This week’s teaching should be more relaxed, in the name of mental health


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By Will Charley, Comment Editor

The final week of term should be an advisory, not compulsory set of contact hours. This late in December, intensive study should be dropped.

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a student was stirring, not even a mouse;
Beer cans were lying in the kitchen with care,
In hope that some fresh wine soon would be there;

The students all lying fast asleep in their beds,
While teachers give lectures, alone in their heads;
VC Brady, gifting Living Rooms like sweets,
Whilst mental health provision - simply retreats.

When by the ASS, there arose such a clatter,
Yet most students don’t care what was the matter.
Away to their homes, students fly in a flash,
Final week of Uni: guess its time to dash.

Okay, so excusing my barbaric mutilation of C.C. Moore’s classic Christmas poem, it seems clear to me that the final week of this University term is utterly pointless.

For many students, our workloads and lectures do not end until the 21st December, just four days before the big day. This means that students only get four recovery days between their last big night out and the alcoholic onslaught that is Christmas Day.

But more importantly, ending the term this late is utterly pointless and is a futile waste of time for professors and students alike.

It has been a long 12 weeks, and everyone is exhausted, both mentally, as well as physically - after all, Bristol does have a lot of hills. So, it is high time that rather than carrying on the slog, we be pragmatic and realistic- and find a better way for students to work this week.

This pushes some students to their limits when they are already shattered

Now, not to suggest that in December people receive great gifts for free, but it is definitely conceivable that Bristol’s own jolly, white-haired man could give students a present. Vice-Chancellor Hugh Brady should have made the final week of term a revision week for all- lectures and seminars that are advisory, beneficial, often exam-focussed- but not essential to passing your degree.

The real issue lies in that the final week of University is an absolute requirement for some students, a week of contact hours that cannot be skipped or caught up on replay like an unsurprisingly dull episode of Friends. This pushes some students to their limits when they are already shattered and just want to spend time with their families.

Hugh Brady should have made the final week of term a revision week for all

Surely, all students would welcome the final week’s importance being dimmed as the days become darker, the fairy lights increasingly present and the omnipresence of Wham! becomes apparent? In the interests of student mental health, it is far too late for students to be carrying out an intensive, clinical week of study.

Time to follow in the footsteps of Chris Rhea. I wish I was ‘Driving Home for Christmas’.

Featured image: Epigram/Ffion Clarke

Do you think it is wise for the academic term to continue until December 21st? Let Epigram know.

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Will Charley

Deputy Editor |Formerly Comment and Deputy Online News Editor | Final year history student | Shortlisted nationally by the SPA for Best News Story | @willcharley1