For University students, the last year and a half has been a very anxious and unsure time. Ultimately, returning to on-campus learning is a benefit for most student’s education, but it can be a tricky time at all levels of study. Although some people may be looking forward eagerly to the return of on campus study, others may be more nervous at the thought of getting back to “normality” after such a long time away. The University is here to assist you in any way that they can to try and make this the most comfortable and enjoyable experience it can be.
Due to the pandemic, you may not have had many chances to connect with people that also go to the university or your course mates. Try and connect with people, as feeling like you are in it alone has the chance of increasing your anxiety. The best way to meet new people is by getting involved in Beds SU or one of the sporting teams.
Whether you have an existing mental health problem, or you’re starting to find things difficult, the pandemic has put a huge amount of extra strain on students. Take a look at the below Student Minds article for more advice about returning to campus after the pandemic.
If you are struggling and you need some help from the University, there are many different avenues to do this.
- If you have symptoms of Covid or find that you are positive then you should get in touch with email@example.com for support with this and assistance.
- If you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed you can get support with our counselling services for extra support and help (firstname.lastname@example.org). They can help with a wide range of issues and help come up with solutions jointly to minimise the issue.
- The mental health team can also support any student who feels they are overwhelmed and that it is effecting their mental health negatively. They can be contacted at email@example.com. They can support and give advice and also direct you to any other university or community services that may be useful.
- There is also currently an option to apply for online studying between September 2021 – December 2021 for students with exceptional circumstances. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Compiled by Daisie Johnson (Return to Campus Advisor)
As soon as you have fully registered at the University, you will have your own University email account. Please familiarise yourself with how to access this, as University staff will use this account to keep in contact with you.
You should also use this account to contact your teachers and support services, so that we can easily verify that it is you sending us the email.
Access via MyBedsLife
If you have downloaded the MyBedsLife app, you can access your inbox and calendar, and compose new messages from within the app.
Access via a web browser
You can also access Outlook on the web by visiting outlook.beds.ac.uk.
What is my email address?
Your email address will normally take the format email@example.com.
You can find out what your email address is once you have logged into Outlook. When you’re in, click/tap the circle in the top right corner of the page.
Further help with Outlook
If you need further help with using Outlook, go to the Microsoft website which has a series of help guide videos on various topics.
Written by: Laura Tamara – Co-President, Beds SU
As a student carer, you may be caring for a family member or friend while studying. The person you are caring for may have needs which require considerable support due to an illness, disability or for a different reason.
As a student parent, you may be biological, adoptive or step, a foster carer, or a legally appointed guardian.
Balancing caring responsibilities whilst studying may feel challenging at times, but the benefits are great. Studying provides fresh opportunities to meet new people and change your environment. Aspiring for your future is a great way to enrich your journey in life.
At Beds SU, we understand that caring responsibilities could affect your finances, health, academic attainment, relationships and change your circumstances. If you are experiencing any of these, please access support from our team.
Essential tips for Students Carers/Parents
I have first-hand experience of being a student parent, so here are some personal recommendations for those who are about to become student carer/parents themselves:
- Carpe Diem – cease the day. Procrastination is the enemy of success, and the early bird catches the worm. Set an alarm, wake up and get moving as early as possible to increase your productivity levels.
- Create a workspace in your home and use it to read, think and write. Use a calendar to manage your time and schedule assignment deadlines.
- If you feel comfortable to do so, tell others about your caring responsibilities. It often helps to talk to others. Finding some like-minded support is crucial to staying motivated and focused. Accept support from others whether it emotionally or practically everyone needs a friend.
- Inform the university of your caring responsibilities before you begin your studies. When you start your course, familiarise yourself with teaching staff and inform them of your caring responsibilities also. You don’t have to feel shy about sharing this information with the University of Bedfordshire or us at Beds Student Union.
- Familiarise yourself with the interruption of studies policy in case you have a change of circumstances and need to take a break. If it is all getting to be too much then do come and talk to discuss options for you.
- Everyone feels overwhelmed at some point in their academic journey, this is perfectly normal. Provided you are not constantly feeling this way, it could be an opportunity to stretch yourself and master time management.
- A significant percentage of our students are considered mature and aged (21 or over on the first day of studies). Enjoy socialising with the diverse and varied students we have at Beds.
- The University library is an awesome place and I recommend spending time there. Familiarise yourself with the e-books and other resources available online.
Best of luck
Laura Tamara X
Many students tell us they log in to BREO every day during their studies to check for information and updates.
BREO stands for Bedfordshire Resources for Education Online and it is a collection of online tools to help and support students with their studies. You will find information about your teaching team, links to live online sessions, lecture slides and videos, your reading lists, assessment information and much more.
In Summer 2020 we upgraded the system to BREO Ultra to provide a better user experience for our students. Watch this quick introduction to find your way around.
Once you have completed registration and received the login details via email (they are not the same as e:Vision), you will have access to a specific ‘welcome’ area in the units or organisations tab as well as information about the unit(s) you are about to begin.
There is also a ‘BREO Ultra Support’ unit to guide you on how to get the most out of online learning and the tools that will be used during your course. Do make time to take a look around!
If you have any problems logging in or finding information about your course, please contact the Student Information Desk on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help resolve the issue.
Once you have access to your student email account, you can also download Microsoft Office for free.
Guide to downloading Microsoft Office
To download Microsoft Office, click the button below to read our guide.
Your University account includes access to Word and Excel Online, OneNote, OneDrive and much more. We would recommend you save files to OneDrive cloud storage, so you can access and edit them from any device.
Microsoft have an online training centre where you can find out the basics, learn quick tops to get started and even master different programmes to suit your needs.
At university it is common to take learning into your own hands – you will have pre-reading to do for lectures, you may have tasks to complete, and getting your assignments done is up to you. Your learning is your responsibility.
When you start university, things may be a little different. Being on video call, managing your own study time and leading on your learning is something which has become the norm for students across the country, especially in the last year, and it is likely to continue in our ‘new normal’.
But how do you get the best from online learning and stay motivated with it?
Top tips for getting to most out of the year ahead
Here are Beds’ eight top tips to get the most from your exciting year ahead:
On your online class
Completing the pre-reading or any tasks from the week before will make you feel confident before any class. Make sure you check your reading lists or look around the topic online so you are as prepared as you can be.
Be ready to get involved in your online classes – you should ask questions, discuss topics with your peers, and take the opportunity to speak when you can.
- Take notes
Having a pen and paper to hand when you are taking an online class is handy for you to take notes with – and you can keep your lecture on the screen!
- Challenge yourself
Ask yourself some questions – what do you want to get out of university? What do you want to get out of this year? What do you want to get out of this class? Remember, challenging yourself each day to achieve wider goals is an important part of university.
Set yourself a goal to ask a question in a class, or to read up on a particular topic of interest after a lecture – little steps will help you reach your goals.
Get your order of priorities in check at the start of term. It will help you distinguish between essential activities and items to help you achieve your study goals and non-essential items.
- Get a diary
Once your priorities are set out, write them down! Having a paper diary or using an app on your phone will help you keep on top of your goals and help you to achieve.
- Plan on a weekend
Writing in a diary or setting out your week ahead will only take 30 minutes to do. Adding this to your schedule at the weekend means you will be ready for Monday to roll round. Your weeks may be similar, but organising your diary weekly will allow for flexibility!
- Don’t forget the little things
Life will get in the way sometimes (read our advice on how to balance studying with work and responsibilities). The little things are sometimes the most important so be sure to schedule in time for life admin. Being organised will help you to stay motivated.
Being a student is sometimes a bit of a juggling act, especially if you are balancing working, life, responsibilities, commuting – the list goes on.
To help you find your centre, we’ve listed our five top tips to balance work, life, and studying whilst at the University of Bedfordshire.
Create a schedule and prioritise
Writing a schedule is a great way of working out your priorities and the time it will take you to get things done.
Creating a calendar with class times, work times, study times and assignment or exam dates, is a great place to start. Add them in as soon as you know them. This way, you’ll know exactly when your free time is, so you can schedule in social activities too.
Be honest with yourself about your priorities and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Although making time to exercise is important for your health, you may have to miss a gym session so you can complete a uni task. But once it is finished, you’ll have that time back to use as you please.
Plan for the unexpected
As much as we all wish we could create a schedule and be able to follow it word for word, life sometimes gets in the way. Preparing for the unexpected can help you tackle last minute work that crops up.
Create a buffer in your schedule – if your assignment is due on a Friday, give yourself a deadline of Tuesday so you have time to go through it before handing it in.
Communicate what you’re doing
Let the people around you know what you’re up to. There will likely be times where your studies must take a priority, but by communicating what’s coming up, your friends, family or colleagues can help support you.
Do you want to take a day off for revision before an exam? Let your employer know. Giving them notice means they can support you in your studies as best they can.
Let your friends and family know too. Not everyone understands the demands of being a student and balancing other things, so be sure to tell them when you can socialise, when your study time is, and when you need help running an errand.
Make a positive work environment
A blended learning approach, like you will be having here at Beds, means you will be learning from home some of the time. This means it’s essential you make sure your study space works for you. Hunching over your laptop in bed might work at the start but it could lead to back and neck problems or affect your motivation.
Creating a dedicated space for work will help your posture and could help you concentrate. Popping your screen or laptop on a stand so it is in line with your eyes is the ideal height for working. The best position for your posture is with your lower arms perpendicular to your body and your feet on the floor.
And remember – taking shorter breaks away from your screen is better for you than long breaks. Aim for a five to ten-minute break every hour you’re working at a screen.
Take care of yourself
Last but by no means least, make sure you’re looking out for number one. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be performing to the best of your ability.
Make time to socialise, keep up with your hobbies, immerse yourself in university life with societies or clubs and connecting with your peers. And remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, and you need time to relax too.
Contact Student Support
If you have any concerns whilst studying at Beds, we have support available.
In the run-up to starting university, you need to make sure you have registered and have all the information you need. Please find below all the information links, and if you have any queries or issues, please click the chat in the right-hand corner of the University of Bedfordshire website.
This year some students will be able to do remote registration (online), and some courses require face-to-face registration (Nursing, Social Work and Teaching courses). To find out how to register, please click the button below.
During Welcome Week (w/b 20th September) and prior to your course timetable starting (w/b 27th September) you will have a Course Induction led by your Course Coordinator and your course team.
These inductions are a vital part of getting ready for your academic studies at the university; they will usually be on campus and a day in length.
Details of when and where your Course Induction will be can be found on the University’s website.
To find out what books you are going to need for your course, please click the button below and type in your course or unit name.
International Students Guide
If you are an international student, please click the button below for all the information you need about getting to campus and life at the University of Bedfordshire.
If you have any issues logging in or finding information on BREO, please report them to the Student Information Desk on email@example.com.