Assessment Do’s and Don’ts!

Here are some top tips from students on preparing for assessments.  Let us know if you have more to add! Student-comms@bristol.ac.uk 

 

DO 

Get enough sleep.  Yes, we know you’ve heard this before, but we can’t say it enough.     
Sleep is your best friend when it comes to performing well. 
(Read the Sleep Foundation’s Guide to Getting Sleep During Exams.)

 

 

DON’T 

Forget to eat and drink.  You brain needs energy as much as your body does.   
See what the BBC recommends for breakfast on the day of your assessment.

 

DO 

Ask your friends and classmates what they are working on and how they are preparing.  
You will probably feel reassured – or realise anything you may have missed.
 

DON’T 

Try to pretend you’re feeling ok if you’re not.  Talk to someone.  
A friend, a mentor, or JustAsk.  You are not alone.
 

 

 

 

 

 

DO 

Give yourself breaks.  You are better off clearing your head and planning your revision in manageable chunks of time than trying to keep going for hours and hours and hours… 

DON’T 

Put off taking your assessment.  It may seem tempting to give yourself more time but in reality you are just prolonging a stressful situation.   The resit period in August is a safety net if things go wrong the first time round.  Don’t rely on that as your one chance to progress.  

DO 

Familiarise yourself with the format of your assessments.  For in person exams you can look at past papers, and for a lot of online assessments you will have a practice test in the Assessment, Submission and Feedback area of your unit on Blackboard

DON’T 

Forget that there is more to life than assessments!  Not everyone has the same idea about what “success” means and getting good grades is only a tiny part of that picture. 

 

Assessment tips from someone who knows…

It’s Week 23 and you are probably either buried in revision or planning your summer break.  Student Comms Officer Roz caught up with Dom who is in his fourth and final year of a Masters in Mechanical Engineering to ask him how he’s feeling about coming to the end of his course, and what assessments have meant for him.

So Dom, you’re working on your final dissertation which for you is a group industrial project.  Is that right? 

Yes, we’re doing a design and build, and building a product is always notoriously tight for time for engineers.  But it is coming along nicely.

Do you find it easier to meet deadlines when working in a group? 

Working in a group always comes with its challenges. You lose efficiency when you’re working in a team because there’s so much more to coordinate and so much more ground to cover. It can be hard to get the ball rolling, but the more you practice the better they tend to go.  By the time you’re in fourth year, group projects are going a lot more smoothly than they were in first year and that’s kind of the point of having them in first year because it’s a skill you have to learn as an engineer. 

If you’re managing deadlines just for yourself, do you have any tricks up your sleeve or tactics you rely on? 

A technique I use is creating your own calendar and then filling in all the time that you can’t be working, assigning time that you can be, and then dividing up the workload. You end up with this big A3 wall calendar with all the time divvied up how you need it, which is useful when you have, for example, five quite substantial exams.  It really helps to make sure that nothing’s being neglected. 

What’s been the main challenge of online exams? 

The biggest issue is time management as it appears you are set five hours’ worth of questions to do in three, and it’s simply not possible.  You also don’t have access to the years and years’ worth of previous papers so you’ll be going into online exams with less resources to prepare from than in person. 

And how did your experience of in person exams compare to the online assessments? 

So in person you would have a lot more “prove this, show this, derive this” questions that you could only really answer if you’d rote learn that technique.  Obviously, being open book and online, that’s no longer a thing that can be asked because you can just look up the solution. So it’s shifted away from those rote learn questions and more towards things that you’d have to actively think about a bit more, which is good, the way it probably should be. 

Is there anything you know now that you wish you’d known as a first year and might have done differently? 

OK, so I would say problem sheets and past papers is definitely the way to go because it’s very easy to find that you understand the topic, you’ve gone through all the lecture content, you’ve read the notes, and you’re like, I’m happy with this and then can’t answer a single question on it!  That’s a very common thing that can happen. You understand all the theory, but to actually get an answer and apply it is an entirely different level that needs to be practised through the problem sheets and past papers.  

When it came to online assessments, did you ever use a Blackboard practice area? 

Yeah, absolutely.  You want to know what the setup of the paper is and what’s expected of you before you go in.  It was good to have access and be like, oh, I’ve got ten of these questions, four of these ones, six of those, and two of the big ones at the end.  

Are there any other resources that you’ve used, for example exam stress workshops

I don’t think so. I think the only thing over the four years that I had used might have been some general study skills workshops in first year, but nothing exam specific.  

Do you find you get stressed about exams or are you quite relaxed? 

Obviously they’re stressful for anyone, but I think I’m a lot more relaxed than most.  I find it’s important to remember that if you’re getting yourself stressed out about it, you’re only going to make it harder to actually remember things in the exam. If you can just take a breath and relax it’s only going to help.  So long as you’re preparing for a good time beforehand and you know your stuff sometimes it’s good just to take a break just before going in and make sure you’re calm and relaxed. 

And how do you personally relax if you need to step away from your work? 

It would be just do something that’s not uni related, get a drink, go do something else, just not think about engineering for a little bit.

I know you’ve had Alternative Exam Arrangements and I just wanted to ask whether it was easy to arrange additional support and were you well informed about how it was going to be set up? 

So I’m dyslexic and after the age of 18 you need your adult diagnostic assessment. You need to get your psychologist report and then arrange an appointment with Disability Services who are fantastic. They’re really, really helpful. They’ll explain everything to you very clearly. They take you through your report and what arrangements can be made within your particular school.   

This can be a huge variety of things, like what extra time would be appropriate for you, what working method would be appropriate for you, if you’re in person, would you still be allowed to use a PC to do your exam?  It can also be making sure you’re in low distraction exam rooms, or making sure the exam room is near bathroom facilities or a whole range of different things that they can run through with you and see what can be altered to make it more supportive for students that need that extra support. 

And lastly, how do you plan to celebrate when it’s all over? 

Oh blimey.  After four years – two years in person, two years online – it feels strange to be coming to the end. I genuinely don’t know and I’ve just been so busy with the project work and also trying to think ahead.  For a

 lot of people that’s applying for work, but for me I think it’s going to be looking for a PhD.  I haven’t really thought about it too much yet. I will probably get to the stage I’ll just need to crash out and do nothing for a while. A holiday would be well needed by that point, I suspect!  But equally it will be good to celebrate with friends after four very, very tough years of both the course and COVID. 

I hope a well deserved break is on the horizon. 

Definitely.  I think that’s what the plan will be – chill out!     

 

Don’t forget that you can access a range of study skills and support to help with your assesssments. Good luck!

 

Spring vacation ideas if you’re staying in Bristol

By Victoria, Student Champion for Student Communications

Coming at you again with ideas for what to do to enjoy the spring vacation in Bristol. You’re sure to catch me at more than one of these!

Cannonball Cabaret at Zed Alley on 1 April

Start your break at Zed Alley for a cabaret night at Zed Alley. Check out the line-up and get your tickets here for an unforgettable night featuring a diverse range of acts from humour to Drag acts.

Catch an ethical Circus Show 7 to 24 April

Look at all the available dates here and join the Revel Puck Circus for an animal-free, ringmaster free and clown-free circus experience. Expect comedy, jaw-dropping acts, and an all-ages inclusive experience in the art district of Bristol. This new circus explores and celebrates fear in ways you have never seen before, so prepare to be amazed! And equally amused!

Dreams of Small Gods at Circomedia on 7 and 8 April 2022.

Book your ticket here for one of the two showings (Thursday 7 or Friday 8 April) and catch this unique live performance. It explores the triple nature of being a woman, blinding aerial circus, performance and masked ritual while exploring how myths, fairy tales and ancient culture create our conception of womanhood and reality. A one-of-a-kind experience!

Reggaeton Boat Party at  Thekla on 8 April  

As a Latina, I must commend Bristol for having such a great reggaeton scenery. I enjoy these events to the max, whether it’s at iconic Intirave events, the throwback parties at the Lanes or the great boat parties at Thekla. Happening on Friday April 8, you can get your tickets for one of the best reggaeton parties in the country. Take my word for it, it’s bound to be a night full of fun and dancing. The upstairs area tends to have some nice Afrobeat tunes as well, if you ever need a break of the hardcore reggaeton vibes. Make sure you get these tix on time, as they tend to sell out pretty fast on the days coming up to the party.

Funderworld Theme Park from 8 April daily until 2 May  

Get tickets for this fun-filled theme park hosted in the Downs. It will be full of rollercoasters and rides, Game Stalls and a delicious selection of food and beverage at the event. Your wristband gives you access to 4 hours of unlimited rides, and you can stay for longer enjoying the food court and independent games afterwards. The Theme Park is open until 9 pm every day, but make sure to check opening times for your desired day. Have fun and be safe!

Immersive Van Gogh Experience – Opens 9 April

Secure your tickets here, and quick, this is a must-see attraction brought to Bristol until September. The Immersive Van Gogh Experience is one of the most iconic exhibitions in the world, giving you a 20,000 square foot light and sound show in 360 degrees. Get to know the artist like never before, his life, his inspirations, and stories behind his art pieces, all in the iconic Propyard.

 

Lakota On the House Rave – House and Techno on 16 April

Lakota is a Bristol staple, and this rave with Bristol-based house and techno talents is sure to be one for the books. It will be free entry before 11 pm, and only a fiver after that. Secure your ticket here.

Visit the Grayson Arts Gallery – Any Tuesday through Sunday

Have you been to the Bristol Museum yet? In the heart of campus, it is one of those things we tend to not take the time to explore, but I’m telling you, it is such a fun afternoon. Especially with the Grayson Arts Gallery show, which is open between 10 am and 5 pm every day except Mondays. Book your slot here and go spend a day seeing one of Grayson’s most heartfelt creations. This exhibition shows people’s different experiences and coping mechanisms during the pandemic and lockdown periods, through creative and artistic pieces spread across the three floors of the museum.

A Day in Spike Island – Wednesday to Sunday

Spike Island has been refurbished and reopens in full swing after the pandemic. Visit exhibitions and galleries between 12pm and 5pm, Wednesdays to Sundays. You can find a full programme of what’s on here and book your slot to visit. My personal favourites include Candice Ling’s Pigs and Poison and the Oba Nosferasta, both of which will be on until early May so make sure to catch them before they’re gone.

 

 

 

 

Comedy Cabaret every Saturday at Pryzm

Join talented comedians and stand-up UK legends at Pryzm literally any Saturday. Book tickets here and check which shows catch your eye. With three hilarious acts and a cozy cabaret-style seating arrangement, this is a great option to do something different on any given Saturday.

 

Thank you to Victoria for these brilliant ideas.  If anybody needs more practical help during the break please see our Spring vacation opening hours and services webpage.  Wishing you all a Happy Easter from the Student Comms team.

 

World Day of Social Justice – 20 February 2022

Are we all equal?

Social justice is a complicated subject.  It’s not just about what we have or don’t have.  We are all individuals and experience the world in a different way, but it’s really important that we have equal access to education, work, health services, regardless of where we live, our age, our physical abilities, our marital status, our gender, our sexuality, our ethnicity, our neurodiversity… the list about how we are regarded by society is a long and complicated one.   

 

Recently, COVID has highlighted inequalities because of the need to study and work from home even though we don’t all have the same facilities – whether that’s space, wi-fi access, or digital equipment.  Equally, news reports are telling us that the climate crisis is disproportionately affecting people with disabilities as we see the costs of services and equipment rise.  Is it enough to be aware of these differences, or do we have a responsibility to fight for change?  How should we go about doing that?  These are huge questions to which there are no easy answers.   

Difference is good

One of the ways to challenge the status quo is to embrace our differences. Sophie Hudson is a law student and Vice President of the 93 percent club which encourages students from less privileged backgrounds to recognise and value the skills they have. Watch this inspiring clip of an interview with Sophie explaining how our experiences before coming to university can have a big impact on our confidence levels.   

 

The Right to Protest

There are other ways to take a stand, and we know from our recent polls on social media that many of you would choose to actively demonstrate when you are feeling dissatisfied.  However, the right to hold a protest has recently been called into question and here, our student content writer Victoria Cornelio Diaz provides an excellent overview of the “Kill the Bill” protests that have taken place in the city during the last twelve months.   

“In March of 2021, the city of Bristol came together to protest against the new proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Over 500 protesters marched in the city centre to show their disapproval. One last display was carried out in January 2022 as a final effort to battle the Bill which was introduced for voting on January 17. This resistance against the Bill comes from the implications the Bill would have on protesting rights and police behaviour, which has led to advocates and protestors to ask the government to “Kill the Bill”.  Just in Bristol, Twitter user Martin Booth reports that there have been 15 ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrations in the last year.  

If the Bill were to be accepted, these are some of the impacts it would have on protests and the safety of those involved: 

        Police can act against a group of people they believe will cause significant disruption and charge them with prison sentences. 

        Police can forcibly shut down protests and public assemblies. 

        Stop and Search actions could become more widespread, based on police’s suspicion. 

The Bill is described by many protestors as a violation of the human right to free speech and a danger to democracy. Government officials defend the Bill by saying it is a way of balancing the rights of protestors and the rights of people who want to go about their day without disruption. However, for a city like Bristol with a longstanding history of protest and social justice movements, if parliament does not “Kill the Bill”, the landscape of the city’s advocacy movements will see major disruption.” 

  Victoria Cornelio Diaz, Student Communications Champion

Picture from bristolpost.co.uk, Sunday March 21, 2021

 

A Guantanamo Conversation

Bristol is generally known as a liberal city, and the UK is a democratic society, however even then we don’t always get to hear all sides of a story.  On 3 March you can listen to three different perspectives when the Law School’s Human Rights Implementation Centre will host a conversation with Mohamedou Ould Slahi who was tortured and detained at Guantanamo Bay for 14 years without charge, Nancy Hollander, the defence lawyer who represented him and secured his freedom in 2016, and Professor Sir Malcolm Evans,the former Chair of the UN’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture. Book your ticket here.

Hungry for more?

If Social Justice fires up your passion then head to the School of Policy Studies events page and find out about their forthcoming talks. There are some fascinating topics coming up, (as well as the opportunity to find out first-hand whether Jess Phillips can hold her own as a speaker!). 

We hope you enjoy the World Day of Social Justice, whatever you’re doing. And please stay safe from Storm Eunice 😊 

Student Volunteering Week 2022

 

What is Student Volunteering Week?

Running for its 21st year, Student Volunteering Week is a nationwide event bringing students together to celebrate the volunteering you’ve been taking part in, or to find out more about ways you can get involved.

For obvious reasons, this year has seen many people keen to support projects focused around sustainability, but there’s a whole range of opportunities out there and it would be difficult for someone not to find a programme linked to a social issue close to your heart.

 

Why should I be interested?

Being a volunteer is not about being a saint!  Talk to anyone who gives up their time for a cause that concerns them, and they will tell you it makes them feel good.  And if your physical or mental wellbeing isn’t in need of a boost, then what about your employability skills?

Volunteering often provides the chance to test your ability in areas where you may not have had much experience before, but that will be a real asset in your future career.   You often get thrown in at the deep end, but when you realise you can swim you will get a huge confidence boost – and who would say no to some Jedi powers?  You may also find out that topics you thought would interest you turn out to be not what you expected and, equally, discover subjects you feel passionate about but had never really considered before.

If you need more inspiration, please head to the Law School Student Employability Blog and read about Ayran who volunteered at the Law Clinic.  By providing clients with free legal advice he not only made a real difference to people who needed help but weren’t able to afford it, he also gained invaluable experience in advising clients, and resolving disputes.

How can I get involved?

Many people have considered volunteering but are not sure whether it’s for them, or even what they’d like to do.

A brilliant way to find out more about how you can get involved is to go to the Bristol SU Volunteering Fair.  This will be held on Wednesday 9 February from 4:30 – 6:30 in the Anson rooms and will be showcasing lots of local organisations.  You don’t need to be ready for a long term commitment – there will be options for just getting a taster too.

If you can’t make it to the Fair but would like to find out more about local projects then head to the SU’s Skills & Volunteering webpage,  check out what’s happening at Bristol Hub, or take a look at myopportunities run by the Careers Service.

British Heart Foundation have lots of volunteering opportunities available, and if you already know you are looking for an outdoor volunteering role, Step Together are looking for volunteers to assist with their allotment programme and would welcome anyone interested in helping vulnerable young people.

 

We hope that’s provided you with some food for thought, and wish you a very happy Student Volunteering Week!

 

 

‘Tis the Season to… Give back to your community

December in the UK is traditionally a time for extravagance – shopping for presents, spending money on outfits, eating and drinking out more than usual.  While this sort of indulgence is fun if you can afford it, the last eighteen months have taught us that there are big differences in people’s spending power, across the country, and even across our city, whether that’s the spaces we live in, what we can afford to eat, or the resources we have available to us.

Lockdown taught us how we can get by without all the little luxuries we like to treat ourselves to.  Yes, we do want to see toilet roll available on the supermarket shelves, but if we can’t get hold of our favourite ice cream, is that really the end of the world?

It also gave us the chance to reflect on how precious the contact we have with our friends and family is.  Taking time to engage with people can make you feel good, whether that’s just saying hello to the person at the checkout, smiling at a stranger, or remembering to send a text to a friend who is having a hard time.  There is even a study by researchers at Ohio State University which suggests that giving can be beneficial to your health!

So, if you would like to reach out to others, and feel good about making a difference to someone in need, here are three easy ways you can do something positive this December:

1. Donate to the food collection box in Senate House cafe

From now until Monday 20 December you can make a donation to the food box in Senate House café which will be collected by the Trussell Trust and distributed to those in need.  They would particularly like donations of soap, shampoo, shower gel, biscuits, chocolates, crisps, noodles, jam, sauces and fruit cordial.

 

2. Take part in community outreach sessions

The Careers Service runs community outreach sessions which not only provide opportunities to connect with members of your community, but also to learn new skills, discover your strengths, and have fun!  The sessions can also count towards the Bristol PLUS Award.

3. Fill a shoebox with goodies and help Bristol’s homeless

RAG have partnered with Help Bristol’s Homeless to collect shoeboxes filled with useful items which will be given to a homeless person.  Ideally you will make your box even more of a treat to open by wrapping it in giftwrap, and the preferred contents would include:

  • Warm hats, scarves, gloves
  • Toiletries, sanitary products
  • Supermarket or Greggs vouchers
  • Sweets, chocolates, snacks
  • Handwarmers and lighters

Boxes can be dropped off to RAG until 15 December – collection point will be posted on the RAG webpage.

Hopefully you will enjoy participating in any of these initiatives, but don’t forget there are opportunities to get involved with projects that make a positive impact in Bristol all year round through the Volunteering & Fundraising Network.

Give it a go and enjoy the benefits to your wellbeing and self-confidence!

Activities – Competition Four

What activities have kept you going this autumn?

Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill in Autumn
Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill in autumn

We know it can be hard to stay motivated this time of year as it gets darker and colder. So, for our fourth and final transition to university competition, we asked you to share your stories of what’s helped you ​stay motivated and settle into university life.

We received lots of amazing emails with fantastic tips and motivational stories. You can read this week’s winning answer below, along with some of our other favourite stories.

If you are struggling to stay motivated this autumn, remember there is still plenty going on in both the university and in the city to help you stay active, keep motivated, meet new people and try out new activities. If you are looking for inspiration, we have a list of events and resources in our first transition to university blog post.

This week’s winning answer…

Our winning answer this week comes from postgraduate student Carol:

“I am keeping vlogging my daily life on video channels to record my life in Bristol and the UK. I have been an international student since my undergraduate. I recorded my travels from home to the UK, the Christmas travel in France and Italy, my return “escape” from the UK to China during the pandemic, and my second return back travel from my home to the UK this September, and so on. I knew that they were just little pieces of my UK student life, which is trivial. But when I recall my life in totally different cultures and countries, it is incredibly meaningful to me. The previous experience is like a movie shot in my mind. I gained happiness and a sense of satisfaction from it. Also, I encourage my friends around me to try to record their lives. It will be a kind of treasure for your future life.”

We love that Carol is documenting her university experience in her vlogs! What a great way to keep motivated and have a record of your university life to look back on.

More motivation stories…

Amber, an undergraduate student, tells us that learning a language has helped her stay motivated this autumn. If you’re interested in learning a language like Amber, make sure you check out our Global Lounge Language Café.

“Joining uni later than most (20) was quite daunting so I found socialising a little difficult at the beginning – especially as I’m a commuter from home. So the activity that’s kept me going during the first months of university has to be my Korean language class! Our teacher Miss Young is phenomenal, and the class itself has a mixture of ages and people from many different degree paths. Therefore, I’m neither the oldest nor youngest which helped lessen my fear of being older and starting university.Each week we learn something new and the open calm environment means no questions are off limits. I cannot recommend her class enough! Thank you so much Young nim!!”

Grace, an undergraduate student, sent us a very inspiring story, detailing her past struggles with getting into university and how she kept herself motivated. Here is an inspirational quote from her story:

“Everyone goes through different things and what is difficult to one person may be fine for another – however I think it is important to remember that all struggles have value and reason. Despite all these challenges however, we’re all here. We all made it to, hopefully, where we wanted to be! Whether that took two years, three years, or like me, two years of 6th Form and then an additional two years!”

Thank you

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who took part in our transition to university competition. We received some amazing stories, recipes, pet pictures and motivational tips. You can take a look back at our previous blog posts and competitions here:

Comfort Food – Competition Three

Thank you, once again, to everyone who shared their stories with us this week.  You sent us some  delicious-looking recipes, and even though we haven’t had time to try them all out yet, we have been really inspired by the mouthwatering pictures and descriptions.

Some of you will have seen our polls about Comfort Food on Instagram and Facebook and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that “Food from home” was a clear favourite. It tells us that we don’t need to be master chefs to create a meal that makes us feel warm inside. It’s more about being in a nice environment and sharing something familiar with people we care about, and we really hope everyone finds the opportunity to do that sometimes. We are very lucky in Bristol to have access to ingredients from around the world, whether in international supermarkets, the street food stalls in St Nick’s market, or one of the many restaurants found across the city. So, if you want to recreate flavours from home, or get adventurous with new ones, we are sure you will be able to find what you are looking for.

What did surprise us was that twice as many of you voted for savoury food as for sweet.  And what’s even more crazy is that we have chosen a sweet recipe as this week’s winner.  Why would we do such a thing?  It’s not even an actual meal!  Well, we loved the descriptions, the fact that absolutely anyone can try this out for themselves, and the clear passion behind the preparation of this hug in a mug.   Congratulations to Dana for this entry:

Hot Cocoa!

What better to warm a heart and some cold feet than hot chocolate on a winter day?? One of the main ingredients of chocolate as we all know is something that makes one’s mood brighter and happier aka, serotonin. It’s basically a fact that this is the best thing to have during winter.

I used to always buy this delicious hot chocolate powder from the supermarket until they unfortunately stopped selling it here. That was when I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own hot chocolate at home.

It’s a simple recipe; The first step is to get your choice of milk chocolate! Mine is The Swiss classic Lindt or Ritter Sport milk chocolate. Then, get a mug and fill it up mostly with milk and a little bit of cream (a quarter of the mug should be cream). Heat the mixture and when it is warm enough, put pieces of your chocolate in the milk and stir, after that add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour and a splash of vanilla extract.

At the end, don’t forget to top off your warm drink with whipped cream and sprinkles or mini marshmallows! Enjoy a delicious homemade hot cocoa

 

Another contender for the title was Zuri’s Tortilla de patata.  This one will take a little more time to make, but it will provide you with “ultimate comfort” (and you do get to flip your tortilla like a pancake).  Please give it a try, and let us know how you get on!

My name is Zuriñe and my favourite comfort food is tortilla de patata! Though a simple Spanish recepie this recipe is a reminder of my family, my culture and overall my safe space. Yet, it is one of those carb filled, warm indulgent treats you can’t resist. Making it the ultimate comfort.

 The recipe is as follows:

  • 1) Peel and dice an onion.
  • 2) Heat a pan and add some olive oil and add the onions and some salt.
  • 3) while the onions sweat peel the potatoes, cut into quarter lengthwise, preferably into little pyramids!! And place them in the pan.
  • 5) Add in your cooking oil under all the potatoes are covered (it will take a lot but trust the process)
  • 6) turn the heat down, cover and let cook. This will take 25/30min for the potatoes to soften, but check regularly!
  • 7) Once the potatoes are cooked, measure out approximately 4 to 4 1/2 cups into a large bowl.

 Making the Tortilla!!

  • 1) Whisk the eggs and pour over the potatoes, fold together.
  • 2) Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and add the oil. Once the pan is hot, add the potato and eggs.
  • 3) once the sides of the tortilla start to cook, give the pan a shake to prevent sticking!
  • 4) For the fun part! As soon as the edges of the tortilla start to brown, flip the tortilla over using a large, flat plate (Be very careful!!)
  • 5) Place the frying pan back onto the stove and drizzle with a bit more oil. Slide the tortilla, uncooked side down, back into the pan and tuck the sides underneath.
  • 6) Cook on medium heat for another 3 to 5 minutes. Use a large plate to flip the tortilla out of the pan. Allow the tortilla to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving

 Que aproveche!!💃🏼

Finally, another reminder of home, Yasmin’s vegetarian sausage casserole.  Easy and delicious – what more do you need?!

My favourite winter recipe is vegetarian sausage casserole, as it reminds me of a similar dish my mum used to make back at home. It’s good in the colder months as it warms you up, and it’s also very healthy, easy to make, and delicious.

This recipe makes about 3 or 4 portions (you can freeze some or share with flatmates)

Prepare: 1 chopped onion1 sliced courgette1 sliced pepper, and 6 chopped vegetarian sausages, (any veg that needs using up can also be added).

Fry them all in a big pan with oil until they are all cooked through.  Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and stir in and let it simmer for a while.

Serve with a piece of bread and enjoy!

 

Competition Four – Staying Active

Next week will be our fourth and final competition for 2021.

At this time of year it can be harder to stay motivated and we are really interested to hear what’s keeping you going.  Maybe you’ve met new friends and tried new activities through B:Active?  Or perhaps you got involved with a Student Group?

Let us know what you are getting up to, and once again there will be the chance to win a £25 voucher.

Email your story, with images if possible please, to student-comms@bristol.ac.uk.

The deadline is 11am on Friday 19 November.

Daylight saving time – competition one

What will you be doing with your extra hour?

For our first blog competition, we asked you what you will be doing with your extra time in the morning when the clocks go back. Many of you responded by saying that you will be using your extra hour to do an early morning workout and others said they will be catching up on reading… but by far the most popular answer was SLEEPING!

Pressing snooze on an alarm clock
Pressing snooze on an alarm clock

Good sleeping habits are essential for your physical health and mental wellbeing. If you’re experiencing difficulties with your sleep, why not try out the Insight Timer app, which can help you with your sleep, anxiety and stress.

This week’s winning answer

Our winning answer this week comes from one of our undergraduate students:

“The plan for day light saving time is to continue studying the unclear point ! I’ve been thinking that there is not enough time for me to get all the topics done. I sometimes think that if I was fluent in English then some topics could be easier to understand, at the same time I definitely need to put effort into studying in my major and English too ! Even though I am hectic with study, I sometimes need spare time to do my favorite thing which is to go for walk and gym! Therefore, I will end up obtaining good knowledge from University and healthy lifestyle.”

Their answer highlights some of the challenges that University life can bring. Establishing a balance between studying, socialising, exercising and relaxing can be tricky – particularly during the winter months when there are fewer daylight hours. If you’re struggling to find the right balance, we have pulled together a list of different events and resources to help you, including tips to manage homesickness and details of how to request wellbeing support.

If you’re looking to practice your language skills in a fun and friendly environment, make sure you check out our Global Lounge Language Café. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an advanced learner – everyone is welcome. Join in every Wednesday, either in person or virtually – see the event listings page for more information.

Skyline viewed from the top of Senate House in autumn: Wills Memorial Building.

Competition two – your pet stories

For our next competition, we are asking you for your pet stories! Celebrate your pet, or even just an animal you know that deserves to be recognised! Send us an image of your pet and 100 words about them – for your chance to win a £25 voucher.

Email us your answer by 11am on Friday 5 November, and we will post the top three stories on our blog later that day. The overall winner will receive a £25 voucher.

Send your answers to student-comms@bristol.ac.uk.

Transition to university competition

How are you finding Bristol so far?

Royal Fort House and Gardens in autumn.

We have seen a real mixture of sunshine and rain already this term, but the days are very soon going to get shorter, darker and colder, and for many people, it’s a time of year when we just feel like hibernating! But, before you hide away under the duvet, we want to talk about all the great things that happen in autumn.

For a start, it’s the season to indulge in comfort food – we’re thinking hearty soups, pies, curries and stews… There are also opportunities to get together and celebrate events such as Halloween and bonfire night. Plus, there is still plenty going on in both the university and in the city to help us stay active, keep motivated, meet new people and try out new activities. We’ve got a list of events and resources below to help you keep going, but we’d also love to hear from you about how you stay motivated with the change of season.

Read on to find out how you can share your ideas and be in with a chance of winning a prize.

Competition time!

Over the next four weeks, we will be running a weekly competition based on a seasonal theme. Each one is a chance to let us know how you’re settling into university so far and also to share tips and ideas with others who might still be adjusting to a new routine and way of life. You can email us your answers, or why not get creative with a vlog?

We will post the best responses on our student blog each Friday, and the overall winner for each topic will win a £25 voucher.

Send your answers to student-comms@bristol.ac.uk

  1. Competition one: Daylight saving time
    With the clocks going back this Sunday (31 October) we would love to know what you will do with your extra time. Will you be opting for the extra hour in bed or will you be hitting the gym before your first lecture?

    Competition one is now closed – read the winning entry on our blog.

  2. Competition two: Your pet stories
    Do you have an amazing pet at home? Celebrate your pet, or even just an animal you know that deserves to be recognised! Send us an image of your pet and 100 words about them.

    Competition two is now closed – read the winning entry on our blog.

  3. Competition three: Comfort food. Best recipe for winter days.
    Cooking your favourite foods or food from home can be a great source of comfort in the winter months. What is the recipe that always makes you feel good? Share with us including an image if you can!

    Competition three is now closed – read the winning entry on our blog.

  4. Competition four: Activity that’s kept you going
    What activities have kept you going during this autumn period? Did you join Be Active, start knitting, meditate, learn a new language, go dancing…? Share your stories of what’s helped you ​stay motivated and settle into Bristol life.

    Competition four is now closed – read the winning entry on our blog.

Read the terms and conditions for this competition.

Downs promenade (Clifton) in autumn

Events and resources

Remember, you don’t have to be suffering from the “winter blues” to be feeling a little low. If you need a pick me up then maybe some of the resources below will help:

  • What’s On – listings of events, activities, cultural celebrations and volunteering opportunities within the university
  • Manage homesickness – if you’re missing home then these top tips from Save the Student may help
  • Global Lounge – relax, meet others or attend one of the many events on offer
  • Eat your pumpkin! – seasonal recipes from BBC Good Food
  • Lunchtime Socials – connect, unwind and recharge at the Multifaith Chaplaincy
  • Stay active – see what’s on at the uni sports centre, and read tips from the BBC for keeping going even when it’s cold.
  • Student Wellbeing – self-help resources for managing your wellbeing, as well as details for how to request support
  • The SU Wellbeing Network – find details of student groups and societies which are specifically focused on promoting wellbeing
  • Supporting your Wellbeing Sharepoint – wellbeing resources for PGR students
  • Student Minds – support and resources to manage your own or your friends’ mental health
  • Off The Record – drop-in sessions, projects and services for looking after mental health run by and for young people in Bristol
  • Headspace – free meditations for weathering the storm
  • YouTube – watch videos from University of Bristol students on how they managed their transition to university
  • Go for a walk – Bristol has some great green spaces so go explore and breathe in some fresh air