Welfare at Leeds: How to be resilient when things don’t go your way

There’s always a lot of pressure to succeed at university, but it’s not always possible. Martha gives some advice on how to build up your resilience when things don’t go right.

How resilient do you feel? Psychological resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to successfully adapt to life tasks in the face of disadvantage or adverse conditions. This adversity and stress can be caused by a multitude of factors including family or relationship problems, health problems, workplace/academic and financial worries to name a few. The student population on average has lower resilience levels to the average adult outside of Higher Education.
Lydia Bleasdale-Hill (Associate Professor in Law and Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellow, 2016-17) discussed with us the importance of building resilience against disappointment and failure: “Failing at something which is important to you, or feeling like you haven’t achieved the standard that you wanted to, is a fact of life for all of us. Disappointment and failure are often hidden from public view though, particularly in an age when competition for jobs, for example, is rife; and at a time when the trend on social media is towards presenting an idealised version of our lives. The need to deal with setbacks doesn’t disappear with age, so learning coping mechanisms early on is vital: many students will already have those in place, but it can still be useful to think about engaging with formal sources of support like those mentioned in this blog, or friends and family. I think it’s particularly important to share both our success and ‘failures’ with our peers: not only can we gain support from each other that way, we can learn how they managed those more difficult situations.” With many of you have now receiving your results from the January exams this is a stressful time of time. You might be disappointed with them and if you are that is OK. The grade you see on the VLE, or get on a feedback sheet does not have to be final and you have a lot of options available. It is easier said than done but it is important to not let yourself get downhearted by results you are potentially unhappy with. University is about learning and building up skills, academic and otherwise, over a long period of time.

There are also numerous factors which you feel may have affected your academic performance, including illness or issues in personal relationships. Resits and applying for mitigating circumstances are both possible options for you.

Have a chat with your Student Support Officer or Personal tutor or if you are worried about approaching your School, or don’t feel happy about doing so, then LUU Student Advice can offer confidential help and advice. We can help you decide what to do and help you with any communication you might have with your School if you would like us to. You can contact the Student Advice to learn more about the services available to you on campus, and further afield in Leeds. Easing the Pressure: Building Resilience course runs every Wednesday, contact M.A.Clowes@leeds.ac.uk for more information.

Martha Clowes

(Image courtesy of https://www.baseformula.com/blog/aromatherapy-tips-for-study-exams/)

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