Category Archives: Student contributors

Blogs written by UC students.

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

Undergraduate UC students needed!

Hi everyone,

My name is Nurina and I am a Masters of Science in Psychology student within the Mental Health and Nutrition lab Te Puna Toiora at UC.

Over the past few months, Te Puna Toiora have set up the STAR trial to try to help address rising stress levels in University students.

STAR stands for STress Anxiety tRial, and it investigates the effects of a vitamin and mineral supplement on stress and mental wellbeing in undergraduate UC students. If you are feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed with everything that´s going on, taking part in this trial might interest you.

We all know that in recent times, there is a lot of uncertainty going on, and many of us are struggling. As life wasn´t stressful enough already, students now need to study from home, communicate with their lecturers and tutors via Zoom or Skype, and are not able to catch up with their friends for a coffee or lunch at Café 1982. This might be an extra burden for a lot of UC students, potentially adding stress and anxiety to the day-to-day university madness that we already experience anyway.

Participating in the STAR trial may help you to manage such stress and improve your mental wellbeing.

The STAR trial is the first study testing whether a new modality of a vitamin and mineral formula is an effective and alternative intervention for improving mental wellbeing as compared with a placebo. This new modality is called the Lightning Stiks, which are powdered candy straws in Sour Berry flavour (yum!). They are super easy to take; the powder needs to dissolve on your tongue and voilà – absolutely no swallowing pills are necessary.

If you are interested in taking part, please visit bit.ly/STARtrial for more information and to check your eligibility for the trial via the link provided on the homepage.

Please don´t hesitate to get in touch with me via email, or send me a text or give me a call (022 010 5522) at any time if you have any questions or concerns. I am more than happy to help you with any questions you might have.

I am looking forward to hearing from you! ☺

Nurina

Sustainability – But At Home

What has the Sustainability Office been getting up to over the lockdown? Apart from wishing we were in Waiutuutu Community Garden of course…

Sustainability at Home intro post

We’ve been running weekly challenges with  community, to share your tips and tricks for living a sustainable life – but from home! We’ve had a heap of fun and learnt a lot from one another along the way. We’d like to share our favourite learnings with the rest of UC in the hope it’ll inspire some of you to do the same.

Want to make Feijoa Fizz from leftover fruit peels? Learn to make homemade Apple Cider Vinegar? Go on a virtual garden tour and learn how to dry herbs? Try a DIY makeup remover? Learn how to shop second hand like a pro (and on a student budget)? Or maybe you’re after some book recommendations? Read on, and let our wonderful sustainable students and staff show you how they’ve been living a little lighter these past few weeks.

Week One: Low Waste Life @ Home! For Week One, we asked our community to share with us how they’ve been reducing their waste footprint at home. Here’s some of our favourite low waste life hacks! For the full run down and more details, see our Week one blog here.

WEEK ONE

Heather sewing her own produce bags

Lizzy made DIY sugar wax and up-cycled old towels into cleaning rags 

Nic blew us away by transforming her family’s neglected compost bin into a thing of wonder (complete with a diagram for the fridge!)

Helena showed us to make Apple Cider Vinegar with leftover apple cores – genius (and cheap!)

Week Two: Sustainable Recipes @ Home! We noticed that in Week One, we received a lot of amazing low waste recipes – and we wanted to learn more! So, for Week Two, we asked our community to share with us their favourite Sustainable Recipes. Enjoy (and we dare you not to feel hungry). For the full recipe lists and photos, see Week Two’s blog here. It’s definitely worth checking out for some serious cooking and creating inspiration!

WEEK TWO

Imogen made jam from the previously mysterious Strawberry Tree! (Her recipe also featured in the recent Environment issue of Canta Magazine)

Holly Feijoa Fizz

Holly made Feijoa Fizz from leftover fruit peels – YUM!

Abby made homemade bagels and topped them with vegan pesto made from Waiutuutu  garden greens!

Helena made a Rosemary Hair Rinse from foraged Rosemary 

Week Three: Iso Garden Tours! For Week Three, we moved our challenge outdoors and asked our community to take us on a Virtual Garden Tour! We had so much fun, and really did feel like we’d visited your place for a cup of tea. To be taken on the same experience, check out Week Three’s blog here!

Iso Garden Tours Week Three

Chantelle showed us around her family’s garden – we loved meeting her dad’s worms!

A peak into Fiona’s dreamy outdoor bath and toilet area on her family’s permaculture farm 

Jessica Gosling 2

Jessica showed us her epic Iso Garden Transformation (+ a great pesto recipe)

And we got to see where Lucy has been spending her time in lockdown, plus meet Kimchi the cat!

Week Four: Join the Fashion Revolution! Week Four fell during the global Fashion Revolution Week, and we celebrated by asking our community to share with us how they are taking part. This week we wanted to see how our students and staff were supporting slow, ethical, second hand and fair fashion – and boy they did not disappoint. For the full run down, see Week Four’s blog here.

Week Four Fashion Revolution -2

Ella blew us away with her handmade creations over lockdown: she made a winter coat from a old paint mat, shoes from an old handbag and shoelaces, and taught herself to knit a singlet!

Ngaire and Nuha showing us how to rock second hand clothes like a boss!

Imogen showing us her upcycled threads, and her top and shorts she made from bedsheets and tablecloths!

Naomi

Naomi hand quilted this beautiful jacket during lockdown

Week Five: Reflections! For our final challenge, we asked our community to take a step back and reflect on their lockdown learnings over the past weeks. For the full stories, see our Week Five blog here.

Week 5 reflect

Varvara shared some beautiful words and her favourite poem that has resonated with her during this time

Plus, some great lockdown reading recommendations!

And Eleanor shared this beautiful video – it’ll give you goosebumps!

Hopefully these tips and tricks from our wonderful UC students and staff will give you a little inspiration and even a new challenge as we face this next chapter. Are you keen to try any of these recipes or ideas? Let us know in the comments below. We’re off to make Holly’s Feijoa Fizz!

Thanks for coming on this journey with us.

Arohanui,

Tari Toitū te Taiao | UC Sustainability Office

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