The Great Student Wellbeing Experiment
Welcome to the Great Student Wellbeing Experiment!
Thank you for helping us test the science.
You have been randomly selected to test the relevance of Multiple Components in improving student wellbeing.
Wellbeing is about knowing who you are, reaching your potential and increasing your contribution to the world around you for the betterment of all.
The challenge comes with knowing what that means to us as individuals and understanding what we need to do to make it a reality.
Please take the next 3 weeks to follow these simple tasks to help find out your answers. We suggest splitting it by doing and thinking time – 30 mins a day doing the task and 30 mins a day thinking it through.
After Each Task:
Find yourself a pen, notebook, time, quiet space and an open mind
Spend some time reflecting and take note of how it has made you feel. Would you do it again?
Please note this is simply guidance and there is no wrong way to do this
What is important to you, what are you good at and what do you care about?
What's important to you?
In the words of Katy Perry, "If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything!"
Many philosophers support Katy's view, it's simple - if you don't know what's important to you, how can you make decisions?
Using the word set below choose 5 words you feel most resonate with you. Prioritise these 5 words in order of importance and write what they mean to you. Don't use a dictionary!
Being the best
Making a difference
Dig through some old photos and find 1 photo that sticks out to you and brings back happy memories.
If you can’t access photos, try using songs.
Put yourself, as best you can, into the picture you have found and using the word set again, choose 5 words that you feel most resonate with you. Prioritise these 5 words in order of importance to you and write what they mean to you, don’t use a dictionary!
Bring the 2 lists together from Task 1 and Task 3. Are they different? Are they the same? Take the 10 words, re-prioritise them and choose the 3 that you feel most strongly about.
What are you good at?
Qualities are attributes we naturally have and we use them to benefit our life and work.
Think about a time when you had to work as a team, when you were growing up. A geography field trip, lost in the car with your friends, a team sport?
Note who was there and what part you all played in the group how did you help the team succeed?
If you could interview your friends and ask them the question,
"In three words, describe me"
What would they say?
On the world stage – who do you admire and why?
Group all the thinking together and note if there are similarities, common themes or words?
What do you like doing?
Passion gives us energy, it makes us feel good but it is short lived. It’s important to identify the things that make our lives bright.
Passion is about what we do not why we do it.
Passions can be selfish and self - indulgent and that’s okay so put yourself first in these tasks:
When you are on your own and no one is looking what is it you do?
You have 24 hours, the world is open to you:
Where do you want to wake up?
What do you have for breakfast?
What activities fill your morning?
Where is lunch and what do you have?
How do you spend your afternoon and where?
What does the evening look like?
Take your answers from task 9 and overlay them onto where you live today – can you make them more achievable but not lose the spirit and essence?
To help achieve wellbeing, you sometimes need to be able to change your mindset, get a different perspective, and adopt new behaviours.
To be able to maintain wellbeing you need to be able to do these things regularly and you need to initiate this functioning yourself.
In order to do this, we need to be shown how and then we can adopt these tools for our benefit.
It’s your first year after you have finished University, take 15 mins to have some fun and think about where you would like to be:
Where are you living?
How much money do you have?
Are you going into an office every day or are you outside?
At the end of a normal day, you are chatting to a friend, when asked – “What difference did you make today?” what is your response?
Draw a timeline between now and then and write the 10 things you will need to do make it a reality.
Next to each thing, think about how you will know when you have achieved it.
Watch this video
If we follow our plan too closely we can lose sight of other opportunities and interesting things.
Do something differently – walk a different way, drive a new route, speak to someone new and make a note of what you learn by being open to new situations.
Balance is something that happens to play a role in our wellbeing. We need to balance our time with the things that we have to do and the things that make us happy.
Place them all on a spider diagram
like the example shown.
Take the total number of activities (5 in this case) and give them each a number to represent how happy they each make you (1 being the happiest) e.g Meeting with friends 1, hobbies 2, lectures 3, uni work 4, part time jobs 5
Then using the same number system give them each number to represent how much time you spend doing them (1 being the most) e.g Uni work 1, Uni work 2, part time job 3, hobbies 4, meeting with friends 5
Then compare the scores, are there any imbalances. In this example, meeting with friends and hobbies make us most happy and we spend the least time doing them.
If there are differences that you would like to address, how could you change the status quo? In this case, a commitment could be made to start work an hour earlier so it can be finished an hour earlier and the time can be spent with friends.
This technique can be applied to different situations – you could consider the balance of your time with your friends or family – do they all make you happy? If not, where are the imbalances?
Do another spider chart to resolve an issue. Think of a situation where this is tension – with your family, group of friends or flatmates?
Put each person in on the spider and use the scales as follows:
Who is frustrating you the most?
How much effort and time are you putting into each person?
Check for imbalances and if you want to address them, think through a simple plan
5 Ways to Wellbeing
There are some simple things we can do every day to help us interact with the world around us.
Walk or drive a different route to work/uni/the shops and notice 3 things of interest
In the same way, ‘Collect’ 5 kindnesses others have given you
Give something to someone today; kind words, a compliment, a smile
Give time to help someone: directions, opening doors
Read news from a different source
Listen to a different radio station
Speak to someone you’ve never spoken to
Dance for 5 minutes
Put your comfy shoes on and get walking/running/jogging. Just put one foot in front of the other and go. Do it for fun – remove any targets
Leave the car at home and get on foot
Phone an old friend
Speak to your neighbour
Ask the person serving you in the shop how they are
Learn the name of someone you didn’t know before
Purpose is a big concept – a big question – ‘What are you here to do?’ so let’s boil it down.
We are here for who knows how long and during this time we do things. Some things are important and other things aren’t important. The important things bring you happiness and meaning, the unimportant things kill time.
Discovering one’s ‘purpose’ in life essentially comes down to finding those one or two things that are bigger than yourself, and bigger than those around you. It’s not about some great achievement, but merely finding a way to spend your limited amount of time well.
Finding purpose takes energy and reflection.
Remember a time when you were out with your friends/family, can you think of a time when someone said or did something that you felt so strongly about that you had to make a point?
Can you think of a time when you have heard or seen something on TV that moves you to have a physical response – shout at the TV, sigh, walk out, turn over?
Pick up your phone and a newspaper, flick through the headlines and make a note of all the things that interest you and why. Repeat the task 3 times across a week.
Bring all your thinking together, are there themes, common words?
Group the themes and explode your thinking out:
What are the main problems that need fixing in these areas?
Who is trying to fix them and how?
Telling Your Story
How many times have you sat down and really thought about your story? How did you get here?
If you think about any good stories, there are characters, story lines, plots, highs and lows. Our lives are no different.
What things pull you out of bed – the alarm has gone off, what do you have to get up for?
What things push you out of bed – the alarm hasn’t gone off, what makes you want to bounce out of bed?
Write a day in the life – a simple flowchart of what your average day looks like
Describe what you do at university and why you chose the course you are on, imagine you are explaining it to a 5 year old!
Dig through some old photos and find 3 photos that stick out to you and bring back happy memories – try and find photos of you at different ages.
If you can’t access photos, try using songs
Create yourself a timeline from primary age to where you are now and using a scale of 0-10 (10 being happiest) put scores against your ages, below is a simple example but feel free to design your own
Notice any patterns? Take the time to think about the common theme during the happiest times.
Thank you for taking part in the Great Student Wellbeing Experiment.
We will send you the second survey to enable us to look at the differences this project may have made.
If you are interested to hear the results of the project or to learn more about Tasting Colours work please register your interest here