If you read my introductions post, you will know that I am going to university to train to be a mental health nurse in September. Applying for university was a big thing in my life. I am 23 and for years I wanted to go to drama school and be a professional actor. After 4 years of rejections, I decided to pursue my other passion in life; mental health.
I am currently doing an Access course at my local college because I only got 3 Cs at A Level when I did them back in 2012. Little did I know I’d actually end up needing them all these years later.
I applied for 2 universities – University of Wolverhampton and Birmingham City University. I had interviews for both and originally had my heart set on Wolverhampton. After my Wolverhampton interview, I had to wait for 3 weeks to hear from them. It was the Friday before Christmas that I finally got my decision. I was so nervous that I kept refreshing the applicant portal every few minutes. Eventually, I refreshed it and saw conditional in big letters. I was ecstatic. I rang my whole family to tell them news, only to have to ring them again 10 minutes later telling them I hadn’t got in. Turns out I had an offer for a different course, which wasn’t related to nursing. I was devastated. Luckily, I had my BCU interview coming up just after Christmas.
After my BCU interview, I was even more nervous. I already had one rejection and this was the last university I applied for. I started looking at other universities to apply for through UCAS Extra. After 2 weeks I got the email I was waiting for. We would like to offer you a place on the mental health nursing course at BCU. The relief was indescribable. My conditions are that I get 30 merits or distinctions on my Access course, pass an occupational health review and have a clear DBS check. I sent off the questionnaire for the occupational health review and have to see a doctor in June, just to check my stability and make sure that I’m actually taking my medication.
Not getting into Wolverhampton was a blessing in disguise. Wolverhampton do their placements in Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Trust, and the Black Country Partnership. I already use services in one of those trusts, having been an inpatient, used home treatment, the crisis team and having been under Early Intervention, Early Access Service and CAMHS. For a small trust, that really limits where I could do my placements and since I don’t drive, I would have to move to another area where I would be using services under them as well. BCU do their placements with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust which covers 172 square miles, meaning that when I move to Birmingham, I’ll only be using a small part of their services.
I feel a lot of pressure to stay well between now and my occupational health appointment. The last thing I want is for them to say I can’t do the course when I’ve fought so hard to be in a place that I can do something good with my life. I still have bad days but they are few and far between. I haven’t self harmed since October and I haven’t been in hospital since August. I just need to try and keep it that way.