Category Archives: Hello Kent

people working in a garden in winter time

Tips to boost your winter wellbeing

With the days still short and a bit dank and grey, it’s easy to feel a bit gloomy in January, but there are things we can do shift our mindset. Psychology PhD student Kelly Dawson shares her advice for boosting your mental health this winter, together with information and opportunities from Student Support and Wellbeing staff at Kent.

Gratitude

Find five things you are grateful for today

Find five things that you are grateful for. These don’t have to be big mind-blowing things (though they can be of course). It could be the feel of your slippers as you slide your feet into them in the morning or the warmth of your coffee cup in your hand or the feel of your dog’s cold wet nose as they nudge you for a stroke. These were three things that happened to me within 15 minutes of being awake this morning. When you really focus on gratitude, that blue feeling just slips away.

Share the good (and not so good) bits of your week at the Wellbeing Café

The Wellbeing Café takes place every week (starts for this term on Monday 23 January 2023) and is a space to connect with other students in a relaxed environment with a focus on promoting your wellbeing and mental health through activity. Last term’s activities included a Positive Planner journaling session, a great tool for remembering to notice what you are grateful for. Find out more about the Wellbeing Café on the Student Support and Wellbeing Events calendar.

Mindfulness

Be present in this moment

We spend lots of our time reminiscing about the past or planning the future. But spending some time being fully immersed in the moment is really beneficial. Look around you, what can you see and hear? Are there any particular smells? What are your hands touching, how does that feel? Is it rough or smooth? Your senses are a great way to bring yourself right to the present moment. Spend a few minutes five times throughout the day focussing on your sensory experience.

Free mindfulness classes with a qualified instructor

Come along to the popular mindfulness meditation sessions – a great way to improve your wellbeing alongside other Kent students. They take place on Wednesdays at 13:00 online and 17:00 in-person. Find out more about Mindfulness at Kent.

Endorphins

Get out in nature, exercise, or take a cold shower

Get up early and go for a walk (or a run/cycle if that’s your thing), preferably in nature.  If you don’t enjoy nature, that’s no problem, don’t do something you don’t like. Try any form of exercise, from swimming to dancing in your kitchen! If exercise isn’t for you, then try turning your morning shower as cold as you can comfortably stand for a few seconds. Anything that gets your blood pumping will help your body release endorphins!

Come along to the community garden in Park Wood

Get outdoors in the allotment! The Kent Community Oasis Garden (KentCOG) is a project run by a collection of students, staff and community members working to create a sustainability hub centred around growing food. Go along to one of their open gardening sessions on Wednesday and Friday (10:00-14:00). Find out more about KentCOG.

Self-care

Set aside some of your day to do something that makes you feel good

Self-care is super important all of the time, but on cold dark days definitely do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Don’t just think about it, actually set aside part of your day in your calendar to make this happen – it can be reading a good book, taking a nap or meeting a friend.

Find something relaxing to read in Templeman Library

The new ‘Love to Read’ area in the Templeman Library Cafe has a collection of novels, best-selling books, self-help titles and e-books. You can borrow them as usual with your ID card, or sit in the cosy area and take a break from studying. Find out more about the Love to Read collection.


Need wellbeing support?

Have a look at the Student Support and Wellbeing webpages to find out about support services including a free, confidential counselling service and 24/7 online and phone support partners.

Written by Kelly Dawson (PhD researcher in Cognitive Neuropsychology), and Joshua Stevens (Student Services), 12.01.23

Events roundup: 16-22 January

Welcome back to start of the Spring Term! Here’s a roundup of what’s on this week:

Monday: Find a part-time job, board games, Crafternoon

Would you like a part-time job but not sure where to start? This part-time jobs session will cover the types of jobs available, how to search and tools you need to start applying.

Want to play some games and make some new friends? Come along to the Venue to play some board games and retro games consoles.

Or if you’re at Medway campus, head to The Hub for a Crafternoon to try out a range of different crafts and meet new people.

Wednesday: Gardening, Sustainability and Internationalisation

Fancy getting outside more in the New Year? Consider joining an open gardening session at Kent Community Oasis Garden. Between 14:00-15:00 at the garden, you can also learn how to make art from leaf printing at this wellbeing in nature session.

Learn about Internationalisation and Sustainability within the curriculum at this Study Plus workshop. Share your experiences and help influence change at the University.

Thursday: CVs and cover letters and Dancing Queen

Join this online interactive session covering the essentials of writing an effective CV and cover letter.

K-Bar’s LGBTQ-friendly DJ night ‘Dancing Queen’ is ready to celebrate the new year with a bang!

Friday: Notetaking and Medway ACS DJ Night

If you need a boost to get you back into your studies after the Winter Break, try this online sessions on notetaking and getting the most from your lectures and seminars.

On Friday night, Medway’s Afro Caribbean Society presents ‘Wild ‘n’ out: reload it’ DJ night. A host of DJs will welcome you back to campus. Tickets cost £6.

See more student events.

Opportunities

See more student opportunities.

 

Students posing for photo in front of art

Last chance! Student Art Pass – a year of art and opportunities for a fiver

A Student Art Pass lets you dive into culture on a budget with free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK, and 50% off major exhibitions.

Plus, you’ll gain access to paid opportunities in the visual arts and grow your network by joining the #WeAreArtful @StudentArtPass community. All for just £5 a year.

Only available until 31 January. Get your £5 pass today before it’s too late.

picture of the sustainable development goals mutli colour wheel on a black background

Our ambitions for a sustainable University, and how you can get involved

If you’ve returned after the winter holidays thinking about what changes you might make in your life this year, you’re not alone. The start of the year is a great time to take stock and start thinking about ways you might change your behaviour to reduce the pressure on the planet. 

What does sustainability mean? 

To sustain means to ‘support’, ‘hold’ or ‘keep up’, and when we talk about sustainability, people often firstly think about environmental sustainability – that is protecting the planet, halting climate change and promoting social development. This means thinking creatively about how we might cover our present needs without compromising resources for future generations. This is also intertwined with concepts of social and economic sustainability, making sure that our progress as a society can be maintained without leaving anyone behind. 

What are we doing at Kent to meet sustainability goals? 

The University are signatories of the Sustainable Development Goals Education Accord. That means we are committed to embedding the 17 biggest global challenges of our time into everything we do; our operations, teaching and research. 

Our ambition is that by 2025, even before visiting us, people will be aware that the university is a key actor in addressing the climate and ecological emergency and is demonstrating dramatic reductions in CO2 emissions. Through our campuses and online presence, our staff, students and the local community will experience the obvious actions and activities that show how seriously the University of Kent takes climate action and social and environmental responsibility. Every building on our campuses will show signs of having moved to more sustainable power. Our transport systems will be much less fossil-fuel based, and our shops, cafes and restaurants will focus on more sustainable produce. Our green spaces will demonstrate our connection to the natural environment, making spaces for people to enjoy that protect, enhance and allow biodiversity to flourish. More than all this, our education will be steeped in a culture of continuous improvement to ensure that all our students in all subjects are learning the skills and knowledge needed for a sustainable future. You can read about all of our targets in the University’s Sustainability Strategy. 

How can you get involved? 

  • Keep up to date with sustainability activities and events by following unikent.sustainability on Instagram, or search #UniKentSustainability
  • Join one of Kent’s amazing student led societies centred around environmental and/or social sustainability  
  • Take part in Kent’s Environmentally Friendly Careers Week from 23 January to 27 January 2023 
  • Want to be involved in sustainability activity in your School/Division? Find out who your local staff Sustainability Champion is and get in touch with them 

Orchard Planting

This term we will be planting an orchard of over 300 fruit and nut trees on the edge of the Canterbury campus. What will be known as the diamond anniversary orchard has been planned ahead of the University’s 60th birthday in 2025 and the space has been designed by the future class of 2025, our undergraduates who started a 3-year degree this year. 

The site on the Southern Slopes of the campus provides an ideal setting for a semi-natural orchard and meadow that will not only be a beautiful space for students, staff and community members to enjoy, but also provides a complex habitat that will boost biodiversity in the area. 

As the space matures it will become a mosaic of trees, grasses, shrubs and wild flowers supporting a wide range of wildlife. As fruit trees age quickly, they create the perfect habitats for invertebrates and birds, such as the lesser spotted woodpecker and the rare noble chafer beetle.  Orchard meadows with swathes cut through for paths provide a peaceful space to walk through and enjoy and with the increase bird life in the area the birdsong in this area will begin to match that heard in Bluebell wood. You can get involved with the planting and find out more about activities planned in the space on our anniversary orchard webpage.

We also have plans for the Medway campus bringing high pollen value plants for bees and butterflies to the communal seating area at Rochester Lawn, building upon the new seating and shaded area there. We will also be planting up large pots around the Medway building to improve access to nature at an urban campus and seeded a new wildflower meadow to bring nature in! 

Veganuary

Doing or trying the plant-based thing? The Templeman library are supporting this month with a themed reading list that includes books and films on veganism, and sustainable living but also on the cost of living and how to manage money., check out the library blogpost on veganuary for more information.

Want to share your sustainability tips/ wins/ challenges? Find unikent.sustainability on Instagram, #UniKentSustainability.

Written by Natalia Crisanti, Catherine Morris and Emily Mason, staff 10.01.23

Group of students coming out of Drill Hall Library

Support at Medway in the Spring Term

Welcome or welcome back to Kent! It can be hard to get going with dark days and cold weather, so check out our Tips to boost your winter wellbeing.

As we move into Spring Term, remind yourself of all the support on offer at our Medway campus and online.

First points of contact

The friendly Colleges and Community Life Team can help you connect with other students in your College community through activities and initiatives, working with your College Committee and Residential Life Assistants. They can offer advice and refer you to other specialist services, whether you are living on- or off-campus.

You can also get in touch with your School or Division if you have a query. They should be able to help you or point you in the right direction for further support.

Financial support including new £3 meal deals

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our cost-of-living support webpage includes information about Campus Pantry and our range of emergency financial support options.

From 9 January, you can get a £3 meal deal at The Deep End in The Hub and the Venue Cafe in Pilkington! Plus, you can help yourself to porridge, cereal bars and tea/coffee for breakfast in the Oasis Lounge in Rochester Building.

Our financial help and advice webpage also includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. We offer a range of emergency financial support options.

You can also speak to Kent Union’s Advice Service about any extra support or advice you might need.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey – you can access services at any time during your studies.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at university or something you have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you  to develop your studying skills – everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget School is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Kent Union

From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service. Find out more about Kent Union at The Hub.

Health services

It’s a good idea to register with a local doctor near to your accommodation in order to receive treatment under the National Health Service (NHS): Find your nearest NHS Surgery.

Medway students can call Canterbury Nursing Services on 01227 823503 for telephone advice for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception. Check out this Visual Guide: Finding Health Support and Emergency Services at Medway

Students walking on campus with cathedral behind

Support at Canterbury in the Spring Term

Welcome or welcome back to Kent! It can be hard to get going with dark days and cold weather, so check out our Tips to boost your winter wellbeing.

As we move into Spring Term, remind yourself of all the support on offer at our Canterbury campus and online.

Nexus – your campus help point

Not sure where to go to ask a question? Head to Nexus in Templeman Library. Enter the library through the main entrance, go through the turnstiles and take the first right.

As well as a social and study area, Nexus is your campus help point. The staff at Nexus can help with any query and point you in the right direction.

You can also access Nexus online.

Financial support including £3 meal deal

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our cost-of-living support webpage includes information about Campus Pantry, our £3 meal deal in Rutherford Dining Hall and our range of emergency financial support options.

Our financial help and advice webpage also includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. Plus, we offer a range of emergency financial support options.

You can also speak to Kent Union’s Advice Service about any extra support or advice you might need.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey – you can access services at any time during your studies.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at university or something you have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you to develop your studying skills – everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget your School and Division is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

College and Community Life

The friendly Colleges and Community Life Team can help you connect with other students in your College community through activities and initiatives, working with your College Committee and Residential Life Assistants. They can offer advice and refer you to other specialist services.

Kent Union

Kent Union is your Students’ Union. From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Student Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service.

You can also get in touch with your Kent Union full-time officers who are each responsible for specific areas within the Union.

Health services

Kent has its own NHS general practice on campus called the University Medical Centre, with an independent pharmacy next to it.

Our University Nursing Service provide advice for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception, and is staffed 24 hours a day during term time by registered nurses. Check out this Visual Guide: Finding Health Support and Emergency Services at University

Welcome

Top tips if you’re starting in January

Welcome to Kent – we are so glad you’re here. It can feel odd starting in January when many students have already completed the first term, so here’s some top tips to help you find your feet.

Make sure you have fully completed enrolment and registration
You need to enrol online when you start at Kent, this includes financial registration too. Check you’ve completed all the steps.

Get familiar with the systems you need
Here’s the key systems you will need while studying at Kent:

Go to inductions and events
These welcome events are great to help you settle in and make new friends.Based at Canterbury? Don’t miss Kent Union’s Big Fair on Tuesday 24 January. Or if you’re at Medway, make sure you go along to the Medway Welcome Fair on Wednesday 25 January.

Discover sports teams, societies, your Union and more at the welcome fairs in January. Kent Union is your students’ union for the University of Kent. They are here to support you on your journey by acting as the voice for all Kent students, facilitating student activity groups and running student outlets on campus.

Take time to explore the local area
There’s so much to do in Canterbury and Medway so we recommend taking the time to venture off campus and find the perfect study or social spot.

Download the Uni Kent Student App
Download our app for current students for quick access to news, events and what you need to study at Kent.

Don’t forget there’s always help if you need it
There’s so much support at Kent from careers and study advice to mental health and financial support. If you ever have a question or need some help, please get in touch! You can also head to Nexus in Templeman Library to ask any questions.

We hope you have a fantastic time at Kent!

Welcome Fair

Using Library and IT services – your first few weeks

Welcome to Kent!

Follow these top tips for study success in using library and IT services:

Take the IT and Library e-induction in Moodle

Take the IT and Library e-induction on Moodle. You’ll be guided through all you need to know to help you get off to a flying start! If you’re studying a module remotely – you can take the Your Digital Library and IT e-induction (remote study only) version

Explore the Library with the Templeman Trail app

Follow the ‘Templeman Trail’ – explore and discover where to find your books; your favourite study space and Library services to help you succeed. Download Actionbound from your App store and search for ‘Templeman Trail’. Then head to the Library to start the trail.

Read our essential IT and Library guides

We have lots of useful online guides covering all you need to know in your first few weeks at Kent including: connecting to Wi-Fi and online services, downloading free software, borrowing books from the Templeman Library and accessing your Digital Library.

Working Smart Online webinar presentations

View our series of Working Smart Online webinar presentations to get off to a flying start:

For further help:

Check our key guides on the Library and IT services student web page.

Contact IT & Library Support

  • helpdesk@kent.ac.uk
  • 01227 824888
  • Use the Chat to us button (Library and IT web pages) to launch online chat
  • Visit us: Block D, Ground Floor, Templeman Library

If your request is urgent, please use Nexus Self Service to submit a ticket and we’ll get back to you when we are able.

fruit in a supermarket

How to save money on your food shop

The rising cost of living is difficult for many of our students, and we understand that some extra help may be needed at this time.

If you’re still struggling, please reach out to our Student Support and Wellbeing team for help. You can also access Kent Union’s Campus Pantry at Mandela Student Centre, and can speak to their Advice Service about any extra support or advice you might need. We also offer a range of emergency financial support options.  

In addition to this support, we’ve compiled a list of student tips to help save on your food shop.

(1) Plan your weekly budget

The best place to start is having a weekly budget to work out how much you can realistically afford to spend each week on food. Start by working out your income – whether you have a part-time job or you’re getting money from your parents, every income you have should be accounted for. You’ll then need to make a note of your regular expenses and subtract this from your income. This should then leave you with the amount you have available for food, activities, shopping, and anything else you need to buy over the week. Make sure you set aside a fair amount for food and necessities, and use this weekly budget to inform your spending decisions and plan your food shopping accordingly.

(2) If you can, buy in bulk

Buying in bulk works out cheaper in the long run. For items with a long shelf life that you know you’ll use – like pasta, rice, and washing up liquid – it’s cheaper and easier to buy larger quantities than to keep getting small packets. For example, currently, 1kg of Tesco Penne Pasta costs £1.40, whereas 300g costs £1. Although the 300g packet is cheaper, it works out as £3.34 per kg of pasta when buying 300g packs – which is clearly more expensive than just buying the 1kg bag and using it throughout the term. Therefore, if you can afford it, it’s better to bulk buy at the start of term than to keep buying smaller amounts of items each week.

(3) Do your food shop in the evenings

Most supermarkets start reducing the price of food after about 18.00 so that they can get rid of stock before the end of the day, and make things cheaper that they will no longer be able to sell as ‘fresh’ the next morning. This is great for getting a cheaper food shop – the food will still be fine to eat, just less expensive.

(4) Make a list

Making a list of what you NEED will help to keep you on track with your shopping, and will ensure you don’t waste money on unnecessary items that will just end up going in the bin (which is also far more environmentally friendly as it limits food waste!) Make sure you check your cupboards before you head to the shop so you don’t buy duplicate items that you won’t need, and jot down any ingredients you’re missing.

(5) Keep an eye out for student discounts and cheap deals

There are lots of money-saving discounts online and in stores. As students, you should be able to access student discounts for a range of shops and restaurants, so make sure you always ask if this is available when shopping. For discounts on the Canterbury campus, grab yourself a Totum discount card or a Co-Op membership to access rewards and offers in our two Co-Op stores. It’s also a good idea to do your food shops at cheaper supermarkets (like Aldi and Lidl) if possible, as this will save you a lot of money in the long-run.

For more information on budgeting, check out our Budgeting Guide.

app store on iPhone

Useful apps to download

Here are some useful apps, services and social media channels to download, use and follow as you start your studies at Kent. From getting around to helping you study smarter, here are a few of our suggestions!

Apps to download

Uni Kent Student App – This will hold all the information you need about becoming a student at Kent – a must have! It has quick links to key services such as your Kent email and Moodle as well as other useful features.

Safezone – This is the campus safety app which gives round-the-clock safety reassurance to all students and staff. It’s free to download and easy to use. You can access first-aid, security, or safety assistance via your phone.

Order Up! – Skip the queues with Kent’s app for table service and click & collect. The app can be used in all University of Kent catering outlets. Simply scan the QR code on the table to order.

Bus apps – These apps have a journey planner, live bus information (in real time) and you can even purchase mobile bus tickets at discounted prices. For Canterbury students, download the Stagecoach app. For Medway students, download the Arriva app. Find out more about travel and discount offers available to students.

Train appsSoutheastern. The ‘on Track’ app helps you access (also) real-time information on trains in Kent. Especially helpful if you’re looking to travel to London from Canterbury West and want to find out when the next train is! There is also National Rail Enquiries which provides information on trains for the whole of the UK if you are travelling outside of Kent.

Taxi apps – Only a few of the companies have an app some of which include: Longley’s Private Hire (Canterbury), Computer Cabs (Medway), and Vokes Taxi (Medway). You can find more information about booking a taxi in the UK and the full list of the services the University of Kent uses. If you’re a Canterbury student, check out the Student Safe Taxi scheme

Circuit – This is the campus laundry service app. All launderettes on campus are card or app operated so if you need to do a wash, make sure you familiarise yourself with the app ahead of time. Find out more about laundry services on campus.

Home at Halls – This app is here to make your life easier whilst living on campus. It has a range of great features meaning you can report any accommodation faults you find, complete your room inventory when you arrive, access important information about your accommodation agreement, contact the team for support and receive updates and more all in one place on your phone. The app is free and whilst you should download the app in advance, you won’t be able to sign in with your Kent login until after you have collected your keys from reception. 

Students’ Union app – Get the most from your student experience with Your Students’ Union App! Your one-stop-shop for getting involved with your Students’ Union. It’s your SU – at your finger tips! Discover events, vote easily in elections and join sports and societies with a few quick steps.

Other things to look at 

Who doesn’t want to work and study smarter? Make sure to check out our software finder to discover apps and software for staff and students to help you make the most out of your time at Kent. From helping you stay focused to supporting accessibility needs, we’d highly recommend you have a browse. Did you know, you can download Microsoft Office 365 for free?

For student discounts check out Unidays. From discounts on food and drink to clothes to technology it’s a must to check out! Happy browsing!