Tis the season to…get a little more.

To help you enjoy the break and take some time to look after yourself we’ve got Academic Support all wrapped up for you.

 

 

Before the break we have extra Academic Support on offer through our Faculty Study Skills workshops. These are running until 19 December – check out what’s still available.

Many of our services are still open while you’re away from your studies; even during the University closure dates we have study areas open and some of our services running. You can see the opening hours for these services online.

While students are not officially back until 14 January, the University reopens on 3 January and we’ll be here for you if you have any questions.  You can contact your Personal Tutor, speak to our Student Information Service and use the libraries and study areas.

While you’re away, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your studies, maybe take some time to reflect on what you think could help you when we reopen. Start a portfolio with Personal Development Planning (PDP) and jot down which areas you feel you could use some guidance on.

See what Academic Support is on offer for you through our Study Support pages.

Happy Holidays!

 

Tis the season to…stay active.

Season’s Greetings from our Sport, Exercise and Health community. You don’t need us to tell you about all the benefits of sport and activity; it’s well known how positive an effect it can have on your mental and physical wellbeing. Although it may be tempting to abandon your usual routine over the holidays, there will also be lots of opportunities to stay active at this time of year. Choose things you enjoy and make it fun! Maybe a long walk with old friends exploring somewhere new? Check out your local exercise options – a short membership somewhere or many parks now have exercise equipment you can use. What could you do as family? Ice skating, anyone?!

For those staying in Bristol, here are the opening hours for the swimming pool, Coombe Dingle and our newly refurbished Indoor Sports Centre.

Why not look into how you can get more involved next term? You could join one of our many sports clubs and societies, start a membership and meet like-minded people, or think about sports leadership and volunteering.   

Here at Bristol, sport and activity are more than just a one-off session; it’s about belonging to a community of students, passionate about living life well.

#TisTheSeason

 

 

 

 

 

Tis the season to…be mindful.

If you haven’t met your new neighbours yet, why not take the festive season as an opportunity to say hello and maybe share a mince pie or two? They could keep an eye on your empty house over the holidays and perhaps bring your bins back in for you once you’ve gone. It’s great to build relationships with the community around you; find out what’s happening in your local area and get involved. You’ll meet new people and feel part of your neighbourhood.

Try to also remember your neighbours if you’re planning a festive celebration and the impact it might have on them. The guide to community living provides some good advice.

During this season we tend to generate a lot of extra stuff. Bristol Waste offer some useful ideas for recycling, reusing, re-gifting and donating to help us be mindful of our impact on resources and landfill.

Be mindful of safety – look after yourself, your belongings and each other. Security Services promote useful tips on personal safety. And if you are going to be away, make sure everyone takes responsibility for switching things off and locking up.

This time of year particularly can be difficult for some people, so help out where you can. Check out SU Volunteering for opportunities to make someone else’s festive season a little brighter.

#TisTheSeason

Joni Lloyd, Community Liaison Manager

 

 

If you’re staying in Bristol, don’t forget to join the University Staying in Bristol Facebook Group listing events and activities taking place over the festive season.

You can also find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities. If you want to talk to someone over the festive season, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in Uni residences or not. There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.

 

Tis the season to…stay connected

As the term comes to a close, some will be preparing to return home to friends and family, while others will be staying put for ‘Bristmas’ in the city.

Whatever you have planned for the festive period, be sure to make the most of your break by enjoying time with others and finding time to unwind.

Stay connected

Those spending the break in Bristol are invited to join in with a variety of festivities.

The newly launched Bristol SU Living Room on the fourth floor of Senate House is running lots of seasonal activities, including Christmas crafts, old school games and traditional nibbles to ease you into the holiday season. Look out for the daily Festive Mingle events from 17 – 20 December too.

This is a great opportunity to find out about events taking place in the local area while the University is closed and meet other students who might be staying in Bristol during this time.

All students staying in Bristol over Christmas are welcome to enjoy Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and take a Boxing Day Tour around the historic listed Goldney Gardens and Grotto. Join the UoB Staying in Bristol at Christmas Facebook page to stay in touch and keep posted on other festive events taking place during the holiday.

Relax

The holiday season is the perfect time to take a breather from the busyness of the first term, unwind and nurture your wellbeing ahead of the New Year.

For those staying in Bristol, please find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities.

If you want to talk to someone over the festive season, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in University residences or not.

There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.

Recap

After the festive break comes the January exam period. Ease the pressure by getting clued up on all the academic support and tools available to you on the Study Support pages.

For further academic support, we offer drop-ins, revision workshops, one to one sessions and tutorials.

#TisTheSeason

 

Tis the season to…celebrate community.

Watch some festive greetings from Eva Larkai, Chair of the BME Network and Aisha Rana-Deshmukh, President of Bollywood Dance Society.

How will you be spending your time over the holidays? #TisTheSeason

If you’re staying in Bristol, don’t forget to join the University Staying in Bristol Facebook Group listing events and activities taking place over the festive season.

You can also find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities. If you want to talk to someone over the festive season, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in Uni residences or not. There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.

 

Tis the season to…enjoy your city

If you’re staying in Bristol over the holiday period, why not get out, explore and enjoy your city. There is plenty of festive fun taking place and why not join the Facebook group open to all students staying in the city for the holidays.

Here’s our pick of Bristol’s festive offerings.

Get your skates on

Try out your fancy footwork at the Millennium Square ice rink until 7 January. If ice skating isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to enjoy at the Winter Fair with a Christmas Market, Apres Bar and Big Wheel to choose from.

If you prefer your festivities a little more stationary, wrap up warm and head to the We the Curious big screen for free showings of Love Actually (6 December), Gremlins (13 December), the Polar Express (16 December), Elf (23 December) and Home Alone (3 January).

Skating at Millennium Square

Festive fun

If you’re looking for quirky gifts, or just fancy getting into the festive spirit, Bristol has plenty of Christmas markets to choose from.

St Nick’s market will be open every day until Christmas with outdoor markets from Wednesday 12 December.

St Nick’s Market, Bristol

Let it snow

We might not be in for snow on Christmas Day but there’ll be guaranteed snow at Millennium Promenade from 1 to 7 December and again from 15 to 21 December on Corn Street and Clare Street from 5 to 7 pm.

If you’re missing the real thing, take a look at our snowy snaps from earlier this year.

Sparkling lights

We think our city always looks beautiful, but there’s something special about seeing it decked in lights for the holidays. Start at College Green then wander up Park Street to Clifton for those festive feels.

If you’re staying in Bristol, you can  find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities.

We know that the festive season isn’t easy for everyone so if you want to talk to someone, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in Uni residences or not. There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.

And don’t forget, join the University Stay in Bristol Facebook Group listing events and activities taking place over the festive season.

 

… feel proud.

The festive break is almost upon us so we want to wish you all a very happy holiday season. Students and staff from across campus have come together to bring you some ‘Tis the season to …’ festive joy and useful info. Look out for some familiar faces over the next two weeks.

We’re starting with a message from our SU Sab Officers. 

 

And here’s what they’re looking forward to working on next term!

  • Stanford – Society Awards
  • Nasra – Careers Week
  • Ginny – Varsity
  • Shubham – A full-time International Officer
  • Sally – People’s Vote

Feel proud of all that you’ve achieved this term too #TisTheSeason

For those staying in Bristol, please find out about our opening hours during the holidays including study spaces, the Students’ Health Service and the sports facilities. If you want to talk to someone over the festive season, you will be able to access support via our Residential Life Support Centre, open to all students for urgent issues, whether you live in Uni residences or not. There are also self-help tools to provide support, including Big White Wall.

Join the University Staying in Bristol Facebook Group listing events and activities taking place over the festive season.

 

Make yourself at home

Dorothy was on to something – there really is no place like it.

If you’ve been into Senate House lately you’ll have noticed that big changes are happening. The University senior team has moved out to make room for students; there’s a new home for post-graduate researchers in the PGR Hub; there’s new artwork entitled ‘Belonging’ by print artist, The Fandangoe Kid, inspired by workshops with students to explore what belonging means; and next week the Students’ Union opens the ‘Living Room’, to provide central space to relax and connect with each another.

Inspired by Camerados’ public living rooms and mental health research, the SU Living Room is a brand-new central place to relax, connect and have fun at the heart of the campus. Away from lecture theatres and cafes, there’ll be hot water and big sofas, in a space that’s cosy and friendly.

Come to the opening

We’d like to welcome you with open arms at the launch event on Monday 3 December, where you can put your stamp on your new space. Paint a mug to use in the SU Living Room or revamp old t-shirts to create comfy cushions! From Monday, there’ll be a weekly calendar of events until the University closes over Christmas, usually held at around midday. But you can pop by anytime to grab some food, find a quiet place or meet up with friends. The SU Living Room is open 8am-10pm Monday-Friday during term time.

Leave your mark

This is your space and we want you to feel like it’s yours, so tell us what you think – good or bad. Leave a message in the big yellow phone box in the SU Living Room, or email bristolsu-livingroom@bristol.ac.uk.

Get involved

A second artwork created by Annie Nicholson, aka The Fandangoe Kid, and 40 students to explore the meaning of ‘home’ is being installed outside the SU Living room on 11 December. Annie will be in the Living Room from 2.30pm – 3.30pm on 11 December so sign up if you’d like to meet Annie.

The SU Living Room is part of Campus Heart, the University’s programme to create the kind of environment that students have told us they want: welcoming, relaxing, communal and helpful. If you want to get involved in making future decisions about what we do in Campus Heart Sign up to get involved.

World Mental Health Day  

For World Mental Health Day, we’re talking to our students about their experience of mental health and how physical activity and programmes like Healthy Minds has helped them cope with different situations.  

Bethany Hickton is a 25-year-old PhD student in her third year, studying aerospace engineering and cellular and molecular medicine.  

‘It’s pretty intense,’ she says with a laugh. ‘I’d really like to become a chief scientific officer — someone who travels around the world looking at complex scientific issues, and then explains it to government so they can make policy changes.’ 

But her dreams were nearly shattered when she slipped and fell down a flight of steps in her first year.  

‘I’d always been a very hard worker throughout my undergrad and since my A-levels,’ she says. ‘I never stopped, so having to take that time out gave me a lot of anxiety. Also, the fractures were five millimetres from severing my spinal cord. I could have been paralysed from the waist down.’ 

Bethany spent 16 weeks in a spinal brace and, a few months after the fall, she was also diagnosed with clinical depression.  

‘I got PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) coming back onto campus, because that’s where I’d hurt myself. Having to take time out physically really had an impact on me mentally.’ 

Bethany didn’t come from a sporting background and says she’d never have thought of trying sports on her own.  

‘I wasn’t sporty when I was younger – I lived in a small village where there wasn’t a lot of opportunity. People in school also made fun of me about my size, which was difficult to deal with. I really lost confidence, which made me eat more too.’ 

After her fall and her diagnosis, Bethany began seeing a counsellor with the Student Counselling Service where she was referred to the Healthy Minds programme.  

‘They told me about this amazing programme which was all about body confidence and having fun. Pete from Healthy Minds got me to lift weights and, out of nowhere, I was good at it. It was such a joyous moment.’ 

Bethany understands the pressure on young people today to look good, coming from social media, especially platforms like Instagram.  

‘I now judge my body on what it can do, not what it looks like. I can deadlift 80 kilograms, I can walk straight into the weights section of the gym, which used to be full of just guys, in my glittery pink sneakers and I can out-lift lots of them.’ 

She says Healthy Minds helped her to find an activity that really suited her, and she really enjoyed.

‘They helped me take the driving seat on getting healthy. Pete noticed I was good at lifting weights, and he signposted me to the captain of the rugby team.’ She now plays in the women’s rugby team as a  scrum forward.  

What advice would Bethany give new students who have just arrived and are trying to settle in?  

‘Find a group of people that are your people. Try and join different societies – it doesn’t have to be a sporty one, and just try lots of different things. You’ll find the crowd that you can run with.’ 

Express yourself 

Come along to the Indoor Sports Centre tomorrow (Wednesday 10 October) and take part in free exercise classes as well as a workshop with a print artist Annie Nicholson, aka The Fandangoe Kid. 

In 2011, Annie lost her mother and sister in a car crash. ‘Nothing has been the same since. For years I was completely derailed – it was sharing my thoughts in a public space that got me through.’ 

The artist says her public art is also designed to help remove the stigma that still exists around loss, mental health, and happiness.  

Annie will be hosting a workshop for 20 people and will begin by exploring the different concepts of narrative art, and how it can be used to express yourself. There’s even an opportunity for the art you create go on display on campus. 

Places are limited, and booking is essential.

Emily’s self-care tips

Emily’s back with some top tips for life after Welcome Week.

So Welcome Week has come to an end… what now? You’re actually here and things are getting real. It might seem daunting but I’m here to give you five self-care tips which might make things that little bit easier.

1. Go outside.
Bristol is renowned for its urban green environment. Why not go for a walk? You could get to know the campus to familiarise yourself with lecture venues.

Spotlight: Ashton Court.

Ashton Court offers 850 acres of land to explore. If you want some fresh air, this is where to go. Also, Ashton Court is a popular spot for dogs, so if you need a dog fix then this is the place for you!

2. Get some rest.
Put on your cosiest pyjamas, unwind with a nice warm drink and go to sleep! Can’t sleep? Read (don’t go on your phone! It doesn’t help!). Read something with no link to your academic studies, something which relaxes you. If the things you must do the next day are keeping you awake then write a list before bed, that way you know you won’t forget! Don’t feel bad about having some downtime.

3. Baking on a budget is not only easy but stress relieving. Why not bake a big dish for your flat mates? Not only is this a nice gesture but then you can all enjoy it together. Make sure you get some good food in that dish, that little bit of veg is going to make you feel so much better.

4. Organise!
If you don’t know what to do with yourself, why not make sure that your room is arranged in a way that works for you. You could create a timetable to give yourself some consistency in your new life at uni (you don’t have to follow it with great precision, it’s just nice to have some stability when you’re having a bad day). Here’s an example of mine…

5. So, you’ve followed all the advice and things still don’t seem right? Its okay to ask for help.
There are loads of ways you can get the support you need, from friends and family to university services. When things got tough for me – I talked to the uni which I personally found really helpful. At the end of the day, you know yourself. If things don’t seem right, speak up.

Self-care is laying the foundations for the life you want to live, make sure you’re living your best life in Bristol.

 

At Bristol you are not on your own, there is always someone to support you; in our residences, academic schools and on campus. It’s ok to not be ok – talk to us, we’re here to help.

bristol.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/

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