Tag Archives: student success

UC Chaplain Spanky Moore’s advice on stress

Last week I saw this fantastic video on my news feed pop up that I think sums up how many students I talk to feel about the current exam season…

“I’m sooooo stressed out right now!” I feel like I hear those words come out of a UC Students mouth most days – as they feel the squeeze from the pressure to do well in their exams.

But stress isn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ thing. Afterall, without the gift of stress, when faced with a poisonous snake or a fast moving Lime Scooter… we’d struggle to respond with the urgency required to survive.

You see, when you get stressed, your body thinks it’s being attacked, and automatically goes into a ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a cocktail of hormones and chemicals so you can respond physically. It’s through stress that our body releases stuff like adrenaline into our system, which then helps us to focus our attention on the task at hand, and allows us to respond faster.

But the situation I see many students facing is they’ve allowed themselves to go into an overwhelming state of stress – which might be justified if you were about to fight a T-Rex, but not so much for an exam. You see, when your get really stressed, your blood starts flowing only to the most important muscles in your body, and your brain function slows down, and this can make it really hard to think straight. So, not exactly ideal for study!

Here’s the problem: An appropriate amount of stress is actually a great thing for your study prep and performing well in an exam. But things can get really out of hand when we don’t find a way to “talk back” to our body’s stress system when it starts to overreact, and then we end up  feeling so stressed about our exams that we either want to just run away and hide (flight), or get angry and hit stuff (fight).

So here’s some things I try to do when I get stressed and start to feel it getting the better of me.

Re-assure Yourself: Take some time our to tell your body and your subconscious that you’re not ACTUALLY being faced with any kind of life threatening danger from a ravenous wild animal, and that you don’t have to live in an overblown fear of your upcoming exams. You’ll do your best, and that’s all you can really do.

Re-Centre Yourself: Give yourself permission to take breaks throughout the day where you can “re-centre” yourself. Re-centring is about grounding yourself in the present moment and the things that are deeply important to you. So, if you’re a praying or meditating or deep breathing type, that stuff is all fantastic for this.

Re-Connect Yourself: Book in some time to either re-connect with nature, or to do something that brings you a burst of joy, preferably away from a screen. Taking your shoes off and walking through the grass on the c-block lawn for 15 minutes will do wonders for your exam results… as will hiring a Lime Scooter and going for a brief scenic cruise, or doing a quick yoga session at the Rec Centre.

UC Graduates announced in Super Rugby Squads for 2019

A big congratulations to all current and students and graduates who have made Super Rugby teams  

Braydon Ennor and Will Jordan have been named as two new outside backs into the 2019 Crusaders squad.

Current student Reed Prinsep, who is currently studying Commerce and Law, will be playing for the Hurricanes next season.

The University of Canterbury has a proud history of producing high quality graduates and Crusaders star Ben Funnell and Luke Whitelock are no exception.

Crusaders hooker Funnell is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate, and will be playing for the Crusaders next season, while Whitelock completed a Bachelor of Commerce in management and will be back playing for the Highlanders in 2019.

Whitelock will be joined by James Lentjes who is a BSc graduate. Matt Mould’s another BSc graduate will be playing for the Blues next season.

Funnell, who majored in accounting and taxation, says he chose to study at UC because of the ability to have a good balance of study and sport.

“I saw Christchurch as having a good environment for sport and also the academic side at Canterbury – there was a good life balance between sport, studies and student life.”

“It has opened up a different way of thinking when you come to look at different problems. You have background knowledge and you have an advantage over people when you have that background.”

Funnell’s advice to students is to make sure you know what you want to do when planning a degree.

“Make sure that you have a good study/life balance and base your degree around what your dream job would be,” says Funnell.


UC alumni taking war on waste global

UC alumni Dan Price (Doctor of Philosophy) and Adrien Taylor (Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism) have had a Kickstarter campaign fully funded in 5 days to take their company Offcut to the world.

Founded in Christchurch three years ago, Offcut diverts the garment industry’s scrap fabric from going to landfill by buying it and turning it into caps instead.

Adrien and Dan are now expanding the business to use leather offcuts from the furniture industry to turn those into products such as luggage tags and wallets.

Even though the Kickstarter is funded, it’s not too late to back it and secure the slickest kit around… just in time for Christmas.


Head over to Offcut’s Facebook or Instagram while you’re at it to keep up with the progress of this homegrown business with big global aspirations.

In fact, rumour has it that you might be rewarded if you follow their social accounts and mention UC in a private message….