Pursuing worthy aims in a time of uncertainty

I have recently been reflecting on the craziness that is the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on students. Not the sort of reflecting that will make it to my professional portfolio perhaps, but the sort of reflecting which goes something like this:

‘As a final year student physiotherapist, I am, along with you, experiencing monumental changes to life as a result of the pandemic. Placements have been disrupted, on-campus learning diminished, and friends scattered far and wide; it is safe to say that studying has never been more solitary. As a healthcare student, the “work-life balance” lines that were once blurred by fluctuating schedules, guilt-induced late-night studying and atypical socialising patterns no longer exist as lines at all.

by Bea Birch, University of Birmingham third year BSc student (and CSP Student Reference Group learning and development officer)

Bea Birch
​ CSP Student Reference Group learning and development officer Bea Birch ​

Like many of you, I miss seeing my friends, having them round to study and squeezing one more tea break with them into the day. I miss commuting too. Cycling or walking to lectures and placement has always provided me with an allotted “love activity” slot in which I can daydream, notice the little things, and maybe even call a friend. I miss making plans; the “when we graduate” plans and the “fancy checking out this new pizza spot?” plans that make living in a big bellowing city worthwhile. And just to add to the melancholy… it is winter!

Every person’s life has been impacted in one way or another, so I am certainly not here to represent every single student’s experience. Instead, let me offer you this… solidarity, but even more importantly, encouragement.

“Digna Sequi” are the words on the CSP crest. It means “pursuing worthy aims”, and this is exactly what we are capable of regardless of the challenges we face during this pandemic.

CSP crest

Despite the uncertainty of university life, the daunting prospect of post-graduate life, or the unknown future of healthcare, I whole heartedly believe that as a student physiotherapist, we are pursuing worthy aims.

Digna Sequi is not found in a degree certificate or a placement grade, it is an intrinsic element of those striving to make the world a better place. Every conscious breath you use to start your day right, every research paper you read that stirs up a passion for health, every message of support you send to a course-mate, and every caring gesture you make towards a patient is a worthy pursuit - an act of Digna Sequi.

These acts of courage, determination and compassion are exactly what makes us capable of evolving into exceptional healthcare professionals, and from what I have witnessed, our future careers are filled with healthcare professionals with whom we share these qualities. So, in case there was any doubt, we are capable of learning, growing, and becoming in this season, even if it is not in the ways that we expected.’

Read the iCSP post Lockdown Life – We’re All In This Together for recommendations and practical advice on support, study and sanity during lockdown from the CSP Student Reference Group


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