Hi, I’m Chantelle, I am a 25-year-old Filipina and I grew up in Western Sydney in a humble family of four. My father is an electronic communications engineer and my mother was an electronic process worker. I have a brother who is a year younger than me and he pursues his love for computers and information technology. I love art, music and dance, and anything that allows me to think critically and express myself. I also play the violin.
My childhood experiences have influenced how I got to where I am today. My mother struggles from a lot of health ailments; going in and out of appointments with her, I saw myself wanting to help and find the best way to care for her. I also lived in the Philippines for almost two years and saw families and individuals struggle financially and psychologically in their everyday lives. Along with my own personal experiences, this influenced how I think about the world and made me think about how I can make a difference for others. From then on, I wanted to devote my life to promoting mental wellness and focus on making a positive impact on others through an altruistic career pathway, specifically in psychology.
I aspire to make a difference in others' lives and I want to do this through a role that is both practical and diverse. I found that nursing would be a perfect fit to allow me to work practically and still pursue a career that would make an impact on others, especially on those who may be at their most vulnerable. After graduating from high school in 2012, I went through a few rollercoaster moments on my own journey trying to figure out where I wanted to be. I first studied a Bachelor of Medical Science, majoring in Psychological Science then went into a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience. I figured those pathways weren’t for me. I wanted to study in a field that would be fitting for me as I am a kinaesthetic learner, but I still wanted to pursue something related to health and psychology. Then, after a lightbulb moment, I found myself inspired to become a nurse.
I believe that my passion changes as I learn, grow and experience life but for me ultimately, it all comes down to inspiring individuals to live their best life. I would like to empower people to be the most authentic version of themselves – wherever they are in their journey. Every individual has their own stories to tell about their journey and I believe it is so important to listen, acknowledge and understand who they are and why they’ve come to be where they are, without judgement. I find my passion in altruism and by inspiring others to pursue their life by looking after their own mental health for a healthier state of mind.
I chose to study at UTS because I wanted to complete a nursing degree at a university that would have a lasting impact well beyond my future career. I’ve previously studied at other universities which helped to broaden my personal and theoretical experience but I wanted a university that would provide me with practical and vocational skills to suit my degree. After hearing positive experiences from graduates of health and non-health faculties, I did my research and saw the vocational opportunities that UTS has to offer including clinical placements, student leadership roles and other student and career support services. Thus, I chose UTS as it is the most reputable university for nursing in Australia. UTS has excellent teaching and research staff alongside high-quality facilities to provide an in-depth learning experience.
For me, the most rewarding aspect of studying Nursing at UTS has been the opportunity to grow as a person. I attribute this to the people I have met through my classes and through clinical placements. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn practical and life-changing skills whilst also having the opportunity to grow as an individual and to appreciate different perspectives, which will allow me to be an empathetic, trustworthy and skilled nurse at the frontline of health care. I realised that my passion to help others intensified as I was exposed to situations with patients who shared their own life experiences with me. It’s humbling to be able to share small moments with them when they are at their most vulnerable and knowing that in one way or another, we have the chance to make a positive impact on their journey.
Over the course of my degree, I feel that I have become more open-minded and empathetic to others’ experiences through exposure to different people and situations. I believe that it has allowed me to grow and know myself and how I am with others. I feel that my learning and clinical experiences have allowed me to become more confident in who I am and to wear humility. It has given me a sense of connection with others from my team members to individuals in hospital and all the way to my family and community. I feel like I have a greater appreciation for the power of empathy and gratitude – understanding people on an individual level and being grateful for the individual experiences that have led them to where they are today. It is empowering to know that through empathy and gratitude, we can further understand people and find ways to make a difference in their lives. In turn, this allows me to reflect often on my own life and to be grateful for the journey that has led me to where I am today.
In the future, I would like to be nurse practitioner or educator in mental health, women’s or family and children’s health or in theatre nursing in the future. Although I am undecided, I know that I can tread along different pathways to find where I would like to be. In addition, I would like to incorporate nursing and wellness coaching together to allow nurses to become empowered and avoid burnout in the future. This has come about because of my understanding of burnout amongst healthcare professionals. One of my goals is to create an empowering health care community which allows them to focus on self-care that is tailored to the individual and collective needs in a healthy and supportive way.
My advice for future students is to make the most of life, take as many experiences and make as many mistakes as you need, no matter where you are in your life. I believe your journey is just starting and what I wish I knew when I started tertiary study is that the more we find out about ourselves and our values, we are able to find out what we can do to live fulfilling lives, even if we change our minds a thousand times before that.
I suggest setting short-term goals for yourself in what you are interested in and take one step at a time, pursuing your interests, doing the research (for example, what do I need to get into UTS to do nursing? and how can I become a nurse?) and just continually learning. No matter where you are in your lives, the most important thing is to find what you are passionate about, enjoy it and to never give up on that passion. Things will fall into place if you let them.
Find out more about studying Nursing at UTS.