Returning to Durham after a long Easter break to a term full of revision and exams can be a bit daunting – so much to do, so little time! Add to this a packed calendar of exciting social and sporting events, and it’s easy to start feeling a bit overwhelmed. This is exactly why Student Community Action (SCA), your College, the University Libraries and Students’ Union, all work together to help you to stay relaxed and ‘Stress less’ during this busy time.
From 23 April – 6 May, SCA is coordinating a wide variety of events focusing on student wellbeing as part of this year’s Stress Less campaign. There are a host of activities, events and drop in sessions across the university to help you wind down, blow off steam and chillax. It is essential to take timeout to recharge your batteries, not only does it give you a break, it also makes you more productive in the long run.
Don’t forget to get organised early
Being organised is a good way to keep on top of things and keep things under control, so pick up your free Revision Planner from the Library or the Student’s Union to help plan your work and avoid unnecessary stress!
As the focal point for much of the studying and preparation for exams, the Library encourages students to take a break every so often to study more effectively. The ‘Bee Bright and Study Responsibly’ initiative has been inspired by the Bill Bryson Library being affectionately know as ‘the Billy B’. At lunchtime 12-1 pm on Friday 27 April and 4 May, the Bill Bryson Library will be holding a ‘Goodies Drop Off’, where you can pick up handy items like revision planners to help you plan your workload, water bottles to help keep yourself hydrated and stress balls to squeeze away the stress!
The library has also introduced Study Break Cards, to remind you to take a break without losing your seat and will have extended opening hours as part of the 24/7 scheme with staff on hand to help with queries.
Try something different
If you want to take your mind off your studies, but learn about something completely new, the Oriental Museum is hosting a craft and activities tour from 3pm on Monday 30 April just for students. This gives you the opportunity to visit the museum and explore the treasures in its galleries, from China, Japan, Egypt and India. Along with a hands-on craft activity, there will also be the chance, not only to see, but actually get to handle some of the stunning artefacts that make up it’s collections.
Get out and about
It’s a well known fact that fresh air and exercise are good for health and wellbeing, so join the guided ‘Walk to the Wicker Man’, setting off from the Botanic Garden at 2pm on Tuesday 2 May and take a leisurely stroll through Durham to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The walk is around 3 – 4 miles, so put on your walking shoes and come along.
If you feel the need for more time out, SCA is also planning a day trip visit to the beautiful Fowl Green Farm in North Yorkshire. Here you get to play games and carry out various crafty and conservation projects with physically and mentally disabled adults – the perfect opportunity to blow away the cobwebs and find out more about the work that goes on with the Beyond Boundaries Project.
For many of us, there’s nothing better than a bit of retail therapy and bargain hunting, so SCA have organised a ‘Clothes Swap’ event where you can do just that! The idea is to bring along clothes you no longer want or wear, and swap them for something someone else has donated. This is a great excuse for a wardrobe clear out and de-clutter, plus the chance to update your look in time for summer! The Clothes Swap will be held on Wednesday 2 May, from 4:30 – 6:30pm in the Anthropology Department.
Physical exercise is recognised as a great way to burn off stress and anyone can benefit from the programme of sports related activities planned for Stress Less. There will be Fun2Run and Active Steps sessions at Maiden Castle Sports Centre, run by Team Durham Community and students are always welcome to join the Couch to 5K Running Programme that leaves from the Palatine Centre every Thursday lunchtime.
If that is all sounding a bit too energetic, then you can always try a more gentle, yet still challenging exercise class such as the Pilates or Barre, that also take place at Maiden Castle.
Every college is running it’s own events to support their students through the busy revision and exam period. JCR’s have organised all sorts of pleasant distractions for their students, from smoothies at John Snow and bouncy castles at St John’s, to film nights at Hatfield and Yoga at Trev’s, there will be loads going on to reduce stress and hopefully avoid it all together!
On a more serious note, the college welfare teams will also be on hand (as always) to provide support with active listening and signposting to other services, to make sure you are comfortable and confident preparing for exams. Visit your college JCR webpage for details of what’s going on this term and details of what they have planned to help you ‘Stress Less’!