Am I clever enough to be a Midwife?


I don’t think I’m clever enough….

It’s a common worry for anyone who has been out of study for a while – school days are over, you never want to study again and then you decide you want to be a midwife. A degree is required and suddenly it all becomes a little overwhelming!

“I am by no means clever, and I want to tell you my story – if I can do it, anyone can!”

School was difficult for me, I had little interest, preferring to chat up boys and mess about. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and certainly didn’t think GCSE’s were that important.

I was anyways the ‘butt’ of the teachers jokes, made an example of and humiliated.

When I saw a local university was advertising their nursing and midwifery courses I went along to ask about them and realised that my two D’s in GCSE Science would not be enough to apply (if only I’d paid more attention in class!)

“My grandmother told me she would be proud of me if I chose to be a midwife and that sealed the deal…I wanted to be a midwife!”

I applied for an access course at a local college, two days a week for an academic year. Made some super life-long friends and the following July I had the required ‘points’ to apply for university.

My tutor at college had told me she didn’t think I would make it, that I should think about adult nursing. I was devastated, I didn’t want to be a nurse, I wanted to be a midwife.


At that moment it could have gone one of two ways:

1) believe Judy the tutor, and considered adult nursing


2) use this as a moment in my life to show Judy that I could make it.

I chose number 2!


I went to university under-confident and not knowing how to write an essay.

I didn’t understand the process. I would submit my essays at the last minute, without proof reading. One essay I didn’t even spell my name right. A tutor thought I was dyslexic, I went for the tests (it would have been good to know why I found things so difficult) but in reality, I didn’t know the way they wanted me to write. This is a learnt skill, it doesn’t come easily.

I was told I would be lucky to graduate with a 3rd. To be honest, any degree at this point would have been a miracle.

The annoying part was that I loved midwifery. I was good in practice, but had to learn the ways to pass the degree. This also coincided with becoming friends with a girl in the group that had a photographic memory, which I was totally in awe of and she helped me immensely.

I found the confidence to ask for help, became less embarrassed at asking people to read my work and took feedback in a constructive way rather than a criticism.

“I passed my degree with a 2:1, applied for a masters degree which I passed with distinction and am now applying for a doctorate.”

What would my college tutor say?!

This is why I have been determined to support those wanting to be a midwife but who lack the confidence. Or who need someone to proofread their work without feeling like it is being ripped apart. I want to support student midwives in a way that makes their experience memorable and positive.

As you can see, if I can do it…so can you!

I believe in you!


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Emily Seddon

Emily is a midwife with many years of experience. She is passionate about supporting midwives of the future. As a clinical mentor, student link and being on university interview panels, she knows what it takes to get a place!

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