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Student Blogs: Preparing for the graduate job market in your first year at university

September is surely a memorable month in a first year university student’s life, including Fresher’s Week, new friends, a new environment and new flatmates — probably! The initial weeks of calling a new city 'home' may be daunting to a few, exciting to many, but a whole new experience to all. These early days typically mark the time when you explore the campus with your new friends and plan out the most exciting itinerary for yourself in the coming days... which actually seems redundant on a Sunday night prior to the commencement of your first week of immersing yourself into a world of academic theories, navigating yourself to lecture theatres, and a pre-sessional talk on how important every

Guest blog: Coming out as gay, lesbian or bi at university

All issues relating to coming out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual can be difficult for LGBT people to deal with, and the anxiety experienced whilst in the closet or prior to coming out is equally difficult to deal with. Most people who are closeted experience feelings of isolation, emotional distance, frustration and anxiety, because they feel unable to tell close family and friends who they are, and to live their own life. However, most people have really positive experiences with coming out and often regret not doing it sooner. It’s really important, though, that you take the time to consider your own personal circumstances when making the decision to tell people close to you, that you are ga

Student blogs: My health and wellness tips for university students

Let me start off my wishing you all a Happy New Year (although I’m sure it’s too far into January to still be saying that, sorry!). And with a new year also comes new year resolutions, "new year, new me" anyone? I’m sure 99% of the population have devoted themselves to being healthier in the new year so I thought I’d offer some tips and advice on how you can be healthy, even if you’re at university. Exercise This is a bit of an obvious one, I know, but exercise doesn’t just have to be about going to the gym; it can be (surprisingly) fun if you find what works for you. Most universities offer an array of sports societies so why not give one a go this year and you could end up finding a new lo

An interview with XenZone founder Elaine Bousfield

Elaine Bousfield, a former therapist, is the founder of XenZone, an organisation that aims to remove barriers and increase access to mental health support through technological innovation. In 2004, XenZone established the UK's first online counselling and mental health resource service for children and young people, Kooth. Following the success of Kooth, Qwell was launched to offer this service to adults. Most recently, XenZone has adapted its service for students – Kooth Student is currently offered to students at the University of West England as part of a seven-month pilot. For more information on XenZone and Kooth Student, see the website. Why was Kooth developed? I established XenZone i

Student Blogs: How I stay motivated on my university degree

There are a number of reasons why some people lose motivation at some point during their degree. Many feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they need to do in such a short time, while others may not receive the support and guidance they need to help them progress, or may doubt their choice of subject. “What’s your why? When you know why you do what you do, even the toughest days become easier.” Staying motivated at university is not always easy, but choosing the easier option — to procrastinate — will not help you move forward. Talking from experience, it is easy to feel discouraged when you have so much going on, but you have to keep reminding yourself: WHY? Why did I choose this degree? W

ProtectED is finalist in 2018 UK OSPAs

We are delighted that ProtectED has been shortlisted as a finalist in the UK OSPAs Awards 2018. The Outstanding Security Performance Awards showcase the excellent work and outstanding contribution companies, teams and individuals are making to the security industry across the country. ProtectED has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Customer Service Initiative category. Our aim is to raise standards in student safety, security and wellbeing at UK universities. At present, the level of support varies widely between institutions and prior to the publication of the ProtectED Code of Practice, there was no common, minimum standard for universities to aspire to in this key area. ProtectED recent

Guest blog: The silence of a student nurse — Nursing my career or my courage?

Following the previous, and most recent, sex abuse scandals from Jimmy Savile to Harvey Weinstein, I wonder when our hard-working nurses and midwives will speak up to shame those who took advantage of their positions and sexually assaulted, harassed or abused nurses and midwives (student and qualified). If the nursing and midwifery world is to be free of sexual abuse and scandals, we cannot stay silent. My question is, why is it okay to talk about low pay, burnt out and undervalued staff, and other issues that undermine our profession, but very little is said about sexual harassment towards student nurses and midwives? Therefore, if no one will speak about it, I will, because it happened to

Signposting support: The University of Salford's Student Progression Administrators

Studying for a university degree can be challenging, but as the saying goes – nothing worth doing is ever easy. As is often the case, life can get in the way for even the most organised and well-prepared people. It can take time to adjust to a demanding study schedule and a new city. Today’s students are also experiencing pressures related to rising living costs and increased tuition fees, and there is evidence to suggest that a worryingly high proportion of students are dealing with mental ill health, and sexual harassment. At the University of Salford, Student Progression Administrators (SPAs) have been appointed in each School, helping students to overcome any problems they may face durin

University Mental Health Day 2018

University Mental Health Day takes place on March 1st this year. The initiative is run by Student Minds and UMHAN (University Mental Health Advisers Network). Last year, around 7,800 people across 81 universities campaigned on the day. Online, 5603 individuals used the hashtag #UniMentalHealthDay reaching an amazing 17 million unique users. University Mental Health Day focuses efforts on promoting the mental health of people who live, work and study in Higher Education settings. The day is based around organised events and activities aimed at facilitating a campus-wide conversation on mental health issues, raising awareness of the challenges facing those with mental ill health, and the suppo

Student Blogs: Thinking of dropping out of university? Read this first.

As you reach the end of semester one, you may be questioning whether university is really for you. I certainly was at this point of the year. Between the homesickness, overwhelming workload, and university lifestyle… I just didn’t feel cut out for it. But it’s really important to remember that these feelings are completely normal, and that adapting to these changes will take time. Before making the decision to drop out, have a think about some of the questions below to work out what may be causing you to feel like this, and what your other options might be: Is your degree right for you? It may not be a matter of dropping out, but rather changing course. Perhaps the way the course is assessed

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