7 Tips to Keep Up With Studies

By Kaprissia Djuhadi

We are already in week 11, and most of us are going to face final exams soon. At the moment, it is most important to keep up with our studies. However, I find it very difficult to open that tab and review those course materials. I know some of you are also experiencing this. So, here are 7 tips that I find helpful to keep up with my studies.

1. Plan everything

(Image by Lim Yong Hian on shutterstock)

Planning helps us remember what we have to finish doing. So, make a weekly checklist of those things you have to accomplish during the week and do planning for the next day before sleep. For me, I use calendar marking for weekly stuff and post-its for daily checklists. Also, having a study schedule can help you organise yourself.

2. Fight laziness with routine

(Image by Sharomka on shutterstock)

If you consider yourself lazy, you may want to have a routine that you follow every day. For some people, a simple morning routine that is easy to follow can ‘wake’ us. Some examples would be getting dressed, setting up your desk, preparing a cup of coffee, or going to the library. It’s easier said than done, especially if you have lots of things piled up and you just want to procrastinate, but put the effort into it, and it will become a habit.

3. Change your study place

(Image by Tijana Moraca on shutterstock)

If you find that you’re not studying effectively right now, you can try changing your surroundings. Find the environment that allows you to concentrate, whether it is a quiet or slightly noisy place, alone or with other people. When studying, it is best to remove all disturbances without hesitation. Do not ever listen to that devil’s whispers to keep a show or game open in front of you. Stop music if it grabs your attention more. You can also use screen-time or focus mode on your phone if needed,

4. Pay attention to certain subjects

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Do you find some lectures hard to understand or don’t make sense? Are you bored? Did you try, but you just can’t keep up? You might be terrible at a particular subject, and that’s fine. Pay attention to the remaining lectures and tutorials. If you are bored, you can look for motivation from outside the lectures. Revise more if you are falling behind. Spend more time on the tough modules so that you don’t fail them. Do sample exercises, watch videos, and read articles surrounding the material to get more understanding.

5. Seek help

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When you find yourself struggling, remember that there are supports to reach out to. Don’t be afraid to ask if you have a problem. Simply ask a friend. Or, if you need an expert, list all your questions and ask your lecturer or your advisor. If you have time, then you can do self-research by reading articles. Sometimes looking at real-world relevancy might help, so ask your lecturer about the significance and application of the lecture content to the real-life experience. Just in case you missed them, I also list some of the support service available within UL.

  • Writing: Regional Writing Centre
  • Maths: Maths Learning Centre
  • Science: Science Learning Cente (B0021A)
  • Mental health: counselling service (by phone)
  • Emotional and faith: chaplaincy service

6. Motivation

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Seeking motivation is not all useless. Those who are highly unmotivated may even abandon everything, and all previous hard work is wasted. This might happen when you think the lecture is too easy or that the lecture is too hard that you don’t feel like listening. In any case, motivation can be regained by looking at your long term goal. It can be to achieve high QCA so that you can get into your desired study pathway. You can aim for a scholarship. Or, you can do it to improve yourself. It can be anything. 

7. Take your time

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Changing habits takes practice, trial, and failure. Take one step at a time. Start with planning and following your schedule well. Then, proceed to find the most suitable study space, and so on. Remember to stay fit so that you have the energy to focus and continue studying.

These tips are all based on my experience as a first-year student, so one or two of the points above might not work for you, but hopefully, you get some insight into what you can do better. Good luck!

7 Reasons to live on Campus

By Ciaran Kelly

Transitioning to third-level education can be hard for some people and trying to decide where
you want to spend your time studying, relaxing, eating, and sleeping for the academic year
can sometimes be a challenging stage. So, to all prospective students and current students
thinking about living on campus next semester or next year… I invite you to read my top
seven reasons of why I think living on campus is great.

1.Make new friends…

Whether you decide to live on campus or not, UL is the perfect place to make new friends for
a lifetime. But living on campus is the perfect starting point to meet new people before you
even meet your new classmates (in Orientation week). The village management tries their
best to mix the houses so that you and your housemates are studying a variety of courses…
for example, I am studying German and I am living with a future engineer, an I.D. nurse, a
psychologist, a business-enthusiast, and a maths teacher. You will also find that most of your
housemates will be in the same year as you, so you get to settle in together. As well as
Campus Life Services, I also recommend Plassey Village for first-year students. Next, I will
describe the village events which are also a good method to make some new friends.

2. Attend village events…

Something I find beneficial from living on campus is having access to the organised events
specifically for on-campus residents. Each village has its own village hall with space to meet
your neighbours
, enjoy a few drinks and snacks, and have some good aul’ craic! Weekly
you will receive an email from the village event’s organisers with details of what is
happening and how you can get involved. The events are organised by the friendly village
management team who are on hand to make sure the events run smoothly. For example,
every week there is a HIIT Fitness Class in the sports arena for campus residents only. I
attended the HIIT Class with a few of my housemates and we had the best time ever. But
whatever the event may be, it really is a good idea to attend to meet new people or for you to
come to the realisation that you enjoy high-intensity fitness!

3. Accessibility…

One thing that is advantageous about the campus accommodation is that primarily all the villages are close to campus. Plassey, Dromroe and Kilmurry are by far the most
accessible if you are walking to and from campus during the day. It is also handy to live so close to campus because classes are sometimes spread out across the day, and it is quick to walk
home and grab a bite to eat before going back to the next class. Many of the campus villages also have bike sheds for you to store your own bike or for you to access a bicycle which you
can rent for free, cycling from a village to campus is super accessible and there are bicycle lanes in place throughout campus. A couple of my housemates and I have cars, but we find it much easier to walk to campus. Also, the parking facilities aren’t the best in UL and spaces are very limited. Another thing is the traffic can be ‘chock-a-block’ during peak times and you might find yourself sitting in traffic for five minutes. Another issue is the current roadworks which started at the beginning of the semester and cause delays for road users…

4. Experience living in the real world…

Living in student accommodation can be challenging for people who have been spoiled by
their mammies their entire life… me! But having the chance to experience living away from
your parents or guardians where you must fend for yourself is extremely practical. Think of
it as a trial run for doing Erasmus, getting a job in a new city, or eventually settling down
with your partner in a new home! College is the time to create your own recipes and not ask
yourself “How does my ma usually cook this for me?” … it is a time to learn how to turn on a
washing machine… how to use a sweeping brush… how to budget… and which brand of
toilet paper should you buy…

5. Feel safe and secure…

I must admit that since I started living on campus, I have never felt unsafe or thought my
belongings aren’t secure. The village receptions are open throughout the day where any
issues you might have can be reported to the village management team. The friendly village
management team are always available and whenever I had any issues regarding my house,
the village manager was always happy to solve the query. UL also has a security patrol unit
that drives around campus throughout the day. In the evening, seven days a week, there are
security officers that walk around the village ensuring that everyone is safe, no unwanted
visitors are walking around and that no loud music is playing (I’ll let you decide if the last
point is an advantage or not!). The front doors to the houses also lock automatically but you
must lock your own bedroom door when you are leaving the house.

6. Free Gym Membership…

If you are like me, you will be excited to know that you automatically are entitled to free gym
membership for the Sport’s Arena, if you are a campus resident. When I arrived in Limerick,
I was all set to activate my gym membership, create a fitness schedule and get cracking on
becoming a fit fanatic. It is currently week ten and I am still yet to create a fitness schedule
and book a gym session. Perhaps I will start in Semester Two… it can be my New Year’s
Resolution!

7. Everything is prepared for you…

Something that may contradict a previous point about living in the real world is that the best
thing about living on campus is that everything you might not think about organising will be
organised for you. Moving away from home can be stressful for some people so this is
something beneficial about picking on-campus accommodation as it is one less thing for you
to worry about. Your campus accommodation fees will include all the required bills that you
might not even think about. Electricity. Gas. Heating. Water. TV Licence. Internet. You name
them and all will be included. If there are any issues such as a broken door, cold showers or
you need a new light bulb, then the reception will organise maintenance to fix it for you. Even
when you run out of bin bags… guess what? You can get free ones from reception.

So, hopefully I have given you a great insight into what life is like living on campus at the
University of Limerick and perhaps you can now make up your mind whether you want to
live in campus accommodation or not… Click here to view the on-campus villages!

First Seven Weeks 2020 Recommended Reads

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo

This is Britain as you’ve never read it.
This is Britain as it has never been told.

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They are each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson

For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us – people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know you’re being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, something even fired from their job.

A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people’s faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.

Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws – and the very scary part we all play in it.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China – Jung Chang

An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor”, a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving – and ultimately uplifting – detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family of others caught in the whirlwind of history.

Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.

The Wind That Lays Waste – Selva Almada

The Wind That Lays Waste begins in the great pause before a storm. Reverend Pearson is evangelizing across the Argentinian countryside with Leni, his teenage daughter, when their car breaks down. This act of God or fate leads them to the workshop and home of an aging mechanic called Gringo Brauer and a young boy named Tapioca.

As a long day passes, curiosity and intrigue transform into an unexpected intimacy between four people: one man who believes deeply in God, morality, and his own righteousness, and another whose life experiences have only entrenched his moral relativism and mild apathy; a quietly earnest and idealistic mechanic’s assistant, and a restless, sceptical preacher’s daughter. As tensions between these characters ebb and flow, beliefs are questioned and allegiances are tested, until finally the growing storm breaks over the plains.

Selva Almada’s exquisitely crafted debut, with its limpid and confident prose, is profound and poetic, a tactile experience of the mountain, the sun, the squat trees, the broken cars, the sweat-stained shirts, and the destroyed lives. The Wind That Lays Waste is a philosophical, beautiful, and powerfully distinctive novel that marks the arrival in English of an author whose talent and poise are undeniable.

A Strange Kind of Brave – Sarah Moore

Jake McCormack is the villain of Clanfedden. He’s just killed a boy – deliberately run him over with his truck, on the bridge, in front of everyone. And he knows he’ll get away with it.

Luca, 14, is the new boy in town. He’s just looking for a fresh start after a terrible thing that happened at his old school. Clanfedden is a small forgotten town, but Luca and his mum are going to give it a go. They’re opening an exciting restaurant, and his new friend Allie is coming to work there. Allie is honest and kind and Luca knows they’re going to be friends.

Allie has lived in Clanfedden all her life and these should be happy days – Luca is the best thing to have happened in years. But she’s haunted by shadows of her own, and more than anyone she knows the danger of Jake McCormack. She needs to warn Luca. She needs to prevent disaster. At least she needs to try…

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Leaning – Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel

To most of us, learning something “the hard way” implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.

Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make It Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

7 Jobs I’ve Had in UL

Getting involved in the university is a great opportunity. It allows you to give back to the university for all the opportunities it has offered you and it gives you a chance to develop as a person. Now in my 5th year in UL, looking back I am so glad that I got as involved as I did. Here’s a list of both paid and unpaid jobs I had in UL.

 

 

1. Department & Class Representative

classdepartment-repAs class rep. I was the link between my class and my lecturers. Why was this good? Because I got to build rapport with my fellow classmates and also with my lecturers. I made the lives of the students and the lecturers easier in terms of communication and dealt with any potential issues that occurred during the academic year. It is important to be selfless as class rep. because you need to express the views of the class, even if your own views are not the same. There’s also the social side of it as I organised class hoodies and class parties. Having a sense of closeness within a course is really important. We’re in this together for four years, so we might as well have fun and support each other while we’re doing it! I was elected class rep in first year and was re-elected for the three following years. As class rep you need to attend 2 meetings per semester.

As Department rep. I was the link between all of the class reps in my department, the school of Culture and Communication. If issues among students cannot be resolved by the class rep. then it was their duty to bring it to me. I sat on Student Council meetings every second week and brought issues forward there.

 

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Both of these jobs are unpaid but do count as voluntary work. Sound like these jobs would suit you? Then pick up a form in the SU!

 

You can also log your voluntary hours on the PVA website – I received a silver award for my volunteering efforts during my 4th year of studies. Here’s a pic of the day with HUB staff member, Declan!

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2. Member of SU Campaign Team

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When I was in first year, I was an active member of the campaign team of a student who was running for the position of DP Welfare Officer. As an outgoing person, I LOVED getting the opportunity to get out on campus, proudly wearing the red T-Shirt of the student I was supporting and informing the campus community of the manifesto, while giving out sweets too of course. One day during campaign week, I was sitting in class and a student stood up before class started and gave a talk about my team’s opposition. I couldn’t sit there and let that slide, so at the break of class, with the permission of the lecturer, I gave a talk to students as to why they should vote for my team – completely off the cuff! I was so proud of myself for standing up in front of a lecture of over 100 students in my first year and felt that it went well too. I was then confident enough to address all the rest of my classes during the week. Most rewarding part? The team I was part of won!

 

 

3. University Guide

I’ve worked as an Open Day guide, Orientation guide and a First Seven Weeks guide. As an Open Day guide I was there for students and families there for the day, to answer any questions or just to help them in any way possible – while wearing a bright yellow T-shirt.

As an Orientation guide, we had one day of training, then four days of taking around our assigned groups to each point on campus. I really loved being an orientation guide as for most students, you are the first representative of the university that they will converse with. It can be really daunting for some students, but I really enjoyed getting to talk on a one-on-one basis to students while I was guiding them around campus. I really loved making them feel welcome while singing the praises of our wonderful university – while wearing a more tasteful maroon coloured T-shirt.

Prize if you can spot little-ole-Lorna here.

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As a First Seven Weeks guide, I was working for Week 1/Fresher’s week. We worked in 3 hour shifts, in slots (8:30-11.30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 2:30-5:30 p.m.) that we were available for that did not clash with our lectures. Each morning, we were assigned a building and a fellow First Seven Weeks guide to go and sit in the entrance and be available to show students how to get to their classrooms. This time, sporting a bright orange T-shirt. Yes, I now have a lot of T-shirts.

 

 

4. Transition to University Course Leader

Access students receive a Transition to University course the week before orientation. Access students in second year and above have the opportunity to apply for the position of a student leader for this and I was a leader in 2014. We had the most amazing week and it’s an incredible service to be there with fellow Access students. Access students were wiz-kids with their knowledge of the campus, even before orientation week. #InTheKnow #KnowledgeIsPower

For this I had the privilege of wearing a purple T-shirt .

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5. Promotional Worker

College Dinners is a company that was in function here in UL three years ago. They were a company that were already functioning in UCC but were new to UL, brought in by the DP Welfare Officer at the time (who I had been campaigning for). For €12 they delivered your meat and vegetables to make dinners for the week and had a website with step-by-step guidelines on how to prepare them.

Perks? I got to wear a white branded T-shirt and inform students on campus about the service and give them the chance to sign up. College Dinners then contacted me and gave me two weeks worth of ingredients for free (along with being paid) to give the dinners a go myself and blog about my experience. Check out my blog here.

 

 

6. Writing Tutor

The Regional Writing Centre here in UL offers a free and amazing service to students across all disciplines. There are 14 Writing Tutors in the Writing Centre and are all equipped with the skills to help you with your writing assignments. How did I get this one? I actually completed my Co-Op in the Writing Centre as Administrative Assistant (9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday to Friday for 6 months) in semester 2 of second year. During this time I took on the module AW4006 Peer-Tutoring in Academic Writing. Because I got over a B1 in the module, I was eligible to become a Writing Tutor and began tutoring there in semester 2 of third year on my return from Erasmus.

These are pics from the National Secondary School Essay competition 2015 and 2016 where I got the chance to learn event management skills as I was in charge of the project.

For this post I didn’t have to wear a T-shirt but we do have lovely, navy Writing Centre hoodies!

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7. First Seven Weeks: Coordinator, Administrator, Student Support Staff and Editor of the First Seven Weeks Blog

(Okay so technically that’s four more jobs, but lets stick to the theme of seven).

So, from my experience in the Writing Centre, which is run by the department of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, I was hired to work every Friday (9 a.m. -5 p.m.) as the Personal Assistant to the Dean of the department only works Monday-Thursday. On a Friday, I would be in charge of the Dean’s diary, manage bookings for the Graduate Attributes Hub and my biggest project was organising the All-Ireland Conference for Undergraduate Research (AICUR). I got to develop so many administrative and organisational skills on these jobs.

The department were pleased with my performance during the semester, and then offered me a full-time position  for the summer in preparation for the First Seven Weeks initiative. Once I had finished my 3rd year exams I went straight into a contracted position, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, right up until I started fourth year. I was solely responsible for the merchandise and promotional material and I learned so much from all my colleagues in the department. I was given an office in the Millstream Building and the fact that it was a paid position meant I did not have to return to my job as a waitress at home in Cork.

captureAs I had so much knowledge about the campus based on my previous experience, I was offered a position as First Seven Weeks HUB staff member. I was really honoured to be offered this as I was the first ever undergraduate staff member of the F7W HUB. It was always only Masters and PhD students who worked here in the past. I can honestly say that I had the most amazing experience for the duration of the First Seven Weeks initiative. I dedicated every available hour I had to the F7W HUB. The thrill I got from helping students and seeing their appreciation was truly heart-warming.

With my background of New Media and as I had been working on preparing the First Seven Weeks over the summer, I was appointed editor of this website. Pretty self-explanatory as regards my role for this position. I do exactly as the name suggests. 🙂

I also got to wear a bright orange hoodie for this post! And got to make some handy pocket money …

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Once I finished my studies in May, I started working as the Coordinator of the initiative in June. I graduated in August and was immediately fully immersed in the madness of Orientation week & Week 1 2017. Looking back now, I am overshadowed at how fast the whole initiative has gone by. I was honoured to have taken this post. I feel as a student who has just graduated, I have a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by new students in UL. I am going to miss the business of the HUB now that we’re finished!

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So, what has this got to do with week 7? In terms of long term planning, besides the perks of gaining T-shirts in red, yellow, maroon, orange, purple and white, and hoodies in navy and orange, I have gained an incredible amount of experience and made life-long friends from all my different jobs. Employers just swoon for graduates with so much experience.

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So, if I can offer any advice to you as students, it’s to get involved! Do not say no to any opportunity. You will reap the rewards.

First Seven Weeks HUB

 

 

Lorna Horgan byline

My 7 Favourite Things About Being A UL Student

1. The Cajun Chicken Rolls In The Stables

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There’s not a whole lot else to say really? I think every UL student knows the worth of The Stables’ most celebrated and delicious delicacy – the Cajun chicken roll, closely followed by the sweet waffle and Nutella mmm …

 

2. The Window Seats In The Library

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I don’t know about you but whenever I find myself with a window seat in the library (which is almost always) I never seem to get any work done. It must be the constant people-watching and trend spotting from the first floor!

 

3. The Tunes In Icon

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Lads is it just me or are the tunes on the bottom floor of Icon the best ever? Maybe it’s just because I’m stuck in the nineties and listen to Craig David and Westlife on a regular basis, but seriously. I hate even going to the ladies incase I miss a good song, they’re that good. I’m not usually much of a dancer but if you catch me in D’Icon on a Monday night you’d beg to differ!

 

4. Finding My Way Around The Main Building

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Four years later and I still haven’t mastered the main building. Even if I was here for another four years I still don’t think I’d manage. I was honesty glad of the First Seven Weeks orange T-shirt gang, never mind the first years. It’s great that getting lost in there is a valid excuse for being late for class.

 

5. Car Parking

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“UL students are so lucky, there’s so much student parking here”… said no student ever! Your best bet is to head over the living bridge to the pitches, plenty of parking there, if you don’t mind the trek back.

 

6. Talent At The PESS Building

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If you’re looking for a man, no better place to be than the PESS building. Yes the PESS is famously renowned for producing strapping young P.E. teachers. Let’s not forget that the Munster rugby team also train on campus gals, if you’re lucky enough to ‘em, maybe stumble across training some evening, you know, by chance? *coughs* Monday’s at 7pm *coughs*

 

7. Freebies

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Okay so who doesn’t love free stuff? Especially when you’re a broke ass student on a budget. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a cold slice of pizza, a 99 without the flake or even just a ball point pen, we still want it, and occasionally may fight over it!

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Looking After Your Mental Health In College – One Students Story

We want to put a focus on Mental as well as physical health this week, here we have the words of a UL  student that talks about just that and it’s key reading for absolutely everyone.

Life in UL can be amazing, but also very challenging for lots of us too. We won’t pretend that side of the experience of going to college doesn’t exist. We know it does, and we know it needs to be talked about.

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It’s Important To Look Out For No.1

Mental health can be defined as a person’s psychological and emotional well-being and unfortunately, college can be a time where your mental health is put through the ringer. We, as students, are faced with the tasks of making new friends, living away from home for the first time, budgeting, falling in love and monitoring our own academic input.

Each of these transitions, if not handled in a supportive, patient and self-caring manner can result in conditions such as depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders etc., which can affect our mental health, not only during our college experience but also later in life. Furthermore, each of these conditions can be deemed a gateway issue to further complications for our psychological well-being, resulting in an increased inability to be successful in our academic endeavours.

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College Is The “Best 4 Years Of Your Life”

The majority of these issues could stem from students feeling a lack of control and inadequacy, especially when we are told that college will be the best four years of our life, and that is certainly what I was expecting. As I sat in class for my first ever college lecture, a torrent of feelings swirled inside me. This was it, this was my fresh start. I didn’t know these people and they didn’t know me. I no longer had to be the girl that had suffered with general anxiety disorder, depression and self-harm. I could be the person I always wanted to be, but if you fast forward to one week later, it didn’t quite work out like that. After my second SPSS class (Statistics – yes, feel my pain), I found myself in the bathroom in floods of tears doubting my ability to do any of this, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I wasn’t what I was expecting.

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You Need To Be Able To Help Yourself, and Ask For the Help of Others

After struggling through school and dropping out of it twice as a result of my mental health, I realised that I didn’t want my college experience to be the same as every other previous experience: a total nightmare. I felt very alone with my feelings, everyone else seemed to be settling in fine, little cliques were forming here and there and I felt like I just didn’t fit it. I knew from past experience that suffering in silence was about the worst thing I could do, so I knew I had to take steps towards looking after my own mental health while I was here.

Not knowing my first port of call, I emailed the tutor of the class that ‘broke me’, told her my fears and she sent back a lovely email outlining what options she knew were available to possibly help me. I decided that one of my first missions was to introduce myself to every lecturer I had. I needed to make them aware of who I was, it would then make it so much easier to go to them if I felt I was struggling with something in a module, and it did! I then emailed the on-campus counselling service and set up regular sessions there which I found invaluable. I saw so many students using the drop-in centre during my times there, which was comforting in a way, as I felt I wasn’t alone in my struggles here.

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You Are Not Alone!

As the weeks went by there were ups and downs and I can honestly say it took me a full seven weeks before I felt like I was going to be able to get through college, and not only get through it, but actually enjoy my experience here. By talking to the lecturers I softened the harshness of academia that one can often be faced with. By engaging in the on-campus services it allowed me also to help fellow students who I found out had been having a similar experience and were too afraid to say anything.

 

Where I am now.

Now in my fourth year I can confidently say that college is one of the best times of your life. If you are willing to care enough about yourself to reach out for help, you can take away some of the worry and replace it with the time and space to find who you are, what you love, and what you are capable of. This is your life and even though you may feel alone, but here in UL the truth is … you definitely aren’t.

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Firstly, thank you to this student who submitted this. Secondly, we talk with students in the HUB regularly about connecting with the counselling drop in, so call in to us or send us a message online if you want more info about it.

Week 4 – Health and Wellbeing

2017 has been an exceptional year for the First Seven Weeks initiative so far and we’ve only 3 of the weeks completed. We are keeping the momentum going and have planned the biggest schedule of events, workshops, promotions, prizes, giveaways and competitions EVER in the 7 year history of the First Seven Weeks.

Here are 7 things that are happening this week.

 

1. You can win a bike! Or one of 2 UL Hoodies … and get a free watch!

It’s very, very simple. Come to the HUB between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. this week and we have a very simple challenge. EVERYONE that has a go will get a First Seven Weeks sports watch, EVERYONE that has a go is entered into the draw to win a bike and the two best people at the challenge will win the hoodies.

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2. You can UL Arena membership and 5 UL Hoodies!

This is not as simple, but it’s lots of fun. It’s the annual First Seven Weeks Pedometer challenge. We launch it at 3:00 p.m. today in the HUB. There are only 60 places and 7 amazing winner prizes, and 13 runner up prizes so the odds are quite favorable.

What do I have to do? Download a step counting app in the HUB at 3:00 p.m. keep it on you for the rest of the week as you walk around. Post us a pic of your steps each night to social media. That’s it.

You don’t even have to be walking crazy amounts. Yes some people are highly competitive and will clock up insane steps, but once you are in the top 20 each day you are in the draw to win the prizes.

 

3. You can go to the Arena for FREE!

One of the best sporting facilities in Ireland if you haven’t visited there yet, today is the day to give it a go. Call into the HUB from 11.00 onward. We have hundreds of passes to give out over the week. You might want to try out the famous Total Body Workout class that featured on RTE’s “The Gym” documentary.

If you don’t what to go that far, have a pass to the pool. The National 50m Swimming Pool is Ireland’s first Olympic sized pool. Go for a swim, or if you don’t want to go that far… there’s a steam room and sauna.

 

4. You can attend a Cooking Demo!

Sign-up in the First Seven Weeks HUB. Places are limited.

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5. Touch some boobs and/or balls!

We have models provided by the nursing and midwifery Department to explain how to check your breasts or testicles for cancer… not as fun the heading suggests but on the flip side, potentially life saving information so … ya know.

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6. Wednesday: Tai Chi & Synthetic Drug Awareness

Transform your body with simple Tai Chi in the First Seven Weeks HUB with Nadine Buttery, Meditation Teacher. Learn a standalone Qi Gong practice in a half hour workshop. Take charge of your day, body & mind. No experience required. No special clothes needed. Just turn up!

Learn what synthetic drugs are, how they affect you, see the dangers as well as a demonstration surrounding quantities and doses by Synthetic Drug Awareness Campaigner, Nicole Ryan.

Tai Chi & Synthetic Drug Awareness talk

 

7. UL to City Centre Cycle

Get on your bike & cycle from the Main Plaza to the City Centre on Friday morning!

UL to City Centre Cycle

 

 

7 Advisors UL Should Hire

Wrapping up “Meet Your Advisor” week here at the HUB. Hopefully you met your advisor and they are class, if you need more info. on the system read “who is your advisor and what do they do?”.

However, while we aren’t saying there is anything wrong with UL’s current advisors, if they wanted to bring in a few more as super subs, we have some suggestions.

 

1. Michael D. Higgins

Firstly, how cool would it be to to have him at our games to celebrate every time we score?

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Born in Limerick, a politician, poet, sociologist, author and broadcaster. He was SU President & a Lecturer in UCG, and was a Visiting Professor at Southern Illinois University. SO, we think he would have plenty of advice for his advisees.

However, if he thinks doing his job is more important than coming to UL we would settle for Michael Tea Higgins. So cute!

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2. Dumbledore

“Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts UL! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”

He would say loads of wise things and he is #BeardGoals, what’s not to love? He could advise you on really important academic matters, such as, if you should hit snooze on your alarm one more time …

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UL is basically Hogwarts without the magic anyways, he would fit right in. Any spells he had up his sleeve for insuring you pass your exams would be sound too.

 

3. Elsa

“They never replied to me on Tinder”

“They had no chicken rolls left in Spar, I feel personally victimised”

“I have a 4-6 p.m. tutorial on a Friday, I feel personally victimised”

We know what your advisor Elsa would say …

 

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4. Bridget Jones

While we imagine having her as the advisor for the aspiring journos in UL, she is also simply the perfect Lady to advise us all on the best type of relationship to be in:

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5. Flan Costello?

If you haven’t met him yet then WARNING, he is likely to charge a fiver or a “flan” when you do.

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When they were going to rename one of the bridges in Limerick after JFK there was a campaign to get the City Council to reconsider & name it after FLAN. We are joking, you can read the newspaper article here. We are certain he would advise us all very well on many matters.

 

6. YODA

Move over Michael D. we have someone even smaller and older.

Advise you, he will.

“Hey Yoda, I was thinking of posting my third Instagram selfie of the day, do you think that’s too much or…”

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7. Beyoncé

Imagine! No seriously, her as an advisor … imagine!

“Hey Bey, I was thinking of checking in with my ex just to see how they…”

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“Hey Bey, I have five 9 a.m. starts can I just…”

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“Hey Bey, so he liked this other girl’s Insta pic but apparently they are just…”

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Who would you like to see as an adviser in UL??

Let us know via the numerous social media platforms we have.