Moving into the community

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Are you moving into the community soon? Well we want to make the transition as easy as possible! We’ve pulled together a list of helpful advice along with top-tips from BA Hons Marketing student Deppy and The Students’ Union.

Introduce yourself

Introduce yourself to your neighbours (in person or pop a note in their mailbox) – it’ll make all the difference if you know who’s living next door and it’s important to try and get on with those living around you. Plus, it’ll help when you have you go and collect a missed delivery!

Listen to Deppy’s top-tips for moving into the community.

Respect your neighbours

Try to keep the noise down. You might enjoy a late night, but those around you might not. If you’re walking home at night, remember that the local residents might have children or need to get up early for work – everyone’s entitled to a good night’s sleep!

If there is one, join the neighbourhood WhatsApp group and try to stay active on it. Let your neighbours know if you’re going to have a later night than usual.

Bins and recycling

Make sure you put your bins out at the right time and bring them in so they’re not blocking the pavement. You can check the bin collection dates for Bristol and South Gloucestershire online.

It can be tempting to just chuck what you don’t want in the bin rather than recycle, but every time you choose recycling over rubbish, the planet thanks you!

Keep safe

Make sure your doors and windows are closed and locked when no one is home, and register bikes and valuables so you can track them if stolen.

Get contents insurance – many providers offer student cover, so do your research!

And be aware of who you bring home and who your flatmates bring home – and look out for one and another.

Advice Centre

The Advice Centre offers friendly, non-judgemental and confidential advice – and it’s totally free too! Speak to them for advice on housing, rent, bills and financial queries.

And finally, enjoy being part of your new community and be proud of it! Even just picking up litter that you see on your walk home, saying hello to a neighbour or taking the bins out will go a long way to making your community a place where everyone loves to live.

Are you moving out soon?

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Moving out of your accommodation over the next few weeks? We know that it can be stressful, so we’ve pulled together some top-tips to help you sort, move and recycle your stuff!

Before you start

Source some large bags or cardboard boxes – and a Sharpie for labelling. Your local supermarket should be able to give you some boxes if you ask (or just scan the shelves for empties!).

Make sure you check the bin collection dates for Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

On the day

Pace yourself and take on one room at a time – you’ll see progress quicker that way! Think:

  • What do I want to keep? Bag it.
  • What do I want to donate or sell? Pass it on.
  • What am I going to recycle? Sort it.
  • What do I need to dispose of? Bin it.

And think of the planet! If you want to get rid of things that are reusable, donate them.

Donating or selling

Want to shift some clothes, books or kitchen stuff that you don’t want to keep? Donate to charity!

Want to sell or give away stuff online? Try Freecycle, Gumtree, eBay, Depop, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace and local groups.

And don’t forget about The Bristol Big Give. The Bristol Big Give is an annual campaign helping students to get rid of quality unwanted, reusable items while helping to raise vital cash for charity.

Recycling

It can be tempting to just chuck what you don’t want in the bin, rather than recycle. But every time you choose recycling over rubbish, the planet thanks you.

Cardboard, paper, glass, cans/tins and plastic can all be recycled ‘kerbside’ – so drag your boxes up to your front door and chuck in as much as you can (remembering to sort it as per your local council’s instructions).

Non-recyclable waste

Anything in a black bin goes to landfill or incineration – so the less in your black bin, the better.

Non-recyclable waste should go in your black bin only and must fit in the bin itself – the lid needs to close.

Fly tipping (dumping of waste) is illegal and can incur a fine of up to £50,000. That’s a pricey clear out!

More waste than you can handle?

If you have large items like wardrobes, sofas and tables to dispose of or more waste than will fit in your black bin you have two options:

  • Take it to one of the local recycling centres – there’s two in Bristol and several in South Gloucestershire.

You may be asked for ID to prove that you live in the local area – make sure that the recycling centre you visit is in the same local council area as the one you’re currently living in.

There may be restrictions in place at the moment so best to check the website for the site you’re planning to visit for updates before you visit to avoid a wasted trip.

UWE Bristol Health and Wellbeing follow up survey

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Well done on completing your first year at UWE Bristol- especially as it’s been such a tough one!

You might remember filling in a ‘Pre-Arrival Health & Wellbeing Survey’ last summer, now we’re checking in to see how things are.

This is entirely anonymous and results will be used to help us set priorities – so let us know what you thought!

Complete the survey >

Thanks for your participation.

Final year checklist

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Congratulations, you’ve almost finished your course! To make your final few months with us as easy as possible, we’ve put together a list of things you’ll need to do before you finish your studies, as well as some useful information to help you prepare for life after university.

Update your personal details

Please ensure the following personal details are correct in myUWE before you receive your results:

  • your home address – this is where we’ll send your award certificate and certificate of credit
  • your mobile number
  • your personal email address.

You can find out more about certificates and how your degree classification will be calculated.

Prepare to pay Council Tax

As a final year student, the last date of your council tax exemption is the last day of your last term. You should contact your council as soon as possible for an amended bill. Some courses (eg healthcare) have later date, so check your council tax certificate in the documents section in myUWE.

If you have re-sits, you’ll still be liable to pay Council Tax from the last day of term – you won’t be exempt. For further information check the Council Tax FAQ.

Download everything you need from our IT systems

Follow our IT guidance for graduating students to make sure you’ve got everything covered:

  • Your subscription to Office 365 will end 30 calendar days after your Award Board meeting date. Please ensure that you have downloaded what you need from your OneDrive account before it closes.
  • You’ll lose access to university IT systems 42 days after your course finishes – this includes myUWE, Blackboard and your H Drive. 
  • Your UWE Bristol email account will remain active for one year, but you’ll need to log in directly through Office 365.
  • Set a date to download your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) once you’ve received your final results.

Make use of our careers resources and support

If you’re not sure what you’d like to do once your course finishes, take a look at our online careers resources or book a virtual appointment with one of our careers coaches before you leave. We’re here to help you with your graduate career search or setting up your own business.

Even after you graduate you’ll still be able to access our careers services via InfoHub.

Consider Postgraduate Study

Our postgraduate courses can help you fast-track your career, no matter what you studied for your undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate study is more accessible than ever before with a variety of funding and scholarship options available – you might be eligible for a tuition fee discount of 50% on selected courses through our Vice-Chancellors Scholarship.

If you’re considering further study and would like to speak to someone about your options, join one of our Online Open Events.

Register with Alumni Connect

Alumni Connect is our online site linking UWE Bristol students and alumni around the world. You can find industry experts, professional contacts, and local connections.

Top reasons to use Alumni Connect in your final year:

  • find inspiration on what to do next
  • direct access to great contacts now and after University
  • get advice from alumni experts who want to help
  • make valuable connections in your chosen industry
  • it’s confidence boosting and it’s free.

Register for Alumni Connect now >

Graduate Outcomes survey

Fifteen months after you’ve graduated, we’ll get in touch as part of the Graduate Outcomes survey to find out how you are getting on in your career.

Any questions?

Our Information Points can help you with any questions you have, whether it’s before or after you complete your studies. Call +44 (0)117 32 85678 or email infopoint@uwe.ac.uk.

Tackling loneliness

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Loneliness is something that everyone feels at some point in their lives and each of our experiences are individual to us. To find out more about loneliness and what can cause and contribute to it, take a look at Mind’s website.

We’ve pulled together some information on how to build connections and meet others. We hope you find this useful and remember, you can always reach out for support if you need help.

To find out how to access any wellbeing support you need, visit our wellbeing support information.

Tips to help with loneliness

Watch this short video from Mind for tips to help you with loneliness. 

Connect with others at UWE Bristol

University events

Take part in UWE Bristol events. The University hosts a wide range of activities throughout the year, from Feel Good to workshops and socials. And, with the roadmap out of lockdown moving forward, hopefully we’ll get some in person events soon too.

MOVE

MOVE offers a wide range of exercise activities and classes to help you meet new people, feel good and be active. Activities are designed for all levels of ability and experience.

The Centre for Music

The Centre for Music is open for members. Join them for music software tutorials, music lessons or music masterclass events. It’s free to become a member and it’s a great way to learn new skills and meet new people.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet others, all whilst doing something great that makes you feel good. You can take part as little or as often as you like, and you’ll meet people whilst helping your community.

Connect with others through The Students’ Union

Events

The Students’ Union at UWE are still hosting a range of virtual events to keep you connected to fellow students. And with restrictions easing, keep an eye out for in-person events too!

Societies

Get involved with The Students’ Union at UWE societies – it’s a great way to meet like-minded people who share your interests, learn new skills and most importantly, have fun!

The Discord networking platform

Join the Discord networking platform to meet and chat to other UWE Bristol Students online.

Hallslife

If you live on campus, HallsLife is here to help you feel at home at UWE Bristol. Throughout the year they organise events and competitions that you can get involved with. This is a great way to meet others living in halls accommodation.

Connect with others in the community

Meetup

Meetup is a great way to meet other people in your local area (events and group sessions are currently online). Browse groups by interest (like health and wellness, film, technology) or search for groups near you. Millions of people use Meetup and there should always be likeminded people nearby.

Time outdoors

Time outdoors provides a list of activity clubs in your local area, such as walking, running, climbing and cycling groups.

FriendMatch

FriendMatch works like a dating site, but matches people up with new friends rather than dates. Meet new friends near you, or connect with others around the world. There is a small fee of £4 per month to use the site.

Do It

Volunteering is another good way to meet other people. Search opportunities near you using Do It, the national database of volunteering.

Find support in the community

Befriending

Sign up for an informal weekly phone chat with Changes Bristol Befriending Service. Befrienders are trained volunteers who are happy to listen to you speak about how you’re feeling, what challenges you’re facing and how you’re coping.

Student Space

Student Space offer free, confidential, one-to-one support by text, webchat, phone and email. They’re there to help with whatever challenge your facing whether it’s loneliness, mental health, studies, money, relationships or isolation.

Mind’s online community

It’s a powerful thing to connect with someone else over shared experiences. Side by Side is an online community where you can listen, share and be heard.

Summer events: on campus and online

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by the Events team

To recognise your amazing achievements over the past year, and to say thank you for your hard work, patience and resilience, we’ll be bringing you a range of online and in-person events during May and June. Plus a way to reflect on the past year on social media.

Did someone say Ferris wheel?!

See Frenchay Campus from new heights on a Ferris wheel; enjoy some free ice cream; go play some crazy golf; sit with friends in a field of socially distant hearts; get involved in the front row at our Virtual Live Comedy Event.

Plus we’re organising a social down at the Arnolfini where you can expect discounted drinks and an exclusive private seating area for UWE Bristol staff and students!

Whether you’re joining us on campus or online, we hope there’s something for you to enjoy. Some events require registration in advance so take a look and get booking!

How has the pandemic changed you in a positive way?

We’d also love to know how you feel the pandemic has changed you in a positive way – so print our template, write your response, take a picture or use our Instagram story template and pop it on social with the hashtag #TeamUWE.

It might be ‘I am stronger’ or ‘I am more connected to my community’ – we can’t wait to see your pictures!

We look forward to seeing you on campus and online!

Your May Feel Good Focus

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by the Feel Good Team

As the academic year draws to a close, we understand that some of you may be feeling a mixture of emotions including excitement, stress, anxiety, and fear. Whatever you might be feeling, it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself through this time and take moments for yourself.

Feel Good Exams

Throughout May we’ll be helping you to cope with any stress you might be feeling during the assessment period.

As part of Feel Good Exams (Monday 10- Friday 28 May), we’ll be encouraging you to #Find15 (minutes) away from your screen to do something that you love. This could be anything that makes you feel good such as yoga, walking, reading, dancing, or even sleeping!

Balance is the key to ensuring the work you produce is completed to the best standard you can achieve. We’ll also be sharing some ideas for 15-minute delicious Feel Good recipes.

To get started, why not read Drama and Creative Writing student, Mercedes’, blog post on how she manages her wellbeing during the assessment period.

You can stay connected to everything Feel Good Exams via our Instagram and Twitter pages.

And did you know Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from Monday 10- Sunday 16 May? This year the theme is nature, focussing on the amazing impact getting out into to nature can have on our mental health and wellbeing.

So maybe if you’re feeling particularly stressed or bogged down during the assessment period try to #Find15 in nature.

Tackling loneliness

This year has left many of us feeling more isolated and lonelier than we have ever felt before. However, everyone will face feelings of loneliness at some point in their life.

Loneliness arises because of a person feeling that their need of rewarding social connections and relationships is not being met. It is also possible to feel lonely amongst others, due to feelings such as an inability to relate to them, feeling as though they do not care for you, and feeling misunderstood. Starting University and entering a new community and culture, can make feelings of loneliness more prevalent.

And with evidence suggesting a strong connection between loneliness, anxiousness, and depression, we want to ensure you are aware of the support available to you from the university and the wider community if you find yourself feeling lonely or isolated.

That’s why we’ve created our new Tackling loneliness webpage designed to help connect with others and make you aware of the support available to you.

Our May recommendations

Activity: Jo Wicks 15 Minute Full Body Fat Burner

Try this quick 15-minute-high intensity workout to get your blood flowing and encourage endorphins to your brain!

Activity: Yoga with Adrienne – 15 minute morning yoga

Or if you’re looking for something less intense, this simple 15-minute practise is the perfect introduction to yoga. Yoga is a great activity to do in between long sessions of sitting down to get the body moving and rebalance the mind.

Recipe: 15 minute Singapore noodles

This simple plant bases recipe is nutritionally dense and super easy to make when you haven’t got much time- give it a go!

Something new: 15 minute guided meditation

Have you ever meditated before? Meditation is a great tool to help you prevent stress and calm any existing unwanted feelings of anxiety. This practise will guide you through a peaceful exercise to help you quieten your mind.

And breathe: how to look after your wellbeing during the assessment period

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by Mercedes, BA(Hons)Drama and Creative Writing

Three cheers for exam season! No?

Yes, I know this season in education isn’t always the most popular for various reasons (I personally feel a wave of nausea come in when I hear the E word). But if you think about it, this is one of your moments to show them what you’ve got!

Now, first things first, the hard work will pay off. It absolutely will.

Luckily for us, we are in an age where you (yes, you) have mattered more than ever before. Where your wellbeing is top priority. It would be a disservice for me to tell you to work hard, but not tell you to care about yourself harder. We really begin to feel the pressure of expectation around this time, and it’s vital that you have a method under your belt to combat stress and anxiety if and when it arises.

So, how do we win in wellbeing? By first understanding that “before anything else, my health matters”.

You’ve mattered from the beginning

You are way more than just a student number in the system. I often found it hard to separate study and leisure and I almost felt like I didn’t deserve to take a break, even when I was physically tired and falling asleep at my desk.

Down went another coffee to get the work done. Looking back now, I wish I had given myself grace, and treated myself like a human and not so much like a robot.

So to you, give yourself a break! It is okay to stop for a moment and just breathe. Centre yourself. Let the overwhelm die down before hopping back into that coursework or essay. Time may be of the essence, but you really do matter more.

Find your “thing”

A beautiful thing about being your own person is that you have things that really work for you, but might not necessarily work for others and that is perfectly fine.

For me, I love to create! I’ll make beats, or write poetry, or just throw on an album, lie there and listen to it. If I could paint, I’d paint. The process is, I’m taking the stress and pressure I feel and releasing it in a way that awakens a different side of my brain and produces something tangible.

You don’t have to be perfect at any of those things either, but you’ll find yourself getting better at it so it’s a win-win! You may find yoga works for you, or maybe it’s exercise, or maybe it is a creative outlet, maybe it’s reading. Whatever it is, or if you have no idea what it is, take time out for you and try something new! There’s a heap of things that could work for you, it’s up to you to find out.

We are what we consume

I used to stress eat like it was nobody’s business and it didn’t do me any good. The bank account was not pleased and neither was my physical fitness. I’m not saying you have to hit the gym every time you have a spare 20 minutes, or you have to eat greens and greens only just to get through this assessment period. Not at all. But what I am saying, is that what we feed ourselves is what fuels us.

Eating well and staying healthy are both very strong contributing factors to self-care. Once I resolved that Domino’s isn’t going anywhere I began to treat it like a luxury, and not a necessity. Now, I buy groceries and make home-cooked meals (which is also so therapeutic!) Setting time aside to make food that’ll benefit your body and mind is another great way to feel better about yourself.

Can you see the theme here? Assessment season can be brutal, especially depending on your degree. But you want to feel healthy and headstrong for when you sit those exams, or submit that coursework and hopefully you can take some of my tips and your own flare.

Remember, you’ve mattered from the beginning!

Why apply to be a PAL leader?

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by Max, BA(Hons) Philosophy and PAL leader

Becoming a PAL Leader is about more than the added income, ability to undertake the ILM L3 in Effective Mentoring, or having some experience on your CV. It’s about having fun and making an impact with students who are going through the same thing you have just been through!

In this post I want to talk a bit more about the other sides of being a PAL Leader, that might not seem so obvious.

What do I do as a PAL leader?

What I really love about being a PAL Leader is how flexible the work is. At the end of the day, you’re there to help the students and facilitate their success at UWE.

This means that you help on a range of topics, from managing money, preparing for second year, or thinking about careers, on top of all the usual course-related content, like essay planning or even discussing particular books/topics as a group.

I have a handful of semi-planned sessions for some of the above key topics, but otherwise I will find out what my students want the following week and come prepared with a handful of resources – and maybe a toned back presentation (always using a Mentimeter where possible!) This means that outside of the timetabled session, there really isn’t much preparation required, as the training helps you deliver quality content and the rest of it comes from your experiences.

I haven’t had any other job quite like it. The flexibility truly makes it interesting, every single week.

Why did I apply?

  • For the chance to help students through things I struggled with. Ensuring that the next cohort get to enjoy all the tips and tricked that I picked up, through trial and error.
  • To make a positive impact and legacy on my course, ensuring the year below are going to enjoy the course just as much as I have – that’s where it’s really about applying your personal experience and sharing what you’ve learned with them.
  • To develop myself as a well-rounded individual. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to develop mentoring skills so early in your career, so this was a great introduction to that.

My favourite moments

Especially in the current virtual environment, it meant a lot to my students that I could facilitate a safe space for them to share and speak up, where they wouldn’t feel confident doing so in the larger lecturers/seminars.

There are both direct and indirect moments that you can help and an indirect one for me was getting their feedback about a particular extra-curricular session they had last term. I was able to take this and work with the lecturers to facilitate these sessions again this term. The students were very grateful that I went out of my way and helped arrange something that they wouldn’t have done themselves.

What have I learnt?

I’ve learned many great soft and hard skills as a PAL leader, while at the same time working and developing some skills I already picked up from previous jobs.

Organisation and the ability to be agile

The role taught me to plan a session in a matter of days and then successfully time manage within that session. It was also key to understand the balance of having enough material to fill an hour, but also not have too much that we can’t go off plan and discuss something completely different that the students want.

It’s also about not being phased if no one contributes, or if you don’t make it past the first planned exercise. As long as you can provide value to the students, then you have succeeded in that session.

Professionalism and responsibility

You’re a lifeline to students, who really value getting your insight. It’s not just about having a chat with them for an hour but delivering meaningful content that has a positive impact. And where necessary, signposting or flagging important issues to the relevant staff.

How to mentor, engage and lead classes

This is brilliant experience if you’re interested in a career in teaching but also great to show varied experience on your CV. I was able to work on my training skills from a previous job but now I can also show how I adapted them to a different setting and audience.

Thank you for taking some time to read my post, for more information on the PAL leader role check out the Be a PAL Leader web page and have a think if this is a role you can make your own and leave a lasting positive impact on fellow students.

You might not realise just how much you’ll enjoy!