I’m Leo, a first year BSc Economics student at LSE. Alongside my studies, I have developed a keen interest in consulting and worked as a research analyst for the Bloomsbury Knowledge Group at London Strategic Consulting. At the same time, being an academic representative for my university’s Economics department and having prior experience as student leader at school, has driven my desire to create a positive impact for people’s wellbeing (in academics and more importantly, their daily lives).
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU WERE TAUGHT AT SCHOOL ABOUT MENTAL WELLBEING AND WHY?
In hindsight, I wish that at school, spare time was implemented to talk about our mental health and emphasise the importance of not sacrificing our wellbeing for the sake of academic performance. In addition to academic intelligence, emotional intelligence (EI) should be viewed equally at school. Not being afraid to speak up, being able to say no, or transforming the shame of failure into a learning experience, are just some of many examples, concerning the improvement of our EI and thus, our mental health.
ANY ADVICE TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE READING THIS?
1. Exercise – regular sporting activities are not only beneficial for remaining physically fit, but also to refresh your mental state. For me personally, I enjoy running in the late afternoon. After several online classes, our head can feel clogged up, and we find difficulty in maintaining focus. Therefore, provided I’ve had enough sleep, I exercise! Once the run is finished and the endorphins are released, I always feel more relaxed and work more efficiently with a clear mind.
2.Sleep is key! Particularly during the pandemic, our increased screen time can disturb sleep quality. Ensuring good sleep provides an earlier start to the day as well as a better mood to fulfill our (academic) tasks and exercise. In turn, this heightens our sense of accomplishment and can mitigate the need to reduce our hours of sleep, to compensate for the lack of productivity during the day.
3. Dealing with my stress! Academics has imposed on many, including myself, an unhealthy amount of pressure. Whether it is walking in the park, yoga, breathing techniques or writing your thoughts down, finding and practicing skills that help cope with stress are essential! I aim to focus on my mindset or attitude in response to a given stress factor. In the long-run, one individual exam, interview or situation will not determine the remainder of your life.