Lauren Edwards, Student Union president at Plymouth Marjon University, shared her own experiences of seeking help during the height of the pandemic lockdown as a panelist at our webinar UK Student Helpseeking 2019 vs 2020: what will be COVID-19's impact upon student support this year and beyond?
So there was actually a really interesting question [in the chat box] about students who already had high levels of wellbeing being more motivated to use and have less barriers to support services , and actually, my personal perspective is: Plymouth Marjon introduced Studiosity in my second year, but I never used it until I was writing my dissertation, genuinely days before it was due, which I know is a terrible thing to admit, but because I didn't think I needed to use it and because I was not really bothered by it, I was skating through by the skin of my teeth, I was like, I don't need to... I never used it because I didn't think I needed to.
Whereas when I actually got to my dissertation which was my last piece of work, I was like, oh, actually, I could really do with the help because I was in the middle of COVID, I was at home where I hadn't been for the last three years, you get to that point where you're like actually the wellbeing for my health was not there, I needed the help. So it is interesting that that was brought up already because I've been there, done that!
"When I actually got to my dissertation...I could really do with the help because I was in the middle of COVID, I was at home where I hadn't been for the last three years, you get to that point...I needed the help".
In terms of are unis doing enough, I think it's good to have something like Studiosity in place because it is 24/7. And when I used it, I got my feedback within 12 hours and I submitted it 8:00 p.m. at night which, I'm sure if I'd asked, my lecturers would have been happy to give me a hand, but they don't work outside of 9-5 and it's not fair always to ask them. So I know that there is, especially at Marjon because we're so small, the support there outside but it's not always fair to go to those people. And especially now I work for the university as well, I myself don't always reply to people outside my student hours, because it's not fair on me and it's not fair on my wellbeing. So it is about finding that balance and having something there where people are able to provide that support outside of those hours. I think more universities should use it, frankly.
A big thank you to Lauren for joining us. For insights from more of our panelists, view the full webinar video on our Vimeo channel.