Resilience is an integral quality for both academic success and personal health. It is often referred to as the ability to 'bounce back' from stressful circumstances and can be defined as "the potential to exhibit resourcefulness by using available internal and external resources in response to different contextual and developmental challenges" (Pooley & Cohen, 2010, p. 30). Maintaining strong resilience in the face of academic and personal demands enables tertiary students to reach their potential and obtain satisfaction and enjoyment from their studies. Whilst it is not the direct role of a university, supporting student resilience can contribute to improved academic outcomes and overall sense of fulfilment in the university experience. There are a range of ways students engage their own skills to support and facilitate resilience, and many of these can easily be supported by their institution of study.
The Keys to Resilience at ANU project was initiated as part of Australia and New Zealand University Mental Health Day in April 2016. ANU students were asked to list their helpful approaches to resilience and make suggestions on how the ANU could support them.
Students reported maintaining their wellbeing and building resilience using these top five simple strategies of:
- Social support and connection
- Physical exercise
- Active self-care - eating, sleeping, regular breaks and relaxation
- Cognitive strategies - flexible and balanced thinking
- Hobbies and personal pursuits.
Get involved to support yourself and read the report for more details on resilience in university students and directions for future improvements in student support.