Tag Archives: Mental wellbeing

How to turn failure into success

Looking back at his early political career, Barack Obama reflected:

“I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working.”

President Barack Obama 

Unfortunately, failure does happen, and sometimes it happens in relation to things we really care about. When it does, we can always ask: what is the next best thing we could do?

Obama decided that, for him, it was to stop worrying whether he was succeeding or failing and focus on the work ahead. This seems to have helped, and 10 years later he was elected as the first African American President of the United States. He followed this up four years later with re-election for a second Presidential term in 2013.

While most students will hopefully feel pretty good after the release of end of year results, it’s to be expected that some will not. If you find yourself in that position, I really want to encourage that there are things you can positively do.

In working out what that ‘next best thing’ actually is, here are three pieces of advice:

  1. Deal with the feels: take time out to manage whatever you’re feeling, whether it’s disappointment or frustration or annoyance. Failure can suck, so do positive things for yourself to offset that. Spend time with friends and whānau, get outdoors, watch your favourite Netflix series…
  2. Evaluate the situation: instead of putting it out of mind, put a detective hat on and assess what might have gone wrong. Did you put in enough study and preparation? Did you misread the exam and give answers that didn’t address the questions? Were you running at less than 100% due to circumstances out of your control, like sickness or a breakup? Did you ask your lecturers and tutors enough questions?
  3. Make a plan of action: having come up with a list, you now need to take practical action. What could you control or do differently next time? What extra steps could you take or put in place? You might find it really helpful to talk with support staff for their advice – they can offer objective, honest suggestions to help.

Want to know more about fear of failure? There’s lots to it – check out more info here.

Tim Rowe
Kairuruku Oranga | Wellbeing Coordinator
Wellness Services

Get into the festive spirit with Carols on Campus on Thurs 10 Nov

Exams are almost over, and summer is nearly here. Before you head off for the holidays, get into the festive spirit early with UC Carols on Campus! Come along to Eng Core and sing-along to some classic Christmas tunes, accompanied by a live band. There may even be some Yuletide treats too. What a nice way to see out the uni year! Everyone welcome.

Date: Thursday 10 November
Time: 6.30pm onwards
Venue: Eng Core atrium 



Be well, be prepared – how to manage stress and take care of your wellbeing

With the end of term approaching, you might be feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed at the moment. That’s not a bad thing – in fact, it’s complelely normal. That’s why it’s important to take some time out to take care of your wellbeing and give yourself a bit of a break. This will help you ace those assessments! 

There are HEAPS of ways to look after yourself, whether it’s through exercising, connecting with friends and whānau, or simply taking some deep breathes.

Take regular breaks and schedule rewards and down time during your study day.

  • All exam study timetables need to schedule some form of break. Whether it be a 10 minute break every hour scrolling your phone or talking to a friend. 
  • One of the most typical occurrences during exam time is that the weather clears up and you are forced to be stuck inside sitting at a desk. Instead of dwelling on this schedule in 20 minutes to go for a walk or run or head to the park and play touch or frisbee. 

Try not to compare yourself to others

  • ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. Everyone is different and everyone studies differently. Whilst it is difficult to compare yourself to your peers who may have different study timetables and needs, it is important to remember to not compare someone’s revision to your own. 
  • If you become stressed enough that it is affecting parts of your daily life it can be helpful to speak to someone about it. 

Talk to others 

There are a range of wellbeing services here to support you at UC if you ever want to have a chat about anything at all: 

Check out some more practical tips on how you can take charge of your own wellbeing this exam season here>