My first module of year 2 was Research Methods and is often described as the worst module of the whole degree at my university by previous cohorts. I fell in love with the subject and wondered what everyone had been making all the fuss about. I achieved 95% in the assignment and genuinely thought I was set for the year…I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Autumn came and the second year blues hit me like a train. I lost all motivation to complete work and began leaving assignments until close to the deadline date, something I don’t do because I get stressed easily and not being organised is a trigger for me. My assignments were not up to my usual standard because of this and still I sat confused and upset when the results were released and I hadn’t achieved anything like the results I was used to. Instead of spurring me on to complete work early like I usually do, a rubbish result (or so I thought at the time) knocked me for six and I continued with no motivation wondering what the point was. I completed another assignment and submitted, knowing it wasn’t my best work but believing it was good enough to stay within my targets. Results were released and I was ready to quit university altogether that afternoon,  it was my worst result to date and the feedback felt brutal. I spent that weekend in what felt like a hole, at the end of my tether with this whole experience and genuinely thinking about leaving. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had more negative days than positive days in year 2, I can probably count the number of truly positive days on one hand if I’m being brutally honest.

Second year blues are real and should be discussed more. It’s not enough to preach on and on about positivity, staying positive etc, because it really isn’t as simple as that. It’s hard to remain positive when every single day at university feels like a knock to your confidence, when you leave placement everyday wondering if you will ever really know enough to be a nurse and when every result makes you question whether you’re even intelligent enough to be doing this degree. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve cried in the car park after a placement shift before setting off to go home, just from doubting myself and a decision I’d made that day or because I didn’t know something that I really feel I should by now.

My first placement of second year was amazing, I spent 6 weeks with the best team and felt like I knew what I was doing even though it was out of my comfort zone. I thrived in an area that is extremely specialised and that I was terrified of before I started. When I began my second placement of year 2, it all unravelled. I like being out of my comfort zone, but this was a whole other level. I knew nothing. And that’s not me being dramatic, I genuinely knew nothing. I was an adult branch student nurse, walking into neonatal having never really held a baby before, let alone cared for one for a 12.5 hour shift. Everything was so different to adult branch, it was like starting the degree again with no previous experience at all. I enjoyed the placement and my mentors were fantastic, but I spent the four weeks thinking I wasn’t showing my full potential because it was so different to what I’m used to and it completely threw me. I started my third placement of year 2 having lost all the confidence I’d gained from my critical care placement and not even knowing if I wanted to be a nurse anymore.

Year 2 has just felt like one knock after another and I will be glad to see the back of it. I have 8 weeks left of placement before year 3 starts and I’m excited to get back onto the ward and gain some confidence back ready for year 3. In all honesty, I still don’t feel 100% myself and if it wasn’t for certain people this year I don’t think I would still be at university now because I couldn’t have coped without them.

If you feel like you’re struggling at any point, reach out to someone. It doesn’t need to be a lecturer, it can be a friend or someone in your cohort. Even find someone on social media who you can confide in, don’t bottle it up like I did. I felt embarrassed to admit that I was struggling and keeping quiet for so long probably hasn’t helped the way I’ve felt for the past 4/5 months. I don’t think the ‘positivity brigade’ help at all, as much as they may think they are doing good, it’s hard to go on social media and see positive things all the time and no one talking about how hard things can actually be. I’m not saying people need to be negative nellies all the time either, but it’s about time we all started to show the real aspects of our experiences within this degree. Not just the highlight reel of achievements.

Love,

T x

8 thoughts on “Let’s talk about second year blues

    • Good luck for your second year 😘 if you ever feel like you’re struggling just reach out to someone, I left it a long time before opening up which definitely didn’t help x

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    • I experienced 3rd year blues (my course was 4 years which probably explains why). It lasted a long time. I get what you mean about only seeing positive things on social media. When I was going through a rough patch I started to think that I was the only one who was struggling. Like a lot of people, I bottled it in for as long as I could. Until, I finally had the courage to speak about it on my YouTube channel. The videos where I have talked about the not so positive side of my journey as a student nurse has been one of my most popular videos. Just goes to show that a lot more student nurses have rough patches than they let on. Thanks for sharing this post. I’m sure it has helped a lot of people out.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. What an interesting blogg. You dont realise what goes on beneath. On the outside people think you are ok and coping but on the inside you are worrying about everything.
    I seperated from my husband just as I had started uni after 30 years of marriage and 2 children. I had no confidence….still working on it and never expected to do as well as i have. I have those same doubts everyday and stress. Sometimes I think why am I doing this to myself. I sometimes think I am going to end up so ill but I’ve come this far! Living on my own, having to manage a mortgage and Bill’s with a student loan, prioritising what gets paid ….its difficult. If I had stayed full time at the care home I would not have the stress and I would certainly be richer. However, this is my dream and the end goal is getting closer. It will have consumed 5 whole years of my life, my family miss me, I am not the same person, I’m always tired and too busy but when I am with the patients on the ward I realise this is why I wanted to be a nurse….for them. To be their voice to listen to them when they are scared and to be there for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: What second-year blues really look like | Student Nurse and Beyond

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