Tag Archives: Peer mentoring

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

UCMentoring’s Online Learning Guide: Some expert tips

Kia ora! We’re all back into the swing of things with the start of term 2 and hope you are adjusting to the changes. I know it can be daunting to keep on track with uni work in this strange new environment, so UC Mentoring is here to help.

We asked our Mentors what their top tips were for managing the challenges that have arisen with online study. Whether you’re going it alone, back home with family, or in a flat full of mates, check out the 10 tips below to make this term the best it can be!

  1. Let your family and flatmates know when you need to watch lectures and study, and ask them to try to keep the house quiet. If possible, you can try to coordinate your schedules so you’re all working at a similar time, or put in place specific “quiet hours” in the house.
  2. Set yourself small and achievable goals each day. Write out a schedule of what you need to do, and the things you want to achieve, including break times.
  3. If time management is a struggle, try using an app called Forest. It lets you specify the amount of time you want to focus for, and if you leave the app, your tree wilts. It makes you accountable for your time, and its super rewarding when your tree is fully grown!
  4. Set yourself a deadline each evening of when you will stop focusing on uni work. It can be tempting to work late into the night, but having a cutoff time means you can have time to relax.
  5. Keep connections and communications with friends open by having an accountability partner. Check in with each other at specified times each day to set your intentions for the day and keep each other on track.
  6. If your mind feels fuzzy or like you’re blocked, go for a walk. Get some fresh air and allow yourself the time to step back. Trying to force yourself to work when you need to rest will only make you more frustrated.
  7. Try to watch your lectures according to the timetable. It can be tempting to pause them or watch them later, but following your timetable might make you more motivated to study, and it gives you some structure to work around.
  8. In addition to taking breaks when your mind is fuzzy, use walks, exercise, or creative activity as a small reward for completing tasks. After lectures, we usually leave the building to go to our next class, so take a short break in between lectures or study time.
  9. Change your screen mode to reduce blue light. You’re less likely to get headaches and tired eyes from staring at your screen.
  10. Try to eat well and regularly, as well as drinking plenty of water. Sometimes when we’re home, we may forget to eat, or may just snack on unhealthy foods, but it’ll be good for your body and mind if you nourish it, which can help with focus and productivity.

Most importantly, find what works for you. I won’t say we’re all in the same boat, because everyone will be dealing with different challenges and situations, but we can all help support one another. Check in with your friends, reach out when you need help and do the best you can.

If you do feel you need extra support, UC has plenty of resources available and UC Mentoring is here to help. As fellow students, we can direct you towards resources or be someone outside your bubble to debrief with. Kia Kaha.