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Student Blog

Transferable core skills and mental health, if only I knew then what I know now

Hi, I?m Alex and I?m a postgraduate student of the University of South Wales studying MSc Human Resource Management. I have always been interested in the ?human? side of work and getting the best out of people? including myself!?

Last year I completed an undergraduate BA (Hons) Business Management degree.? I had issues with areas such as time management (working up until the night of the deadline kind), confidence (presentations are my nightmares), and motivation – the start of University was certainly testing me.?

The first two years of University I pushed through merely by luck and determination but before I knew it, I was in my third and final year with a dissertation looming over me – not the best feeling to have. I soon realised that no matter how stressed or worked up I got myself, it wasn?t going to improve my grade. I had had enough of the sleepless nights and rushing assignments last minute for the next day. Worrying and putting things off just wasn?t cutting it anymore. This was when I realised, I wanted to do more than the minimum to get through each module. This is what the years of studying had led up to ? the degree classification I was going to finish with.??

It was then I learned how to be a more critical, focused, reflective and proactive individual, which allowed me to really grasp each assignment and manage myself effectively through my dissertation (even through a global pandemic may I add!)?

After successfully completing the undergraduate degree I thought about the importance of these transferable skills I had learnt; how critical these skills were and the impact they had on my academic performance; my overall wellbeing and coping strategies. It was then I really started to develop these skills and challenge my thought processes. However, I couldn?t help feeling annoyed that it took me two and a half years to realise how much these skills could help me.?

By adopting these strategic methods into my life, I had been able to deal with challenges in my personal life, manage my academic studies effectively and carry out part time employment, whilst still having time to pop down to the pub every so often with friends of mine. The benefits of using these transferable skills you may ask??

  • Being able to sleep – without lying there overthinking about the things I had put off for weeks on end.??

  • Being able to enjoy activities outside of academia ? instead of being sat in the pub worrying about the assignment that?s due tomorrow.??
  • Sense of satisfaction – being proud of the work you have accomplished? rather than debating in your head the point of the assignment because you?re too stressed to focus.??
  • Reduction in anxiety and stress ? having an element of control of the direction of your life and mental preparation for the activities that need to be completed.??
  • An effective routine ? a steady and reliable method to base daily activities around.?
  • A sense of direction ? nobody likes to feel stuck in a time warp (among many other advantages? trust me!)?

From a personal perspective it really did surprise me the impact that these small changes can have on someone?s overall wellbeing and performance. The good thing about these transferable skills are that they are universal ? they can be applied to any situation, any individual and any assignment or module.??

So if you?re a student who could do with a bit more clarity, focus and management in your life, be sure to check out the new materials coming soon to the Steps to Student Wellbeing webpage to help you be a more efficient you ? your mental health will thank you later!??

By Alex Hopkins

Student USW