Day in the life of a Mental Health and Wellbeing student
My name is Rebecca Fielding and I’m a Mental Health and Wellbeing student here at Wrexham Glyndwr University. I’m an adult learner and I decided to return to education after around 20 years, balancing family life alongside my studies and work.
I honestly did not think that I would ever go back into education, but WGU is not a "sit and listen to instructions" type of environment. I have met so many different people, all from different backgrounds and it’s great to come together to learn something new, whilst contributing to each other's knowledge. I hope that my day in the life gives you some idea of what it’s like to study at WGU.
I usually wake up at around 6:30am and the first thing I do to kickstart my day is have a coffee, black with 2 sugars. I get my two girls organised (five and 12 years old) making sure they are up and sorted for school.
When I get to campus, I will have made sure to sort my resources for the lecture the night before, but I always double check that I have everything. I’ll sometimes have some food in United Kitchen (the canteen on main campus) as they do a lovely breakfast.
STUDY HACK: I read over my week’s notes on the Friday, or over the weekend before my lectures in the week coming up. This helps me revisit and dig into anything I'm not sure about, or don't understand, so that I feel more prepared. This usually involves making even more notes, but I’ve found it to really help with my studies.
My favourite lecture at the moment has to be Research Foundations, as it allows me free reign to get my teeth into a subject that I’m really interested in and will hopefully form the basis of my dissertation.
Before the lecture, I meet up with my fellow students and have a chat with them before we go in. The course covers so many different themes around Mental Health and Wellbeing, and as a lot of us are interested in different topics in the course, it makes for rather diverse (if sometimes erratic) conversations between us all.
We head to the lecture, which is more like a huge sharing of ideas and experiences rather than a strict learning programme. Throughout the session, our lecturers highlight really interesting topics I would have never thought of looking into.
After the lecture, we usually go our separate ways, but I love when myself and a couple of students I got to know whilst learning online in lockdown have time to go for lunch. The canteen or the Student’s Union bar, Glyn’s are great places to have some food and discuss our work.
If I need to, I’ll head to the library after lunch as I feel that I can study better there without any distractions. The only thing is that school pickup means that I rarely have the time for extra study during the week. There are some days when I have an afternoon lecture and I’ll come in early to work in one of the study spaces like the B-hive. Having a well-equipped place to go gets me into the studying frame of mind before a later lecture.
I often find that when I’m studying at home, I am easily distracted with washing piles, housework or any other jobs that I can find to do other than uni work (I am a huge procrastinator). When it’s assignment time, I have to make myself sit at my desk in the bedroom and deep focus study music really helps do my best work. I usually complete work for assignments the day after the relevant lecture, as I process the information better after I have slept on it.
I make my way home from campus and pick up my girls after school for either homework, school clubs or cadet time. If I’m not straight out to work the minute my hubby arrives home (we are like passing ships), I would usually cook tea with the family and chat about our day. I find that I have tried to make time to do this more since learning from my course, as it gives all the family time to offload our day.
My go-to meal to cook is stew and dumplings, especially in the winter. As a mum and a student, a big tip I have found useful is to find some time in the morning to stick all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and come home to a lovely stew smelling home. After tea, it’s usually bath and bedtime for the youngest and then I’ll go over the previous days lecture work if assignments are needed to be completed.
STUDY TOOL: At the beginning of term, I like to create a colour coordinated diary of when I’ll do assignments and I’ll work out how much time I have to do them. I’m working on three assignments at the moment and my diary is really useful, as it tells me which assignments I should be working on and how many words I need to do to keep on track.
I often read through my skills books to make sure that I’m up to scratch on the different assignments we have to complete, and I find it useful to book appointments with the learning skills team if I need some guidance. They help me make sure that I understand the brief before I start writing my assignments and I revisit the team on occasion with some things I struggle with, like critical writing.
When I’ve finished with my assignment prep, I try to do a 10-minute quick mindfulness meditation to clear all my thoughts. I then get ready for bed or catch up on some TV in a nice warm bath, before bed at around 11pm.