Feeling the stress yet?

It’s that time of the year again when you suddenly realise that it has been five weeks into term and also the time when all assignments are due and term tests are scheduled for, and the worst part is it’s all happening at the same time!! You also have seen you exam timetable that has been released recently and have just realised how close to the end you are.

If you’re well organiased and keep on top of everything consistently, you’ll be walking through mid terms and assessments like they’re no big deal.  However, if you’re  anything like me, you’re probably just getting started on the 4000 word essay that’s due in two days or something similar. (Okay I don’t do that, I’m trying to appeal to the masses here!)

As always there’s  help on campus to get you through practically anything. Head over to the Academic Skills Centre and attend exam/test specific workshops to help with the stress and effectively manage it.  Seminars that I personally recommend are Introduction to Essay Writing, Introduction to Science Report Writing, APA Referencing, Proof Reading Final Drafts from the Writing Workshops and Revision and Exam Preparation and Note Taking from the Study Skills Workshops.

A link to all these seminars and more can be found here, and as always comment below with any queries.

Student Call Out Project

I’ve always said that the University of Canterbury (UC) is a great place to be and the Student Call Out Project (SCOP) just goes on to prove it.

The SCOP, now in its second week and runs every year after a few weeks of the first term, where student mentors make phone calls to all first year/ new students to check in and see how they’re settling into UC.

The aim of this program is to encourage retention rate and create a sense of belonging for students. Many Australian Universities have apparently adopted this method and have seen good results and UC happens to be the only New Zealand university to do so. Specific goals of the program are:

  • To make students feel cared for by UC
  • To provide intentional contact with first year students with the goal of developing a caring and positive relationship that leads to an increase in academic motivation  and persistence
  • To provide students with a sense of community at UC and follow the expectations set at Orientation
  • To ensure support is offered to students who need it and improve retention rates across all colleges
Three attempts are made to contact students via the phone and if no contact is made by then, an e-mail is sent out to check in. If at any point through the conversation it’s identified that a student needs any assistance, they get referred to the respective department.

This may sound like a waste of time, but trust me it’s worth the while!

We’ve had students say “Thank you for caring” , “Thank you for calling” and even “I’ve been at ____ University and they never did this!”

The one most important thing that the project has reminded  me is to be aware; be aware at all times that people go through all kinds of things in life and some mange to get through it while others may be trying really hard . The least you can do is smile; smile  at a stranger as often as you can when walking past them and make eye contact. You may have just have reassured them that there is still hope!

Are you up for the 21 Day International Challenge?

21 day challenge pic

Attention students: This is the chance of a lifetime! The 21 Day International Challenge (4-25 May 2015) is an exciting new UC initiative that brings teams of 30 UC students together with 30 NZ industry leaders to work together in solving local community issues in the mountainous Berber community in Morocco, a Hindu/Buddhist Himalayan community in Nepal and an indigenous community in the rainforest of Brazil.

Students will research and create solutions to help the struggling communities, and develop a business plan, while having the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip with Linda Cruse (frontline humanitarian aid worker) to visit the community and help implement their solution from 5-12 July 2015.

This is an incredible opportunity that gives you the chance to make a real difference to real people with real problems, increase awareness of other cultures and global issues, gain experiential learning, network outside your usual sphere, apply your learning and skills, and be enterprising and innovative. The list goes on! If you want to get involved – and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you?! – then get onto it.

Registrations for students close on Thursday 7 April. If you want to apply or even learn a little more about what’s involved, then check out this link. Good luck!