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Student Blogs: Managing your workload at university

Even in my final year of university, workload management is still something I have trouble with. Balancing the reading, coursework, seminar preparation, revision… and that’s before you even think about fitting in a food shop and general day-to-day living. University life and everything it has to throw at you can feel really overwhelming. But this feeling is completely normal… it’s just a matter of finding management strategies that work for you. These are some of the things that I do to try and stay on top of my workload: Be as organised as you can This may sound like an obvious one, but it is a really effective way of feeling like you are in control of the work you have to do. Think of it a

Guest blog: Ruth Cooper-Dickson on maintaining positive student wellbeing

The excitement of Fresher’s week is over and the new term in full swing. Over 400,000 UK students have transitioned into a new life away from home and are beginning to navigate a very different routine. As students commence on this journey they may need additional support for their mental wellbeing, some more so than others. We all operate on a continuum of mental health. Therefore, it is important to recognise a change in lifestyle will impact on most students, but at varying degrees. Taking into account that statistics show one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem per year, it is evident that over 100,000 students will need an element of support. Students face c

Student blogs: Essential mobile apps for students

No doubt your phone is jam packed with a multitude of apps that you use daily (let's not admit how many hours of our lives we’ve spent endlessly scrolling through Instagram or twitter). But apps can also be useful for other things, beyond staying connected with the rest of the world (shocker). Below, I have listed nine apps that my friends and I have found most useful as students — don’t worry they’re all free! Organisation Your university's app:The most important app to have as a student is your university's own app; this will be the most helpful to you during your time studying. You’ll be able to view your timetable, get access to online readings and use the library services. The app may e

Guest blog: International students need dedicated mental health support

Looking at the evidence that there will be 262 million higher education students in the world by 2025, and one in four higher education students currently suffers from mental health problems, there is no better time than now to raise awareness of mental health in higher education. In the absence of a stable mental health, the student experience is hindered and education attainment may be limited. The mental health of higher education students is not only about students. It is about the mental health of their family members, friends, other social contacts, and their community members. When a family member or loved one experiences mental ill health, it affects the student, their studies and ac

Student blogs: The diaries of a mature student - Part 3

When I discussed my blog with the editor of this website, I promised that I would always be honest in describing what I was going through, all struggles and trials I might encounter as a postgraduate student, who is foreign, a mum and mature. “There is no point hiding anything if I am going to write about a topic like this; if I end up crying in my bed, I will tell you all about it,” I added something along these lines. It was, of course, an exaggeration, a hyperbolic statement. Little did I know that it would not take more than a week to go through an emotional upheaval that would cause me to spend two days in tears, unable to write, read, do any course work or do anything much. And here is

Student Blogs: Five ways to make friends at university

University life will provide you with many opportunities to meet new people. Some of these friendships may last for the entirety of your university experience, becoming a little too accustomed to each other’s favourite post-clubbing takeaway order, and regular assignment breakdowns. Other people may just be a familiar and friendly face in the lecture theatre. Both are, however, really great types of friends to have. But the idea of making these new friends can be incredibly daunting. This is where Freshers' Week (and the first few weeks after this) come in. It offers the perfect opportunity to put yourself out there and get to know as many people as you can. Of course you will continue to ma

Student blogs: The diaries of a mature student - Part 2

I should be shouting from the rooftops but there is a surprising sense of detachment as I am passing the excited eighteen year-olds on my way to the official Induction. I keep adding to my To-Do List, which includes items such as “arrange childcare”, “book car – MOT/servicing” and “cook lasagne so husband and the boys don’t eat crisps and chocolate while mummy is away”. Somehow, with the overwhelming mass of duties in front of me, I have turned into a machine that goes mechanically through motions of completing tasks, while starting a new intellectual exploration in this cathedral of all human wisdom, called university. My ambitions can’t disturb the functioning of the family, that is, in it

Guest blog: Degrees of Pressure — How universities can help students under strain

Freshers’ week has ended. Student bank accounts have been hit hard and deadlines for assignments are beginning to loom large on the horizon. Now the party is over, university counsellors up and down the country are primed to support an influx of students feeling the strain of a life away from home. Without help, anxieties can escalate. Early and easy access to professional support is essential. I’ve seen how ignoring or bottling up problems causes untold suffering later in life. It’s one of the reasons our mental health crisis services in this country are struggling to cope. The ability to get help when it is needed can equip students with coping strategies that can last a lifetime. Of cours

Guest blog: Samaritans on crisis management — Coping with student suicide

Nobody likes to think about a death of a young person. While suicide is rare, it is the leading cause of death among people aged 15-29. In 2016, 1,544 young people (aged under 35) in Great Britain took their own lives. However, this figure is likely to underestimate the ‘true’ scale of suicide among young people due to the under-reporting of suicide, in general. Young people are particularly vulnerable to suicide contagion, which is when a suicide triggers suicidal behaviour in another. In a school or college, we may see this when there is a suicide of a student, which may influence others and result in further suicides or suicide attempts, and possibly contribute to a suicide cluster within

Student blogs: Advice for LGBT+ students

Your life is about to change. Whether you are a party animal or someone who loves to study… or even that rare breed that somehow manages to get through university doing both —everything is going to be different over the next three years. Take all of that information and add into the mix being a member of the LGBT+ community? I can’t assume that everyone who is starting university is also just figuring themselves out, but usually that is the case (it wasn’t for me, even though I only started university at twenty-two). When you move to any university, it is your chance to start over. If you’re a closeted teen/adult going to university, there is never a rush to do anything; just know that this

Student blogs: Life at university with a long-term illness

I was given my diagnosis at seventeen, only a couple of months into my second year of A-Levels. At first it didn’t seem as though anything was wrong; my social life was great, I was excelling at my subjects and I had already picked the universities I wanted to apply for. The future was looking shiny and bright – then I started to get tired. It was a bone-deep fatigue that weighed me down and mutated into aches and pains that kept me away from my studies. I ended up receiving the official diagnosis after I collapsed and ended up in hospital for two months – lupus. Systemic lupus erythematosus with type four nephritis, to be exact, along with a whole host of other problems that still plague me

The University of Stirling's whole university approach to tackling sexual violence

A recent YouGov poll of adults between 18-24 found that almost three quarters of young people have witnessed sexual harassment on a night out. Of this group, 63% of women and 26% of men reported that they had been on the receiving end of this behaviour. With record numbers of young people going to university, this issue is naturally of concern to universities, and their students and staff. Indeed, the reported prevalence of sexual violence on our university campuses resulted in Universities UK publishing their Changing the Culture (2016) guidance to assist universities in addressing this issue. HEFCE have since invested £2.45m into a variety of university schemes that are putting these recom

Student blogs: The diaries of a mature student - Part 1

I was not back home from my trip to Prague for more than twenty-four hours when things began to feel real. With several emails from my university in my inbox, it became apparent that the daydreaming and imaging is over: I am going to be a student! Excitement is mixed with apprehension as I am making my way to Newcastle for registration. Am I going to manage? Am I going to be good enough? What if I fail? The overwhelming feelings of insecurity fill me again, recollections of my application process still fresh in my memory. It is more or less about jumping through the hoops and hoping for the best. One step at a time and you will get there eventually. With my new student card in my handbag, I

Student Blogs: My ideas for Student Minds' #bestnightin campaign

If you’re like me, your Instagram feed is probably full of cheesy club photos, wine cheers-ing boomerangs (of which I have posted a fair few), and groups of guys and girls looking a little- a lot- intoxicated. This tends to live up to the student stereotype of clubbing into the early hours, and drinking away our loans. But we all know this isn’t the reality. The average student is generally very happy to stay in, watch a film, and order a Domino's. Student Minds is a charity that is doing great work to promote student mental health across the UK. They offer advice on issues, ranging from eating difficulties to knowing how to support a friend who may be experiencing mental health issues. As p

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