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Spotlight on… health and wellbeing

We talk to Kai O'Doherty from the Students' Association, and our own Undergraduate Director, Chris Perkins, about getting Semester Two off to a positive, healthy start.

Photo of Kai O'Doherty
Kai O'Doherty. Image courtesy of the Students' Association.

Edinburgh is beautiful in winter but, with the shorter daylight hours and more coughs and colds going round, it can be difficult to stay motivated and well.

To get Semester Two off to a positive, healthy start, the Students’ Association are running Give it a Go, a “campaign encouraging students to try out something new - whether it be volunteering, sport, societies, learning a new skill, and so much more - (usually) free of charge, and in a beginner’s environment.”

As Kai O'Doherty, Vice President Activities & Services, explains “It can often feel daunting to join a society, or try a new sport.”

“Give It A Go week falls on the first week back for Winter Semester, to really stress that you can join a society or club at any time in the year – not just in September.”

“Whether you were too busy settling in last semester to try something out, or have a New Year’s Resolution to start something new, this gives you the perfect opportunity to give it a go before the semester deadlines start rolling in.”

“It’s really important that people find fun, pals, and interests outside of their studies, to find community, chill out, and get active. This week is a great chance to start”.

Supporting our students for success

As Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC), Dr Chris Perkins is very aware of the importance of campaigns like Give it a Go.

Having been instrumental in the development of our online student support hub, Support for Success in LLC, Chris has been careful to ensure that, in addition to key School information, study skills training, and so on, the hub provides access to other resources that play a role in successful learning, and general health and wellbeing at university.

He says “As well as simple, clear and concise information about all the different support services offered by the University, we also have links to sports initiatives, external health and wellbeing centred organisations, and independently produced guides to looking after yourself while studying.”

“Health and wellbeing are the foundation for everything else that happens at university. If you are not healthy, both mentally and physically, you are unlikely to get the most from your learning with us, and will struggle to achieve to the best of your ability. Therefore, it is vital that you look after yourself!”

Don’t forget… as well as our online hub, our Student Support Team are always here to offer support and guidance in person. They are located in Room 2.32 at 50 George Square and are available Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 4.30pm all year round.

Find out more

Related links

Browse the Give it a Go listings on the Students’ Association website

Read Chris Perkin’s feature on Support for Success in LLC

Read our feature on mental health and wellbeing on your year abroad