Student Summertime: Amazing Plans to Make the Most of It

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What’s that sound? It’s the sudden quiet that tells you the last lecture has taken place, the farewell parties have died down, and a hundred cars have departed, laden with excited students, half their possessions, and all of their hangovers. Everyone is headed for the open road, or even just the road they grew up on, to sleep, eat, and regenerate with some good home cooking.

But once the initial high from surviving exam season has died down, sleep has been had, and you’ve re-watched Breaking Bad from start to finish, you’re left with a lot of days. So beyond topping up your funds with a summer job, you need a plan. Ideally one that involves finding adventure, travel, and hazy memories with the uni friends you’ve bonded with over the past year.

Get Festive

The hippies came and went in the 60s, and probably for good reason. Their lifestyle of being hairy, eating badly, and gathering in rainy fields usually ended in trenchfoot. But it’s fun to do in small bursts, in warm weather, with the right people. Which is why festivals are awesome.

It’s a traditional rite of passage these days, from a notoriously rainy Glasto to a sunburnt and Estrella-fuelled adventure in Benicassim. And don’t forget the hundreds of smaller festivals all over the UK. Find a good pair of wellies, gather up your tribe, and invest in a disposable tent (unless you go all out and glamp it up in a wigwam) – and you’re all set to go.

And if your budget is looking like a commune food cupboard, consider signing up as a festival volunteer or worker. Someone has to pour pints into plastic cups, steward cars, and oversee the portaloos – it may as well be you, and you’ll still find plenty of opportunity to see the bands around your tasks.

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Staying Well at Uni

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Continuing our theme of how to stay happy and healthy at university, a new report shows how the UK is not the only country to see increasing mental health issues amongst students. In fact,  it looks like its becoming pretty widespread no matter where you study in the world.  This research, called Student Wellbeing Matters, takes an independent look at existing research from the UK as well as Germany, Spain and Australia to find out more about how student welfare has changed recently.

The research lists most of the obvious stressors such as financial pressures, academic stress, long commute times, social pressures, job worries and finding the balance between work and study. It also makes an interesting link to housing problems too. The latest National Student Housing Survey supports this, showing a strong correlation between satisfaction with where you live and overall happiness at University. In fact, the correlation is so strong that 80% who rated their accommodation as good or very good, also said it had a positive impact on their wellbeing and 84% who rated their accommodation as bad or very bad, also said it had a negative impact on their wellbeing.

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A Day In The Life Of A Resident Assistant

By  Kieran Portman, Resident Assistant, Bentley House

kieran bentley houseThis summer, I will be graduating from Aston University, Birmingham, with a degree in law. Throughout the year I’ve been juggling my studies with a job at Bentley House. It’s a purpose built student accommodation of 534 beds about five minutes walk from the Aston campus and less than fifteen minutes walk to the Bullring, and the cultural hub of the city centre.

The Resident Assistant role is a unique one. I live at the residence and act as a constant face of reassurance for everyone. I spend my working time organising community events at the property, amongst other administrative duties that draw upon my previous placement experience. We have had some hundreds of people through the common room doors to participate in events which range from celebrating pancake day to sexual health talks.

The most popular event that we have organised this year was the Great Bentley Bake-Off. This was a great opportunity for flats to combine their creative and culinary minds, breaking the stereotype that all students can ever make is cheesy pasta. As Bentley House’s very own Paul Hollywood, judging such a high quality of competition was a very difficult, yet tasty, task. It also has to be noted that bringing in a family of meerkats was another extremely popular event – animals can be a great source of stress relief for students!

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