All posts by lem79

Tips from a UC Mentor: celebrate small wins to help manage exam stress

As we head into the break, one of our UC Mentors has put together some of their top tips to help you feel focused, well and prepared for upcoming exams.

As students, we are all learning to manage stress – from balancing our studies to social lives to work schedules. Regardless, we continue to push ourselves to achieve our goals.

For some, the goal is to finish off the semester with straight A’s, while for others it’s about simply making it through the exam season without burning out.

Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum, the best way to help manage your stress is finding balance. While it is important to focus on your studies and prepare yourself the best you can for your assessments, it is equally important to reward yourself for the small successes!

Spend an hour reviewing notes and then take 15 minutes to have a cup of tea and listen to music. Plan out your study for the day but save room to bake some cookies or go to the gym. If you’re studying on campus, take a break and grab a coffee with a friend! Give yourself time to rest because having something to look forward to each day will save you from burning out.

My ideal, balanced study day starts off with a good breakfast and coffee, followed by sitting down and planning exactly what I want to achieve for the day. Personally, I am more productive in the morning/earlier in the day so I always aim to finish up with my study by 5pm. For my breaks I like to play music or watch an episode on TV and try to do some level of physical activity every day – whether that is going to the gym or just some quick home yoga!

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, UC has lots of support services available including Student Care and the Academic Skills Centre. A great place to start is checking out: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/support/. If you feel like a peer student Mentor would help moving forward then check out UC’s mentoring programmes:  https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/support/get-support/new/mentoring-programmes/.

Keep working hard, talking to your friends, and celebrating the small victories, because we are all in the same boat and are here to support each other. Good luck and look after yourselves!”

Ella Guillemot-Mene,
2nd Year Student, Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership & UC Student Mentor

Email | COVID-19 update – Options if you’re unsure about Semester 1 courses

Kia ora koutou,

We hope your last week of Term 2 is going well and you’re getting stuck into study to prepare for your exams. If you’ve got any questions about doing your exams online, take a look at the FAQs on the UC website. Also keep an eye out for tips on getting through exams in the Insider’s Guide blog and newsletter. UCSA Finance & Engagement Officer Jack Whittam talked to Julie Mackey, Dean (AVCA) recently about some helpful tips and tricks, watch here>

Below is some information about your options for Semester 1 courses, as well as how UC will transition back to business as usual.

Options if you’re unsure about Semester 1 courses
We understand the challenging circumstances students have faced this Semester. To help ease the pressure as you complete your final assignments and study for your tests and exams, UC has made the decision to remove D and E grades for Semester 1 courses. Instead an F (Fail) grade will be awarded to any students who do not pass, this aligns with approaches other Aotearoa New Zealand universities are taking. The advantage of doing this is F grades are not included in GPA calculations and so will not lower your GPA. This only applies to grades yet to be awarded.

If in doubt, we encourage you to give the final assessments your best shot.

Further information about grades during Semester 1 in light of COVID-19 is available here>

Location tracking and QR codes
If you’re back on campus make sure you continue to scan your Canterbury Card or QR codes with your phone when entering buildings and spaces. Location tracking is required by the Government so data can be used for contact tracing if necessary.

Central Library open on Queen’s Birthday
The Central Library in Puaka-James Hight will be open on Queen’s Birthday, Monday 1 June from 10am to 6pm. In the library we do need you to swipe your Canterbury Card on entry and exit, as we need to count numbers into the building to ensure we can manage physical spacing – please also scan the QR codes when entering certain spaces within the building. (Note UC RecCentre will be closed on Queen’s Birthday, and Café 101 and Reboot are closed this Friday 29 May and Queen’s Birthday).

Opening times for the next two weeks are available online here>

Students at higher risk of severe illness – registration form Semester 2
A registration form is available now for students studying at UC in Semester 2 who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or living with people at higher risk. Completing this form will help us to plan for Semester 2 and ensure your individual needs are met. The form is online here.

Cleaning and hygiene on campus
UC’s cleaning services team have been working hard to ensure campus is safe and clean. High-touch areas are being sanitised with Germshield which is a long acting cleaner. It is not necessary to re-clean surfaces that have been treated with Germshield. For more information check out the Cleaning Schedule here>

Make sure you continue physical distancing and hygiene practices:

  • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! With soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds). Hand sanitiser can be used but it only works if the hands are already free from dirt and grime. You’ll find plenty of hand sanitiser on campus – view the location map here>
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • When on campus aim to maintain physical distancing greater than 1 metre apart.
  • If you’re feeling unwell, play it safe and stay at home.

Transitioning back to business as usual
This will be the last email from the Incident Management Team (IMT) that was put in place to keep us all safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The key work streams of location tracking and cleaning will continue to remain in place, as your safety continues to be our priority. However, from here the University will go back to management in our business as usual manner, with your course coordinators and student support being your key contacts.

We will provide important information to you about how the campus will run in Semester 2 once we have clarity about the next Alert Level (not expected until June 22). Keep an eye out for future updates via your student email, UCGO, and the Insider’s Guide blog and fortnightly newsletter.

The email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz will be available for COVID-19 specific matters, however we expect that will wind down in the coming months.

Importantly, if there is an incident the IMT has plans in place to stand back up immediately to support the UC Community.

All the best for your final assignments and exams.

Ngā mihi,

Rīpeka Tamanui-Hurunui
Incident Controller

5 Ways to Wellbeing Reminder – Be active

Many of us spend a large amount of our working day deskbound. Therefore it is really important for our wellbeing that we take a break each day to be active. Physical exercise is really good for us and is a great way to boost our mood. There are many physical activities available, therefore when being active it is important that you choose an activity that you will enjoy. Check out the list below for some ideas:

  • Bring activity into the everyday, e.g. use the stairs instead of the lift, walk to colleagues to talk with them instead of phoning, walk or bike to campus.
  • Take a walk after dinner, or a longer one on the weekend. Invite friends and family to join you.
  • Hold a family dance-off with different members picking the music.
  • Organise or participate in walking tours of local places of interest in your community or suburb.
  • Go to the UC Rec Centre for a workout.
  • Join the UC Rec Centre’s Jumpstart Walking Challenge via the UC Rec Centre app.
  • Try tai chi classes for strength, balance and mental wellbeing.
  • Go for a bike ride with friends or family or by yourself.
  • Take the dog for a walk.
  • Mow the lawns.

Check out this clip from the All Right Campaign where Si and Gary talk about the importance of being active: