I’ve always been inspired and encouraged by the women around me, particularly my Mum: a ridiculously successful mother of 4 (+ 1 puppy), who has been preaching the importance of sharing and gaining knowledge and supporting your team from day one.
I chose to study a Bachelor of Midwifery after completing my HSC Society and Culture personal interest project on women who had used assisted reproductive technologies to fall pregnant. That project inspired me to consider how I can be in a professional position to support these women, which is how I landed on midwifery. When my youngest sister was born, I was tasked with counting her fingers and toes every day because I wouldn’t leave the midwife looking after them alone, so, if you asked my Mum, she’d tell you it is what I’ve wanted to do since I was six.
I have always been driven by empathy and wanting to leave a positive impact wherever possible. Combined with interests in anatomy and social equality (particularly feminism), I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to find my passion for midwifery at 19 years old.
I chose to study at UTS because it was one of few Sydney universities that offer the course, and they have the maximum amount of clinical placement time! Plus, the architecture is really cool.
The most rewarding aspect of the course so far is the confidence I’ve gained. I am constantly pushed out of my comfort zone, but I embrace the challenges. In class, I am so well supported by my tutors, and my fellow student midwives, especially my close friends. They give me the assurance to ask questions, regardless of silliness or seriousness, and through that, I am always ready to say ‘I’ll give it a try’ during placement.
Throughout my studies, I’ve become a lot more optimistic towards all aspects of life. Prior to starting this course, I experienced a number of lows which impacted me and the people around me significantly. If someone had told 16-year-old Lauren she would receive the Health Dean’s Prize for Midwifery in 3 years-time, she wouldn’t believe you. To be rewarded for something I love to do is such a surreal but incredible feeling.
In the future, I hope to return to UTS to complete an Honours year in Midwifery after some time gaining practical experience. Further study has always been something that I have been interested in, and that I have been privileged to have offered to me. I plan on eventually studying women’s reproductive health more broadly from differing sociocultural perspectives.
My advice to future students would be to surround yourself with people who support you, both in and out of the course. I’m lucky to have found friends who share my passion and humour. Anticipating completing your course without help is only going to close doors – make time to find people who support you, and you will do better.
For right now, it is ok to be not sure about what you want to do. Focus on enjoying learning. University is a great time to meet people from different backgrounds, and from different stages of life; take advantage of this. It’s important to acknowledge not everyone has the same opportunities to access university so work hard when possible, but also have fun, and make the most of university life!
Find out more about the Bachelor of Midwifery at UTS.