By Kris Irategeka and Michael Jones
Student Advisers at Middlesex University Student Union Advice @MiddlesexSU
Following on from the previous blog about Mental Health and Wellbeing at Middlesex University, we hear from Kris and Michael from MDXSU Advice about the Make it Happen project taking place from this week for students at Middlesex University.
As an advice service, we are always trying to support students throughout their studies as much as we can. While our work is in nature reactive, us reacting to students reaching out to us seeking support with appeals, complaints, disciplinary hearings or academic misconduct, we have tried to adopt a more proactive approach in the recent years and reach out to students as well. As part of this initiative, we have explored different ideas to help us tackle the repetitive issues that we see students struggle with and try to prevent them. This is how the Make it Happen project was born.
One of the most stressful times in a student’s life while at university is indisputably the assessment period. Long hours in the library, lack of sleep and poor eating habits affect students’ wellbeing and we wanted to create a project that would support students during this time.
We acknowledged that the students’ body at Middlesex is very diverse and that every student has different needs. This is why we felt that it was important to reach out to different teams within the Student Union and the University to help us provide a variety of activities, and therefore, cater to all our students. Both the SU’s sabbatical officers and the University have organised activities to support students during exams in the past. However, these have always been organised separately. Since students’ wellbeing is at heart of both the University and the SU, this years’ pilot of Make it Happen, tying in the campaigns of our sabbatical officers, was set up with the hope that doing the same in joined efforts under the umbrella of one project would enable us to reach out to more students and help them on their way to success.
There are two parts to the project. The first one is a support guide with helpful tips ranging from revision tips, time management and nutrition to support services available to students at Middlesex. The guide can be downloaded here. Students can also access it by scanning a QR code using their camera (if an iPhone user), Snapchat or QR Code reader app.
For the second part, many teams across Middlesex University and the Student Union have donated their time and resources to provide students with numerous free activities and this project would not be possible without them. These activities will be taking place every day from 25th of April – 17th of May, 9am to 5pm in the Vine Building VG01.
The room will be offering different sessions such as workshops on procrastination, revision and wellbeing. The Progression & Support Team and the Students Welfare Team will be available in the room for 2 hours every day to discuss and advise students on any issues they may have related to their progression or welfare. There will be boxing and Tai Chi classes for those who wish to de-stress through exercise. All the creative minds can come to the art therapy sessions, get a henna tattoo, participate in mocktail classes or take part in gardening activities. Students who just simply want to relax can book a massage, come get their face masks done while watching an episode of RuPaul or play some games. There will also be free refreshments. We hope that every student at our University will find an activity that they like.