How often do we say hi to the person sitting next to us?
So goes the wording on the brightly green coloured posters and handouts that you will no doubt have noticed all over the place during the past two weeks. These posters are part of a year-long social marketing campaign that the University and VUWSA are leading, which aims to challenge both students and university staff to think more often about how we look after ourselves. There is plenty of evidence pointing to the reality of university life being very pressured, and too many students spend too much time feeling overwhelmed, stressed, guilty and unmotivated. The unwanted noise and rushing thoughts in our heads all too often get in the way of us finishing that assignment or having the life we desire.
Feeling connected to others and to this place is actually proven to make a significant difference in how well you will do academically.
It’s also true that successful life beyond a university degree requires students to have developed skills in managing themselves, their time and their emotional state, and in being able to cope with both the successes and the disappointments that will happen. That is life! We all know that the world is also full of challenging people and relationships, and finding ways to manage these whilst maintaining a zen-like calm is a high level achievement.
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So what do we suggest?
Wellbeing is a doing word and needs you to take action every day to build healthy routines and to prioritise your sleep, leisure, relaxation, social contact and fitness. Get good at spending time alone, but also learn when you need to be around others. Recognise that finding out about yourself, what makes you tick, and building your mental resilience to handle the harder things in life may well be the most valuable learning you do during your years at Victoria.
Look out for the rest of the Wellbeing Campaign posters and handouts this year. Read them carefully, collect the set, stick them on your bedroom wall and have a go at the really good ideas and tips suggested. The ideas have come from other students who have been there before!
Get along to one of the free Personal Development and Wellbeing Workshops like meditation and mindfulness classes, dealing with procrastination and lots of others. These could change your life.
Check out Victoria’s brand new Wellbeing website for details: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/students/support/wellbeing