In this second part, I continue to talk to the Reps about advice they would give to other students, and also what we can expect from HistSoc Sport this year…
Suzie, in your speech when running for Female Sports rep, why did you emphasise the link between combatting stress with sport?
Suzie: I emphasised the link because of my own personal experiences, but also because I seen stress in a lot of university students. From my own friends, to random people around campus who were evidently upset and stressed. I don’t think a lot of people realise how beneficial sport really is to relieving stress. Even if you’re doing one exercise class as week, for that one hour you’re focused on something, and not thinking about how difficult that essay is, or worrying about a deadline. Additionally, if you have a healthy body you will have a healthy mind.
Why is sport important to you guys?
James: Sport is something I enjoy and has played an integral part of my life for the last 15 years since I took up football!
Suzie: Sport has so many beneficial characteristics. Not only is it good for your body and mind but it helps you with communication skills, your overall confidence and team work. All pretty cliché, but these skills are so useful in life and the workplace.
Can you give advice to those who are looking for ways to get involved in sport?
Suzie: Join lots of Facebook pages and looking what’s available to you, and just give it a go! Even if you don’t think it’s for you.
James: Don’t be worried about trying something new or worrying that you won’t be good enough. Every single person has started out as a beginner at some point in every sport and it is only practice that allows people to improve! Don’t be afraid to turn up to taster sessions or ask people to join new teams!
Looking after yourself in imperative whilst being independent at university, can you give any tips for a distressful lifestyle?
James: I like to have a routine. I try to get up early at the same time every time, and go to bed at a reasonable time. This allows me to set aside time to do work and have a social life. I try to have a healthy diet as well, and this is probably the hardest thing to achieve. However, by buying certain foods it forces me to stick to my food plan for the week and keep a reasonably healthy diet.
Suzie: Planning meals would be an easy place to start. It takes the stress away from having to think about what to cook every night, but also means you can budget well. A change of scenery every now and then is also something that I personally have found to be great. Do some work at the library, or your desk, then when you have a break, go outside or into your living room to watch TV.
Why did you decide to do this event for world mental health day? And why is raising awareness important to you guys?
Suzie: We did this event because it was something everyone could get involved with. It was for everyone, of every ability, to be active and have fun. Raising awareness was also a fundamental aspect of the event. There may be people at the uni with mental health issues who feel isolated, or as if they’re the only ones going through problems. In my own experience I’ve found that stress, anxiety and other issues affect more people than I would’ve ever imagined. By raising awareness it may lead to someone getting the help they need. One of the ways we as a society can help is to show that a good way to manage your stress levels is with sport.
James: World Mental Health Day is something that can be easily overlooked or ignored by students at uni. It’s likely that 1 in 4 people in your lecture will be suffering from a mental health problem. Sport is a great way to take a break from all the stresses of university life. This is a new initiative we are undertaking as a society, and throughout the year we will be attempting to make more events similar to this one!