Letters from Lockdown 31: Daisy May

Dear all of the other 3rd student nurses,

I am so proud of you all.

Nobody could have predicted this would happen. We were supposed to be sat stressing over our dissertation, becoming gradually excited about graduating in September. We were not prepared to be asked to opt-in to help in a global pandemic. Nobody was.

Whether you chose to opt-in to work for the remaining 6 months of your degree or not, I am still in awe of you. The pandemic is putting stress on everybody, and I want to stress that I am in no way saying we are to be the most recognised. But from one student nurse to another, well done.

A lot of you are in your university accommodation alone, away from all family and friends, choosing to put yourself at risk while still paying for your university fees. It’s a lonely time, and it’s okay to feel scared, alone and anxious. But just know that there are SO many people behind you, cheering you on. You have everyone’s full support. Remember to look after your mental health during this time. It’s very easy in our profession to volunteer to work 60+ hours a week. But please remember that your health comes first.

If you’re living with family, and have children, it’s understandably a terrifying time. A lot of people have been wondering if it is sensible for the sake of their family to opt-in to help. Some people have even moved out, away from their children and partners and are now living in hotels, or alone. You are SO brave. Others have decided that not opting-in is the best thing for them, and that is also another commendable and brave thing to do – so well done!

Over 5,453 of us are heading out on the front line over the next few weeks. Some in the community, some on the wards. Look out for one another, encourage each other and be the best nurse you can be. It’s all happening very fast and it all seems very surreal, but you were made to do this, and I wholeheartedly believe in you. My face beams with pride every time I hear about “the student nurses”. I am so privileged to be associated with those words, and so are you.

Whatever happens, we will always be known as the Class of 2020 who worked their butts off during a global pandemic. Be proud of that. You will be part of history and known as heroes. You’re all incredible. Stay safe, and remember, you’ve got this!

So much love,

Dais x

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