So how are you really feeling?
Thursday was Time to Talk Day 2018, a chance for us to speak openly about mental health, something that doesn’t happen as much as it should. There is a certain stigma associated with mental health, however when 1/4 people are affected by mental illness each year, it really is time to stamp out the sigma and talk about mental health. Following on from Paula’s post about what to do if you are worried about a friend’s mental health, I thought I would share some first hands tips of how to stay mentally healthy in a university environment and what to do if you feel that you are suffering in any way.
Mental health and university… recently I feel like I’m discussing this problem every single day. As a student representative I communicate this issue to colleagues, staff members, university support systems, external panels etc. I also wrote about mental and PhD – even if you’re not a PhD student, have a read, it might apply to you as well.
However, not everyone is talking about it. Some aren’t aware that this issue is important, some don’t care and many just are afraid or don’t know how to offer support to someone who might struggle. Tomorrow is a great opportunity to give it a try – Time to Talk Day 2018.
We can all agree that Imperial has great neighbours. On the same street, you find some of the most stunning museums of London: Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Science Museum, all of which are free to enter.
Natural History Museum
If you love nature, animals and science, you cannot miss the Natural History Museum. You’ll be impressed viewing their dinosaurs or experiencing an earthquake simulation in a Japanese store.
Last Friday after class, I visited the NHM as it was hosting a special evening event about the Blue Planet II TV show. I’m a huge fan of this BBC series that manages to capture the wildlife in the planet’s oceans with the latest technologies and innovative filming methods.
London, known to many as “The Big Smoke” has historically, and still today, been synonymous with air pollution, traffic jams and intense urban hustle and bustle. BUT, there is another side to the city – its “greener” side. London, despite the nicknames and assumptions, actually boasts 8 Royal Parks and countless smaller green spaces. So, if you need an escape from city life – the parks are a perfect saviour!
Hyde Park Italian Gardens. Photo credit: Panos Asproulis from London, United Kingdom / Wikimedia.
In my opinion, probably one of the best known parks in London for multiple reasons.
It’s holiday season, Christmas lights everywhere, happy wishes in every corner, warmth and love in every single person around and for most students time to go home.
So, since I am just like most students, I partied to celebrate the end of term, and then partied again because it’s Christmas. Which led to a few very productive days of hangover doing absolutely nothing but Netflix – like you should. With all the partying and it’s consequences checked off my to do list, it’s time to catch a flight (right after doing laundry, miracles may happen but that’s just in Easter, right now your cloths won’t wash themselves).
Eating healthier, becoming more athletic and so on can be found every year again among the Top 5 New Year’s resolutions. However, several studies show sobering results. Already after 2 weeks (roughly now) the first ones will start dieing off again, in March 75 % of the resolutions are supposed to be forgotten.
Every one of us knows this: sometimes you are sporty, sometimes you are not. The causes are as diverse as the cultural diversity of the Imperial College. Exam phase stress, social projects or permanent events such as weddings, birthday etc. We live in a busy world.
Nonetheless, it is essential to constantly re-evaluate oneself and at least return to basic forms of exercise.
The mission of my life is to show people surprising ways of using maths. However, today I’ll make an exception: I’ll talk about an example of maths abuse.
Surely you’ve heard that tomorrow we have the Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year. Even restaurants and shops all over the UK become almost charities by offering great deals (I can’t believe I just linked you to the Mirror!) to make this day a bit brighter for us, customers – I’m sure they do it solely out of goodness of their hearts, without any profit…You might also have heard that it was scientifically proven and that this date is found using a mathematical formula.
Moving on as an Oxbridge reject
Getting rejected from Oxbridge is one of those moments where you feel like you’ve lost control and things haven’t gone how you wanted or expected them to go, leaving you feeling utterly discouraged. Maybe you feel like you’ve let yourself or someone else down, or maybe you feel annoyed or angry. Perhaps you feel drained, not seeing the point anymore and wishing you hadn’t tried in the first place.
Whenever you do feel like any of these, from disappointment to frustration it is most important to share how you feel with someone, I know it can seem like the hardest thing to do but it will definitely help you cope better.
Let’s face it: doing a PhD isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. The process can be painful and annoying, and at some point you’re probably going to get completely stuck. If you’ve ever done any research, you definitely know what I’m talking about.
There’s something you need to do, usually some task that was supposed to be easy – a toy example, an almost standard code, a “quick” experiment to check your hypothesis. And here you are, spending long hours, days, weeks, even months, not even closer to solving your problem. You’ve tried everything, used all possible sources you could find, but this devil isn’t giving up.
Best part of doing a PhD? Conferences! When you finally manage to do some meaningful research, it’s time to present it to a wider audience. In other words, pack your suitcases and bon voyage! I know that attending conferences might be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, so here are a few tips to make the most of them.
- Find a good conference. If you’re as lucky as I am and have a great supervisor, she or he will suggest interesting events to you. Otherwise you’ll need to do the work yourself. However, at Imperial we’re flooded with e-mails advertising scientific events, there’s also Google and your colleagues who can give you some advice.