A few weeks back I was “The Cook’n Chaplain” for a 6 day emotional health course I’d organised for 24 students. And so while I was madly panicking in the kitchen making 50 hamburgers, everyone else were learning life changing things about making friends with their own mental health. As they chowed down on my Spankburgers™ (personal note: other people don’t love beetroot as much as I do) loads of them would tell me about how much pressure and anxiety they were feeling about their upcoming exams. “If I fail this paper, I don’t know what I’ll do! It’s just not worth thinking about…”
Sadly, most students I meet seem to believe the lie that their self worth is something they must constantly work hard to earn. Be it through good grades, securing a high paying job, or keeping their parents happy. Remove one of them and they feel their personal self worth begin to shrivel up. But as the famous monk Father Henri Nouwen put it “You are not what you do, you are not what you have, and you are not what others think of you. No! You are the beloved child of a loving creator.”
Now – you may not buy that last sentence, but regardless of your spiritual beliefs his big point is, you don’t need to earn your worth by passing some exam. Seriously. Because whether you feel it or not, you really are someone of huge worth. Without doing a thing.
Of course failure never feels very good. In the depths of disappointment it can feel like we’re nothing more than a sad garden slug being stood on by a giant academic boot, as we feel our hopes ooze out of us. But sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and get some perspective because despite what some people might imply – getting good grades really isn’t the meaning of life.
You are a person of infinite worth, and a D- or A+ means absolutely nothing on that score. So take a deep breath, remember you are so much more than the grades you get at Uni and remind yourself that in the bigger scheme of things (and if you allow it to), this experience will only make you stronger.
Rev Spanky Moore, Uni Chaplain
Every year UC Library runs the ‘Can your fines’ campaign. The campaign supports both UC students and the wider community and has been a feature of the library calendar for 3 years now.
Students who bring in a can of food during the campaign can wipe $5 from their library fines. The campaign is usually scheduled towards the end of the year, a time that can be stressful for students who have upcoming exams and for the broader community with Christmas looming.
Associate University Librarian Lyndsay Ainsworth agrees the campaign is great way to relieve students stress of owing money.
“Can your fines or other food for fines packages are initiatives that have been used successfully in libraries around the world for many years to allow students to be relieved of the stress of owing money to the library while making a wider contribution to their community. It’s great to partner with a community organisation like the City Mission and help them in their work,” she says.
This years ‘Can your fines’ campaign at UC Library collected over 400 cans which were donated to the Christchurch City Mission.
With Mental Health Awareness Week just finished, this year’s theme could not have been more relevant. This year, MHAW was all about celebrating ‘Nature is Key’, and what better way to take a break than an afternoon spent in the community garden?
If you need a break from your study and exam stress this year (or, at any time of year!) our garden is the perfect place to chill out. Bring your lunch, bring a book, have a nap… and if you feel like getting your hands dirty, our regular working bees are on every Friday from 1-5pm, throughout summer. Check out the Community Garden Facebook page for updates on working bees, and other events on during the year.
Another good page to follow (if you don’t already) is UC DigSoc – our official gardening club on campus. Check them out on Facebook too, and you’ll never miss a chance to garden (or eat pizza, if that’s more your thing).
At the end of term we held a pizza party for our valued volunteers. A huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers – whether you have come once, or come every week, we couldn’t do it without you!
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