As a follow-up to a successful similar event at the start of the year, the Department of Sport & Event Management hosted a second Dissertation Writing and Wellbeing Retreat at BU’s Chapel Gate Sports Ground.
The day brought staff and students together to provide students with instant support and feedback in relation to their dissertations. Whilst there was an academic focus, there was also a programme of activities aimed to help students de-stress and relax, have fun and spark creativity.
This time around, in addition to the staff-led academic support sessions, students could get involved with yoga, sports games and a crochet workshop. A therapy dog also visited in the afternoon and students could attend a talk discussing ‘life after university’.
An activity that aimed to settle anxieties and fears, involved students sitting in hammocks around the campfire, writing their fears down and chucking them into the fire pit to encourage students to let go of these fears.
Dr Katherine King, Senior Lecturer in the Sport & Event Department said: “The great thing about today is that we’ve drawn on the skills of our team across the department. We have a qualified yoga instructor who is delivering a yoga session, a sports coach who is running a sports activity and another member of our team is offering a crochet taster session.”
She continued: “Our aim is to provide a community feel in a relaxed environment and for us to experience something as a group. We noticed post COVID that many students were slipping with their dissertation milestones, and some had well-being issues so we wanted to provide a space where we could help get them back on track.”
Events Management student, Fatimah Sagir said: “I’m currently working on my literature review, so this writing retreat offers help with me navigating my way through this section. There’s a good choice of lecturers here to ask for help which is great and the face-to-face interaction is what I need at this point. The ‘quiet’ room gives me the chance to focus and actually write something. I also think the activities on offer encourage a positive mindset which is good for my mental health and makes me pace myself throughout the day.”
Since it proved so popular at the previous writing and wellness retreat, students could try Forest Bathing, to relax, and experience the health benefits of slowing down and reconnecting with nature.
Andrew Boland, Chapel Gate Woodlands Manager said: “Forest bathing is not a formal session, the woodland space is there for the students to lie back and relax in the hammocks, detach themselves from technology and enjoy being outside.”