Thanks

Edited this post, I think I have enough comments now.  Few months to decide.  Realistically, I feel I’m going to push ahead with this year.  A large part of me just really wants to get started, I spend so much time reading student nurse forums and feeling jealous.  My non-realistic side is saying, “Follow the dream!  The insanely competitive dream!” From people “in the know” (nurses, lecturers), I’ve been very strongly advised to go this year due to intake cuts next year.  So who knows.  I’ve spent the past four days asleep so I think I’m a little bit down anyway and it’s clouding my judgement a little.

If I’m being really, painfully honest, I just hoped to feel all excited about it all, and I’m not. This is a once in a lifetime thing, really.  After fucking up my education so badly the first time around, I never imagined I’d even get to university. I’d allowed myself to hope I’d get to the place I was so desperate to go to. Then I messed up my interview!  Whoops.  I’d hoped I’d be all happy and celebratory when I got my (just the one for now) offer.  I really wanted to be, I tried to be.  I wasn’t, that’s passed, and there it is, all gone.  I think I am just disappointed about that, almost above all else.  I wanted another go at it so I was excited instead of anxious and worried (at the moment I cry almost every time I think about it all).  I wanted to feel proud of myself, like I’d achieved something, but I don’t feel that way.  That’s my own fault, though, that’s my own ridiculously high standards that I set for myself.  I have a perfectionist streak a mile wide, and I am competitive, as much as I don’t like to admit to it sometimes.  But yeah, it’s just a moment in time, it doesn’t matter.  Future does, so, suck it up, eh?

I don’t have my certificates yet, so I may end up with nothing, which would be hilarious.

Thanks for the advice, chaps. x

26 Responses

  1. You can wait for kids. Your ovaries won’t shrivel up for years yet.

  2. FWIW I think it’s KCL’s loss and you will be a great nurse. I’d love to have you as my CPN.🙂 BUT you have to face the possibility of them rejecting you again. You were crushed about it this time, understandably enough. Is it worth risking that again?

    I get that three years of your life are massively important and I don’t think you’re being daft, or that it doesn’t matter, I just think you need to bear this in mind.

    • Yes, this is what concerns me: they had their reasons (whatever they were) for rejecting you and may well do so again. Years ago, I withdrew from the university application process and re-submitted the following year – I got exactly the same offers and rejections the second time around.

      Before putting all of your eggs in King’s basket and re-applying, I would want a very frank discussion with someone about the precise ways I’d fallen short and, realistically, whether I could address them for another shot.

      Although evident enthusiasm for an institution may make them view an application favourably, it can’t guarantee its acceptance, unfortunately.

      I have no insights on funding, I’m afraid, and couldn’t even guess as it’s not my field! I know a little about admissions though, through my job.

      • I know why they did- at least when I asked, they gave me feedback. They said I wasn’t patient focused enough and didn’t display teambuilding skills. This was via the group task. I asked if they encouraged reapplications and they said yes, and getting healthcare experience and interview skills would be good for me.

        • Yes, that’s useful… was it face-to-face, telephone, letter &c? What I mean is did you ‘trust’ (if that’s possible) the feedback and not feel fobbed-off?

          Secondly, I would guess that King’s is the most competitive of the courses you applied for. Do you have any idea of number of places available and typical number of applicants? …Although, that kind of knowledge can either terrify or create a realistic perspective… for example, I coped a lot better with university rejection when I considered that more than 1,000 candidates were applying for fewer than 100 places. Of course, it didn’t help by *giving me an actual place* but it did make me rationalise the rejection a bit better, if that makes sense, and I was able to move on*.

          * Not saying that’s what you should do but it has to be considered. I urge the Plan B way of thinking for a living, otherwise I’d have a lot of heartbroken, back-up-less students on my hands!

          • I felt fobbed off, to be honest! It was via email. There were over 1000 applicants for 46 places! I know I was lucky enough to get an interview. Just wondering how far I can push my luck next year…

            • Is there a possibility of going in to chat to someone in admissions? There is *so* much to be said for human contact in matters like these…

              • Probably not to be honest. It was a month ago now and I think they’d be busy enough with people who actually got in.

                • It still might be worth a shot; there should be some contact within the department who is geared towards discussing these sorts of things with future applicants.

                  In all honesty, though, I think re-applying next year is a massive risk, which is potentially financially disastrous, given the issues and uncertainty surrounding funding. I know a lot of people have been telling you to go for your dream anyway and I’d love to do the same – but can’t. I have too much experience of people being disappointed and having to compromise with university courses! So it falls to me to be the voice of caution. (And I’ve just asked R – who has much more experience with the university applications process than me, having spent most of his career in 6th form – and he says he would never advise a student to reapply after rejection, especially with those stats.)

                  The popularity of the King’s course means that the odds are stacked dauntingly against you. King’s may appreciate your tenacity and commitment to them by putting things on hold to pursue a place with them – or they could end up questioning your commitment to the vocation because of your willingness to do so? And it could all be for naught if they’ve made up their mind already… It’s just impossible to call without knowing those responsible for student selection and their ‘vision’. It’s such a subjective area.

                  So, in short, I’d make a visit to a relevant person at King’s my final throw of the die, in your shoes, and hope to gauge their interest, realistically. Good luck, whatever happens – the process is agonising, I know.

                  • I think, in being honest with myself, I agree with you. The risk is a huge one. I’m not entirely sure that was the honest reason I didn’t get accepted, and if it wasn’t, I don’t really know what to do about it. I HAVE A DREAM! etc, but so does everyone, eh!

                    • Remember the BIG dream is to be a nurse. That can still happen – the road might not be the one you wanted but the end result is the really important thing. Yes, 3 years of university is important but I think the following 30 years of work is more so.🙂

  3. Is there any January intake. Does it have to be London? I know you said about having heard it about getting your qualification etc but there are great universities outside of London for nursing….and willl be sooooo much cheaper. When I looked Nottingham was a contender as the uni has a great reputation and it’s a decent city.

    Experience wise get some experience in a PD unit. People I know who worked in a medium secure female forensic PD unit got loads of recognition from interviewers as of how tough working in a place like that is. I worked in one for a year and whenever I tell people they seem to have a lot of respect for me knowing how tough this particular unit was.

    Good luck with it all anyway. You should def apply as soon as you can. Where you go is really important as after all you do have to live there for 3 years.

    xx

  4. I’d say follow your gut instinct and take a year out and reapply. Your heart is set on King’s – yes, they might reject you again but they might not and otherwise you might end up with lots of regrets and being somewhere you never really wanted to go always thinking at the back of your mind ‘if only I’d waited and reapplyed to Kings’.

    There is some trite saying about the saddest words in the English language being ‘if only’ and I’ve tended to bear that in mind through my own life and it’s lead to some interesting but exciting challenges. I’d say keep your dream alive, yes, they might reject you next year but they might not.
    More experience is never a bad thing. As for funding, noone knows how it is going to play out …

    Good luck with whatever you decide. I have absolutely no doubt you’ll be fantastic and it would be a pleasure working alongside you.. who knows, maybe we will be in the future🙂

  5. It all depends on their reason for rejection. ALWAYS get feedback for a rejection. You’re entitled to it and you’ll learn so much from it. If it’s as simple as lack of relevant experience(work wise) then that gives you a chance to go and volunteer straight up, showing them you have the drive to do it. They let A LOT of awful lazy people on to the nursing degree(no matter the uni London wise) and showing drive and enthusiasm really sells it. Kings is notorious for an over the top interview process, well they are at least when it comes to jobs. I would judge your choice of uni on where your practucal stuff would be as the majoirty of the London Uni’s are very similar in terms of quality when it comes to theory. I trained at Middlesex and have had two jobs since in associated hospitals in VERY good areas. It’s really about the enthusiasm of the individual(but obviously quality of teaching does help big time). If you want any advice in terms of the interview process/any little things you need advice wise re: nursing. But yeah get feedback and do what you need to do!

  6. On the funding front btw it could go in a few directions but I reckon it should be ok for next year, but the way the cuts are working it could be a little unpredictable. Fees wise shouldn’t be a problem, I reckon the bursary would be the affected bit. Depending on how the course is run you should be able to work a part time job around it, less so during practical blocks but certainly around the theory periods.

  7. If you intend to use the next year doing things like getting relevent experience, whether that be being lucky enought to get paid hospital work, getting involved with more practical voluntary work, like befriending schemes, day centres etc then go for it as it will help you work out if it’s really what you want to do and work on the weaker areas soyou can boast next time round on how you reflected on the feedback they gave and took action to gain experience/ work on those skills the go for it, you’ll be a better nurse in the end for it (and getting practice at bullshitting about reflection and spin will help you with the completely irrelevent tedium of some parts ofthe course)

    If you are going to spend the next year doing any kind of work that gives you enough money to live on and just waiting for the next round of applications thenthere is very little point even bothering to reapply.

    Sorry for spelling grammar punctuation, my browsert is lagging by about 10 seconds so I keep having to sit back and watch what I have just typed appear on screenwhich is rather disconcerting

  8. Is there an option of starting and applying to transfer?

  9. I’m a student nurse, 3rd year. If I could go back and do it all again I would have done HCA work before starting my training. I think it would have given me a lot more confidence.
    Also I wasn’t really well enough when I started the course, and this combined with the death of my Nan who brought me up sent me down again – unfortunately the time I had off then is now coming back to bite me on the arse as it has buggered my attendance percentages. If I had worked and then come into the course 100% ready I think I would have gained even more from it.
    I think you would be brilliant in the STR worker role – supporting people with all the things such as housing, finances, enabling people to socialise etc that make such a big difference to their day to day lives.

  10. I have no knowledge of mental health nursing courses so I don’t feel qualified to give any kind of advice.😉 I just wanted to say I think your concerns about commutes and unis with bad reputations and so on are very reasonable and you don’t sound petulant to me at all!

    I guess you may have a better idea about South Bank once you’ve been to the interview? It might help either confirm of dispel your fears… I thought the placements at the Maudsley sounded really cool as a couple of my friends have been treated there and found it brilliant, but I understand that the uni/course matters to you as much as the placements.

    It’s great that King’s did give you some feedback so if you decide to reapply next year, it won’t be a total shot in the dark.

    Moon Tree x

  11. Applying as a medic, I wanted to get in this year. Mostly, because I want to get in and out and living my life as soon as possible. Secondly, because I do not like the look of the tuition fees.

    But if I failed, I would do as you’re planning to do: gain more experience, money and stability.

    I personally think it’s going to be a case of gut instinct – if you want Kings that much, then that’s what you’re gonna go for. But a lot of people (whose accounts I’ve read) went to a back-up choice and still loved it.

  12. I lean towards ‘wait’ but I don’t think the alternative is disastrous.

    • I don’t either. I’m more leaning towards the, “go anyway” now. I don’t think I have a shot in hell at getting into King’s, really.

  13. My first instinct is to say, I think you should go anyway.

    My logic is like this: whatever you decide about this coming year, you do not get to spend it at King’s. So you could spend it doing other things (work experience, writing, saving money etc.) or you could spend it giving an alternative institution a go.

    If the alternative institution, after a year, really does not meet what you want & need, you can still re-apply for King’s. A year at alternative institution is still a year getting more knowledge and experience in the area you want to work in.

    Underlying my instinct is two more thoughts. Firstly, King’s sounds hyper-competitive. So it’s really risky putting off what you really want to do for a year, just in the hope that you’ll get in. (Though obviously it’s possible – you got to interview stage this time, which is fantastic, and with an extra year’s experience your odds will be that much better.)

    My second thought is that it sounds like there is still an underlying question / niggle, about whether you feel ready to begin a course this year. If you think it would be better to have some money saved, or to be 100% certain rather than 99% certain that you’re mentally ready, then I think you should wait. But I think it’s important to recognise that this wouldn’t be ‘waiting to reapply for King’s’, but rather a more general decision that this is not quite yet the right moment & you want to do more preparation / ground work.

    Ack, such serious decisions! My gut instinct is that the only way to get to do what you want to do in the future, is to start doing it now – and if what you want to do is be a mental health nurse, then you should take whatever options you have to begin that straight away.

    • Thank you. I think this is what I’m going to do. Some lovely people close to me have said, “Hold off! Go for King’s again!”, which is great, but I don’t think I’ve made anyone understand what the implications of that may be- i.e financially possibly screwed, may end with no place at all. I also think I might be unhappy “hanging around”- I do want to get started, really.

      I’m actually starting to warm to City, and their placements are not as far as I first thought. My problem is going to be the fucking Freedom Pass! Disabled people aren’t allowed on the overground before 9.30 apparently! But the East London Line is going from Denmark Hill at the end of next year, so that would help.

      I haven’t even got an offer to LSBU yet but my attraction to it is the closeness of the placements and being able to use my Freedom Pass and save about £100 a month in travel.

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