There are numerous reasons why I chose to study Audiology as my preferred degree at university. One of the most imperative reasons was knowing how rewarding it will be in the sense that I will be able to make a difference to people’s lives! My passion for Audiology all started because of my brother who is currently an Audiologist himself. One day, he came home from work and shared an experience he had with a patient. He said: “Today I saw an old gentleman who had been struggling with his hearing, and it had become so bad that he couldn’t hear his own grandchildren. I was able to fit him with a hearing aid. He came back a week later and thanked me so much that he had tears of joy in his eyes. The patient’s exact words were ‘It is because of you I am able to hear my grandchildren for the first time’.” From that point, I knew this is what I wanted to do; I wanted to give back to my society and help all those who have a difficulty in hearing. After hearing this story, it gave me such a heart-warming feeling that I have never felt before.
Living in a different city away from my family has been very difficult and nerve racking, especially in such unprecedented times. But having my family’s endless support encouraged me to make this big decision to move out and start my journey of becoming an Audiologist. I have always seen myself as wanting to help those in need, even if it was just making a small difference in their life. There was something my mum said to me in my adolescence that has stuck with me even till today; “I have kept you in my hand like a caterpillar but now it is time for you to grow into a butterfly”. I cannot wait to see the butterfly I will grow into. It may be a slow and difficult process, but it is surely going to be worth it! My journey started about 19 weeks ago right here, at the University of Southampton. It is safe to say this is a degree that was tailor made for me. Not only have I learnt a lot so far, but I have also discovered the kind of person I am and the person I will be transforming into. The abundance of knowledge and experience I have gained so far has been absolutely priceless! I remember my very first week of university and how daunting it was, but now that I reflect back, I really do think to myself that “wow, I have learnt quite a lot!”
With the current crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic, I was quite apprehensive of how my university life would turn out to be and in what ways it would affect my education, career and personal life. To my surprise little did I know that I would have such incredible lecturers who have provided countless amount of support and care. Not only did this make transitioning into university easier, but also gave us enlightenment that the pandemic is not going to put us at a disadvantage. To begin with, the induction and freshers week itself was highly fulfilling that made settling into university a little more comfortable. I was able to meet and network (virtually, of course!) with likeminded students studying the same degree as me. Then came my first practical session, and it was after this very session that I had self-realisation that I knew I wanted to pursue Audiology for the rest of my life. I held an otoscope in my hand for the very first time and I genuinely enjoyed everything that I learnt passionately.
These turbulent times have taken a substantial toll on what our ‘normality’ would have looked like. Despite everything now being digital, I feel that in the hindsight it has been helpful as we are able to re-watch lectures over and over again and demo videos like how to assess and look into a patient’s ear. I have thoroughly loved every minute learning these things where sometimes, I don’t even realise how time vanishes as I continue to pursue Audiology, something I am incredibly passionate about!
So far in these 19 weeks, the course has been fairly exciting yet a little challenging where I have learnt an immeasurable amount of skills, small or large. Small things that would usually go unnoticed has now become highly important. For example, how to talk, how to listen, what approach should be used, and to ask important questions to build an excellent rapport.
To conclude, Audiology has so far been an incredible journey and I cannot wait to see what the future holds. It is safe to say I am very excited and motivated to go on my first placement which is coming up soon. Before coming onto this course, I felt as if there was a calling, that this is the right path for me and I am thrilled I pushed myself to take it. I have never felt happier and I cannot wait to see where these next few years take me and see the Audiologist I become!