It’s typically presumed that as soon as students have graduated and left their university life behind, they’re filled with excitement about what the ‘real world’ has in store for them. Yet, this isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, some new graduates find it extremely difficult to contemplate their life without the structured education they have always known and are anxious about what comes next.
We’re constantly reminded about all the crazy things going on in the world – some of these things are good (new world records, Olympic athletes, world class musicians, scientists and creatives showcasing their skills and artistry) others are far from this reality (natural disasters, wars, horrific crimes and so on). Oftentimes it can feel difficult to navigate a world filled with so much darkness – sometimes you may even wonder if there’s any good left out there. I’m here to tell you that there is and that you can be a part of this. In previous posts I’ve touched on how acts of kindness can improve your wellbeing and outlook on life – today we’re going to look at this in more depth in the hopes that you’ll be able to make some positive change this summer.
In the early 19th century, Romantic poet William Blake wrote a line which encompassed infinity: ‘to see a World in a Grain of Sand’. In these atoms of ink sat bubbling the promise of everything - from an expansive universe to the most petite of plants. One singular ‘Grain of Sand’ can be a way of opening up to a whole ‘World.’ In this blog I’ll be looking at why it is important to appreciate the tiny, the small, the daintiest of things.
It took me an embarrassingly long time to start this article. I’ve jumped from YouTube reels (god forbid I actually manage to sink into anything longer than a three minute video) to dawdling through Facebook stories (in my ‘becoming a mature adult arc’) and flicked a few tabs open whilst I’m at it. Put shortly, there is so much happening, all the time. The age of media has made us question the restlessness of our minds, but it’s also been something we have grappled with for centuries. So, is any solace to be found for our dwindling attention span?
Getting things WrOnG:
If someone were to ask me “What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since starting sixth form” it would have to be that failure is a part of life. A BIG part of life.
If you’re a university student, you’re probably stressed about the rising cost of living. Even before the pandemic, 84% of students reported that they were worried about finances and that these worries had a detrimental effect on their mental health.
Inflation continues to rise, but resources to support student mental health haven’t yet caught up. Only 23% of students are happy with the mental health support services their university offers, and one in five students is diagnosed with some form of anxiety mid-way through their course.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by financial factors out of your control. However, gaining financial literacy and exploring all the options available to you can lighten the burden and help you manage financial stress during your student years.
Whether you’re starting your journey moving into halls or doing it all again this year, loneliness creeps up on us all. I'm going into second year and although I'm certainly not in the same position as last year (familiarity with faces, places, friends and spaces) it can sometimes feel like a full circle.
You may have heard the quote ‘shoot for the moon, and if you miss, at least you’ve got the stars.’ In fact, you might have even pinned up the Pinterest version in your room. Despite its popularity and cringe level, there’s still lots to unpack in this well-known saying - about potential, ambition and failure. In this blog, I’ll be talking through the art of setting goals as we face the month of new academic beginnings. But don’t worry, we’ve still got time before September starts, and this can apply to your personal or more educational goals.
Lately we hear the word "self-care" a lot. A look at Google Trends reveals that the term spiked during the pandemic and since then continues to be a hot topic in academic research, news media, and pop culture.
So what exactly is self-care, and why does it matter?
Ah...food, meal prep and weekly shops - where would we be without it? Richer, probably. With more time on our hands. But alas, a regular excursion to Aldi and bulk making of pasta bake is pretty necessary for student survival. We can’t go without food, however time consuming and expensive it may be. Let’s take a look at managing the food side of student life, and how it coincides with tackling food waste.
As exams across universities start to clog your calendar, it can be hard to think about what comes next. If, like me, you procrastinate by thinking ahead, past this chunk of deadlines that seem to be wreaking havoc to your onedrive, you might get a little shock. No matter how much you might moan and groan for these exams to be over, they almost always mean one thing: the end of the academic year.
Ok, so there’s a big difference between being lonely and being alone. Whereas being lonely is more a sense of isolation and being separate from those around you, aloneness connotes a more conscious state of singleness. You’re going to have to trust google on this because if I have to cite my sources one more time I might just go insane. Of course, there can be an easy relationship between being lonely and being alone, but I would argue that being within the company of others doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not lonely.
In Erasmus’ 16th Century book ‘In Praise of Folly’ he said that he only believed people saw him as a genius (he was thought at the time to be one of the cleverest people alive) because he was willing to laugh at himself. He didn’t consider himself a genius. He felt he was full of idiocy: and as we all know...there’s a fine line between madness and genius.
Erasmus believed none of us really know what we are doing in life. We just DO, then we react and analyse. Then do again. Action, reflection, action, reflection. Some patterns will stick and we will realise they give us either one of 2 benefits: they help us survive and live better, or they provide us some reward.
The words that have been flooding every TikTok and Instagram feed on planet earth. We’ve seen the edits, the memes and those endless debates about whether Will’s actions were justified. In fact, there was so much conversation around the matter that it got me thinking…
Revision is often one of the most arduous aspects of student life. Having to recall information you have heard for the first time, sometimes months ago, can be a challenge. However, being able to understand better how our brain remembers information and the triggers that we can draw upon will help immensely in those pressurised moments in exams where we just can't put our finger on that key idea that we need.
Yep, Valentine’s day is coming up, and I’m not just saying that to rub it in your face. I’m sure you’ve already been reminded plenty just by opening your front door and passing shop windows filled with overly glossy plastic hearts. So, why is my title a Tina Turner song, and why oh Lord why am I bringing up the topic of Valentine’s day?
Last week I turned 16. I’d finally made it – but how did I feel? Surprisingly, indifferent. My parents on the other hand were ecstatic, overjoyed and overwhelmingly proud. My birthdays have always been big – it's something my parents insist on and a part of family life – but this year I wanted a change.
Before the end of last year, my school organized its annual charity event: a talent show where the proceeds are donated to homeless people. It’s incredible to see how talented and confident everyone is, while contributing to a wider issue. It inspired me to think about confidence more and the role it plays in my own life.
Have the winter blues got you down? You’re not alone. Millions of other adolescents and adults are also struggling to cope with short days and long nights. Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods just yet. While the shortest, darkest days have passed, the gloomiest one is still lurking around the corner.
This is a very important question that doesn’t get asked enough. There is a fuzzy back-ground comprehension that high performance has to do with efficiency, quality, productivity, and effortless competence. Now the definition of high performance is “(of an aircraft or motor vehicle) designed to achieve high speeds, (of a product) designed to a high standard,” so, on face value, it makes sense that this is what we think of.
Tiffany Igharoro shares what she learned from the pandemic about learning whatever the challenges.
It goes without saying, but Covid-19 has caused a nice little disruption in students’ education and wellbeing. From school closures to exam stress, we’re left floating in a void of uncertainty. What’s next? To help clear up the confusion, we share a few tips on how you can regain control, reduce anxiety and achieve your learning goals.
This article is not for neurodivergent people. Well, you’re welcome to read it, but it’s aimed at neurotypical people. Most of what I’m about to tell you is normal for neurodivergent people, it won’t surprise you. These experiences are common ones. This is hoping to make those who don’t experience these things a little more aware of those of us who do, and how that affects us.
Cognitive reframing is a powerful and simple tool that each of us can use in every aspect of our daily lives – whether in education, the workplace, or our personal life. Cognitive reframing simply means changing our thoughts so that we are able to look at a situation in a slightly different way. Doing this, we’re able to make negative things become positive and gain more control over our lives.
The Roman philosopher Cicero wrote about reframing over two thousand years ago, using a metaphor of an archer.
“One’s ultimate aim is to do all in one’s power to shoot straight, and the same applies with our ultimate goal. In this kind of example, it is to shoot straight that one must do all one can; none the less, it is to do all one can to accomplish the task that is really the ultimate aim. It is just the same with what we call the supreme good in life. To actually hit the target is, as we say, to be selected but not sought.”
[Cicero, De Finibus 3.6]
Have you ever wanted to be a bat?
We’re not talking batman here – I have no advice about how to deliver vigilante justice. No, we’re talking about proper bats – cute little things with wings that scream until they find food.
Whilst I also scream until I get fed, I don’t find myself thinking about bats all that often. And when I do, I don’t think I have too much in common with them.
It seems like I was wrong. Humans and bats have more in common than I suspected.
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