So last year before I started my course I wrote an essentials list for midwifery students (which you can read here). After a year of working with what I had and envying some of the things my classmates had, I thought it would be a good idea to update a little! This is the college list, for when you’re in every day. The placement list will be posted soon!

 

Plastic folders: I prefer to use one plastic envelope folder for all my class notes everyday. It’s pretty durable, keeps all the notes safe from leaking bottles or rain soaking through my bag. I also find that I’m less likely to forget things if it’s all in one folder that I ideally prep the night before.

Ringbinders: I used one gigantic ringbinder to keep all my notes from the semester. So I’ve one for first semester and one for second semester of first year and I plan on doing the same for second year. I have little dividers in to separate each module (and everything is colour coded).

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Notebooks: whatever you want to write in. I use unlined A4 paper, one book at a time rather than one book per module just to reduce how much I’m carrying around.

Pens, pencils, highlighters: all the regular stationary bits. My pro tip comes from my mam – I have tendonitis in the hand I write with so during my Leaving Cert my mam bought me like a million pens with all different widths. When my hand started to get sore I just changed to a pen of a different size.

The books: The two main books are Mayes and Myles. I do not recommend buying a textbook before you start. Wait until you get in, talk to the lecturers, and have a nosy at the different kinds of books in the library. Textbooks are pretty expensive (I paid about €45 for my Mayes on http://www.bookdepository.com). However you’re probably safe enough investing in a skills book like this one.

A diary: I have always gone with the Happy Planner Company but any planner will do the job as long as it fits your needs. Your timetable will likely change from time to time during the semester, and midwifery comes with a fairly busy schedule so it’s important to keep track of things somewhere you can check easily. Some people use their phones which is perfectly fine, I’m just a pen and paper kind of person.

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💐BACK IN STOCK💐Super excited that our student #Midwifery week to view format planners are now back in stock 😍 Those of you who preordered and are awaiting yours, they are being posted out today and tomorrow! If you’re awaiting a birth register with your planner, the set will be posted out after our birth registers arrive (hopefully!) at the end of this week❤️🎉! Make sure you order if you haven’t yet, delivery times may start to increase over the next few weeks as we steam in to our busy season! Paramedic, ODP and nursing planners in stock too! #thehappyplannercompany #midwifery #midwives #midwife #midwifelife #midwiferystudent #studentmidwife #studentmidwives #studentmidwifelife #midwiferyupdate #futuremidwife #midwifeinthemaking #midwivesrock #healthcare #inittogether

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Reusable coffee cup: you will drink copious amounts of your favourite hot drink throughout your career, and it’ll start in college. Lots of colleges and cafés offer discounts for using your own cup which is great for saving money as well. And you’ll be helping the environment, which is good for everyone, especially all the babies you help into the world.

A decent lunchbox: I went for an insulated thermos type lunchbox, purely because I prefer my dinner in the middle of the day rather than the evening. It’s not a bad idea to invest in a really good leakproof box because you’ll use it in college, on placement, everywhere. I sometimes carried my lunch in a separate bag just to keep it away from all my college gear.

Powerbank: this is my lifesaver. Trying to get a socket in college is near impossible. I’m constantly on my phone checking timetables, reading emails, messaging classmates if we’ve a group project on, chatting to my friends at home and abroad on their lunch breaks. It’s also very handy placement when you accidentally leave your phone on in your locker all day and the power is drained when it’s time for you to get home.

A backpack: not a shoulder bag. Not a handbag. Looking after your back health starts now. A backpack with proper straps and supports is the best choice you can make. Make it big enough to fit an A4 folder or laptop, whatever your essential bit of kit is.

Laptop case: I tend to not bring my laptop to college because it’s a bit chunky and heavy, and I prefer hand writing my notes. But if you’re bringing one, protect it! Put it in a case that seals all the way up and ideally is waterproof (be prepared for every disaster).

Water bottle: I use the bobble 1L bottle because we only have two water fountains in our building as well as the café which will refill bottles for free, but I hate queuing so I like being able to just use any tap. Staying hydrated will help to keep you alert in classes.

 

 

So those are the essentials as far as I can remember. If you think I’ve left anything out let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

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Student Midwife Life: Orientation week

Hello, dear readers! It’s been a crazy few weeks between registering for college, meeting classmates, and shopping, packing and moving to Dundalk . But things are starting to settle down now, which is brilliant, because in all honesty I am completely exhausted. I know, I know, if I’m exhausted now what will I be like at the end of the semester? I’ve missed solid routine though, and it’s close now.

 

 

I actually missed the first day. I was coming back from a wedding, and toddled up to Dundalk in the evening. I was honestly sick with nerves and excitement. I was fidgeting all over my room, packing and unpacking and rearranging my bag. I almost forgot to set my alarm, it was a near disaster!

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But all went off without a hitch. I got up nice and early, relaxed with my morning mocha, did my makeup, and headed off. I have to say, if it hadn’t been for getting to know a few other mature students before I went in I would have been a wreck. It was such a relief to walk into my building and be greeted with smiles and familiar faces. Even walking in with my friend was so much easier than walking in alone. If you can get to know people beforehand, DO IT!

 

We had lots of talks (in the whole 130 person first year group) and icebreakers (in the group of 20 midwives). We had a scavenger hunt across the campus, lunches together, visits from union reps, and lots of talks from occupational health, the placement office, and student services. We went through booklists, how to access Moodle, some college policies, and what to expect in the course. There’s always an overwhelming amount of information to take in on orientation week, but it always makes me glad that DkIT is a small campus, it’s impossible to get lost for very long. Already it feels like home again, and I don’t think I could be happier!

 

Now, on Thursday, I had to miss another day. This was a big day. While the rest of my midwifery group were getting fitted for their uniforms and finishing the next step in their Garda Vetting (which I’ll be catching up on as this post goes live), I was getting my McDonald’s Scholarship. €1000 for an essay on improving service for customers – I wrote about breastfeeding families and families with additional needs (despite never needing them, I’m always sad when I see disabled bathrooms with no proper facility for people above the age of two). It was a great morning, up in the Celtic Suite of Croke Park with my franchise owners, my family, my partner, and the other winners. We had a lovely lunch, lots of pictures taken, and I managed to not fall out of the stands. I’ve had fantastic support from my store and my franchise since day one, so it was nice to celebrate with them and talk about what’s up next. I was hoping to be sent pictures by this morning but I’ll post them as soon as I have them!

 

That’s pretty much it for my first week as a student midwife. Starting as I mean to go on, as busy as possible! Have you just started a new course, or gone back? Let me know how you’re getting on in the comments