Wednesday, 28 October 2015

One student's quest to put herself first: Finding the routine that works for you

Do you find that your uni work is taking over your life? A writer from our Blogging Team, Sophie, shares some useful tips about how to prioritise your wellbeing in your study routine, and make time for yourself.  
- Sophie Rees

During my GCSEs I felt like I had 101 different things going on at the same time and that there was no time to myself. Everything worked around coursework due dates or the next exam. Due to this busy and rather stressful time I unfortunately put my studies before my health too often and I eventually developed an eating disorder which led me to suffer from anorexia by the time I finished my GCSEs in year 11. During my A levels I gradually recovered from my anorexia with the help of my friends and looking forward to my dream of studying at university. 

As a second year undergraduate now looking back on that experience, I regret not looking after myself properly during my studies and realise now, that stressing and just overworking yourself will do nothing for you. Putting your well-being and happiness first is really important in achieving success in your studies.

University involves a lot of focused time and attention and takes up huge amounts of mind and bodily energy. Looking after yourself will definitely help a sustained and healthy focus during your studies whilst having a good, organised weekly routine that allows you to get your studies done in good time and of good quality. The point of having a weekly organised routine is so that your studies revolve around you because without you they cannot be achieved, so it is of utmost importance that your well-being comes first. 

Here are some good organisation tips to keep you and your studies on track.

Have a weekly timetable for each semester:

This may sound simple but it is honestly the best way to plan how you are going to go about your studies each week. Create a timetable that covers the whole week (Monday-Sunday) and fill in the times of when your lectures and seminars take place, from there you will be able to work out which pieces of reading, revision or coursework you need to prioritise on and complete first. Once you have worked out the priorities you have to meet in your own time outside of lectures and seminars, you can then work out a routine in which to do your independent work throughout the week. 

Keep a calendar or diary:

A calendar or diary with dates is a very useful tool of organisation to have during university. You don’t even have to go out and invest in a physical calendar or diary as most mobile phones have their own calendar or planner on them. These are very handy to use for important notes like keeping track of deadline dates, extra-curricular activities, and term dates, as well as simple everyday notes like shopping lists, meeting friends or checking your emails. This means you can keep the balance between you time and study time controlled whilst putting your well-being first.

Find the routine that works for you: 

Being organised like this doesn't mean everything has to be so regimental and stupidly strict. Having an organised timetable and planner for the week is designed so that you can relax and not have to worry about what you have to complete next. The timetable and planner are there so that you know what you have to do or where you have to go during the week and they are set out in a way that suits you and how you go about your week. Working a sensible amount of time to get your work done on time and to the best of your ability is the correct way to achieve what you wish in your studies. It is important to remember that the studying will only get you so much of your achievements and that the rest is about you and how you go about your studies with a healthy sustainable focus.

Student Minds is running #StudentChats on our Twitter on National Stress Awareness Day, On Wednesday the 4th of November at 7pm. Get involved to share & learn tips on managing stress.

We also have a guide on dealing with exam stress which you may find helpful! 

If you are experiencing an eating difficulty have a look at our resource, for further support. 

Monday, 5 October 2015

Racing To Support Student Minds

Throughout 2015, Liv, one of our supporters, will be fundraising for Student Minds by taking on at least 1 official race per month culminating in a Half Iron Man and Marathon. 
This is her story!  

- Liv Bryom 

In August I embarked on my first triathlon, in typical Liv style (run before I walk) my first race was a 70.3 half iron man. 

This involved a 1.9km swim in a wet suit - open water, followed by a 90km bike ride finished with a half marathon - SO much fun! 

Aiming for about 6 hours 30, I think those dragged along to watch were quite pleased when I finished in 5 hours 10 despite a downpour and the run route turning into a mud pit!

Next up is Bristol Half Marathon, prior to my first ever Marathon in October, the Bristol-Bath. Training has involved various shorter races - I even made the leader board in one! 

The open water swimming may need a tad more practise and a few tumbles on the bike haven't helped the confidence at times, but its been great fun along the way.

I've met some fab like minded people - who understand why we give up every weekend to hours of cycling and running. For those that think we are taking it too far and ask why - my best reply is 'because I can!' 

Student Minds is a charity very close to home. It has grown over the past years with many projects in many universities, its filled a much needed gap. 

Every penny donated will help the great work Student Minds does - thank you for your support!

How can I get involved? Become a fundraising champion