When I was at school my main hobby was that I played the trumpet in our school band. I really enjoyed it as it was completely different to the academic stuff that I was doing and also allowed me to meet people who studied different subjects and had different interests. I was never amazing (I got my grade 3 in Year 10 and gave up with grades after that) but it was always something I could enjoy. I was also lucky enough to go on several school trips with the band to places like Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia.
I don’t remember them being so interested about other activities when I applied to study nursing at Uni. I think now they like you to show that you can interact and communicate with people and that you are willing to try out new things – rather than just going for all the science and medical stuff.
1) D of E up to Gold
2) Debating society chair
3) Cross Country Running captain
4) School Captain
5) volunteered at Headway house (charity for people with head injuries)
6) volunteered at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (entertaining people with dementia)
7) volunteered at a holiday centre for people with disabilities
Medical schools look for you to be a rounded person with interests outside of medicine and schoolwork. What you got out of something and the skills & experiences it gave you is more important than what you actually did – the same goes for work experience.
I did silver D of E, some school debates and took part in school plays most years. I did some outdoor activities like walking & climbing too. I also got involved in the British Red Cross as a first aider, which was great for learning new skills and interacting with a range of new people.
Applying to be a psychiatric nurse it was about having good communication skills especially listening, They also liked people who had been out in the real world back then and not come straight from school, so you had a understanding of what patients were going through.