September 23rd, 2018. The last day of my 4-year undergraduate Master of Nursing degree in the UK. Long title. Titles matter. Anyway.
Rather than most student nurses who have jobs lined up so they can start working as soon as they finish. I decided to take a break. Like a real break. The initial plan was to volunteer in Tanzania for three months, but that completely fell through a fortnight before my last day at uni. One would have thought that I’d get a job instead and end my desire to relax. But no, my mind works differently, and I was adamant that whether I was volunteering or not. I would not be working in any capacity. I not only wanted a break, I needed a break. And as I’m writing this, I am so glad I decided to take one.
One reason why I wanted a break was because I needed a break. I NEEDED A BREAK. 4 years of uni with 7 weeks off a year. I needed one. I needed one to get my mind right, to get my body right. I was and am very aware of the fact that If I didn’t take a break, the world would transfer from being my oyster, to being the stew that I would be roasting in.
I mentioned in one of my vlogs that I didn’t want to get sucked up into the needs and wants of the world. I’m certain that if I had started working straight away I would have got lost in the system. I wanted to set my own goals. Outside of those that had been set for me long before I started my degree. I wanted and needed to recalibrate my mind.
The last couple months of my degree had me running on God knows what. My mind was racing and there was a lot of crap that I didn’t want to carry into the future. So yh, the main reason why I decided to take a break was because I needed to take a break. I was listening to my body and my body was telling me to rest.
In this world of Alpha leaders and Alpha success. Alpha money, Alpha assets. Some people equate taking a break with failure. ‘Oh, she took a break because she’s weak, because she is not strong. She took a break because she is lazy’. No. I took a break because I am strong.
Jet Li: You are killing yourself for a job that would replace you within a week if you dropped dead. Take care of yourself.
I am strong enough to listen to my body in a world that wants me to work everyday for the rest of my life. I am strong enough to go against the grain. I am strong enough to recognise my options and exercise them. Bloop. Life is about choices and I am exercising mine for once. I’ve come a long way. Situational.
Some people who were aware of my plan to take a break argued that I was wasting time. ‘You’re just going to be a band 5 for ages’. Remember, many people go far but they go the wrong way. They get lost in the process. I don’t want to get lost in the process.
A second reason why I decided to take a break was because I have more than one dream. I have more than one goal. And for me I needed dedicated time to fully comprehend all that I wanted to achieve: Start my blog. To read more. Reading more sounds so simple but it means a lot me. Allows me to learn things I wasn’t taught. To study abroad and a whole bunch of things that I will share later.
Because I didn’t want to work as a band four, three or two. Some of you may know that you are able to start your nursing preceptorship as soon as you finish your nursing degree. The problem with that Is that you may not have your nursing registration. So even though you have started your preceptorship you may only be paid as a band two, sometimes as a band three or four if your trust is generous enough. This is a grey area. You have finished your formal studies. But you haven’t graduated, and you haven’t gained your official nursing registration.
I’ve worked too hard to be paid as a band two, a salary that I was qualified to achieve over seven years ago.
‘Never confuse what you are offered with what you are worth’
I know some trusts will make back payments once you’ve gained your registration. But no. I’ll wait till you’re able to pay me all of what I am due.