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Keeping fit to help my studies

Student Oruese talks about how choosing a university with good sports facilities has supported his physical and mental wellbeing.

Oruese standing outside a building on campus
'I could wax lyrical about the benefits to your physical and mental health from staying fit and exercising while studying.'

Oruese is a student on the MEng (hons) Chemical Engineering course at Bath.

Staying healthy, mentally and physically

I’ve always made it a point of call to have an activity or activities that take my mind off academics. I knew of the workload that came along with studying a challenging degree like Chemical Engineering and made it a priority to select a university that had an environment, and more importantly, the facilities, that encouraged its students to be active outside their studies. Naturally, that made Bath a firm choice.

After visiting campus on my Applicant Visit Day, seeing the sports facilities and hearing from the student tour guides on why they prioritize participating in sports, my mind was all but made up.

I joined the basketball society and have been as active in playing games and going to training as my schedule permits and I’m loving every second of it. You meet more people outside your accommodation and course and get to experience the camaraderie that participating in a team sport offers you.

I make it a priority to exercise in the Sports Training Village (STV) gym a few times per week, as it’s a great stress reliever. In the first year, being on campus, the STV is just conveniently placed for a quick exercise session before, after, or in between lectures, and even now, being in second year, its facilities are very much worth the journey.

I could wax lyrical about the benefits to your physical and mental health from staying fit and exercising while studying and I’d recommend every student do so.

Taking on a new challenge

My main challenge early on was the lectures; they really took some getting used to. The pace at which you were meant to digest information was unsettling, not to mention voluminous. Initially, it was hard sorting out what information was relevant and what wasn’t but I worked through this hump by pre-reading before lectures. That way, in lectures, I was somewhat familiar with the content, and anything I didn’t fully understand beforehand on my own could be explained by the lecturer or a coursemate.

No doubt my biggest hurdle was independent study. I knew the large majority of the learning that would take place in the course of my degree would be done independently, as opposed to being timetabled. The real problem at first was finding the time to study. With so much going on on campus, it was all too easy to get a bit carried away and forget that you’re actually here to study.

Self-discipline is key in this regard and I had to be somewhat selfish with my time. With practice, I got comfortable with the notion of independent learning and deliberate with how I spent my waking hours. I experimented a bit with different revision techniques, settled on a learning style that works for me and sometimes incorporated group study with a bunch of course-mates for the topics that were too challenging or took too long to understand individually.