What I wish I knew when I was a student…

becky carre (2)

By Becky Carré a English BA (Hons) NTU Alumni 

I recently posted with #tenyearchallenge, and when I looked at my 18-year-old NTU Fresher self, compared to the almost-adult I see in the mirror, they could not be further apart.

Studying English at Clifton Campus in 2009, I thought I knew all about how to look after myself. I ate a vegetable or two with lunch (nutrition), walked to lectures (exercise) and once went to a yoga class (mental health). All the boxes ticked, right?

Nowadays, I’m juggling a full time job as an Account Manager for a digital marketing agency with training for my fourth marathon and working towards my yoga teacher training qualification. A busy and active lifestyle means I have to prioritise self-care, eating right, and my health – and I’ve had a lot to learn along the way.

These are the things I wish I’d known at uni to help me live a healthier (and happier!) student life:

Batch cooking is cool
Invest in some good tupperware! Cook once and have a healthy meal prepped for the next two, three, or even four days. It’s cheaper, quicker, and stops you reaching for fast food when you’re heading home hungry.

Societies are not just for ‘sporty people’
I thought sports societies and clubs were for sporty people only, but I was so wrong! Mountain biking, yoga, latin dance society – you can find something active to suit you with a club that will be super inclusive. Not only is being active great for mental health, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Putting the ‘self’ into self-care
Take your diary or timetable for the week, add social plans and commitments, then circle the free time you have left. This is YOUR time.
I keep at least one evening free every week for winding down and self-care. This could be a yoga class, taking a long bath, or just watching Netflix in bed. It can feel indulgent to have ‘me’ time when we all live busy lives, but I guarantee you’ll be a better person for it.

NTU gyms are awesome
I can’t believe I didn’t join the gym when I was a student! It’s a complete bargain (as a non-student I now pay £50+ per month for a gym membership) and the uni gyms are so well equipped. Even if you only make it once a week, grab a gym buddy and do it.

Sleep hygiene is a thing
As a student, I felt tired ALL the time. It’s hard when you have deadlines and a busy social life, but try to stick to a regular sleeping pattern. It will improve productivity, mood, and is linked to maintaining a healthy weight. I also charge my phone away from my bed so I avoid blue light before sleeping and can’t be tempted by insomnia scrolling on social media.

For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
Support from NTU
Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
Depression advice
Counselling
Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
Struggling at Uni? Go to Student Minds
10 Keys to happiness
This post is part of our regular NTU Alumni feature. Over the next few weeks we will be posting guest blogs written by our Alumni Fellows sharing their experiences and tips on their student journey while here at NTU.
If you are an NTU graduate and are interested in writing for us contact: alumni.fellows@ntu.ac.uk
You can find more information about our Alumni Fellowship volunteering programme via the alumni website


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