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Nathan Bucud

22 July 2021

How Nathan improved his grades and found study–life balance

Do you ever find it hard to manage stressful situations; worry about how the uncertainty of COVID-19 may affect your wellbeing; or struggle with assignments, personal problems or your mental health?

You’re not alone – many of your peers are likely feeling the same way or wondering how to cope.

Nathan Bucud is a second-year Bachelor of Science (Genetics) student who knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed at times. But he wants you to know that there’s some simple steps you can take to look after yourself – and that talking about how you’re feeling is crucial.

Based at Waurn Ponds, Nathan is actually doing his second degree – he’s also completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Deakin. And it was during this first experience as a uni student that he started to struggle with the pressures of study:

I was a typical student and took four units each trimester, which was too much. If I could go back in time I’d do three or even two units. But instead of taking a break I pushed on. The side effect of this was that my grades started to suffer massively. So I decided to seek help.

Nathan discovered Deakin’s free counselling service and was brave enough to give it a try, even though he had some reservations:

I was worried beforehand that I wouldn’t connect with the counsellor but it was a really good experience. The counsellor went through different scenarios for how I could improve my situation and helped me to place a greater emphasis on my emotional health.

He also sought out other support services such as Beyond Blue, and found these to be of enormous benefit. One of the most important things he learnt is that ‘when push comes to shove, it’s so important to detach and take a breather’.

And, he says, his grades improved markedly as a result of a better study–life balance.

Nathan also emphasises the importance of overcoming the stigma around mental health, and to make it normal for men in particular to talk about how they’re feeling.

When chatting to his mates, he was surprised to learn that some of them had also used Deakin’s counselling service. They agreed that talking to a professional and learning new ways of coping really helped them to manage all the aspects of uni life.   

Nathan’s tips for study–life balance

How to access support

A range of help is available, both at Deakin and in the community:

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