Excuse me a quick moment whilst I celebrate the 6-year anniversary of the Student Health and Wellbeing Blog, a platform that has allowed me to share evidence-based insights and resources for improving health and well-being at Flinders University, while fostering collaborations and providing a platform for personal growth and reflection.
On the 19th July 2017, I wrote my first blog post here on the Student Health and Wellbeing Blog.
It was, not surprisingly, a ‘welcome to the blog‘ post.
Since then, I have, with the help of many, managed to keep this blog ticking along for 6 years. 1200+ posts at an average of almost 4 posts per week.
In doing so, I think I have achieved the original goals of the blog:
- To provide you (the students) with evidence-based insights and tools for improving your health and well-being during your time at Flinders. We’ll be covering lots of topics from how to manage study and academic demands, to how to be physically and mentally fit, have good relationships, and balance work/life demands.
- To profile physical health, mental health and well-being activities that are taking place in the university, including helping you get to know the various services that are available to you as a student.
- To feature and promote health-related research that is being done by staff and students across the university and explore the implications of that research for your life as a student.
- To review different health and well-being websites and apps to help you decide whether they might be of value to you during your time as a student.
And on the 19th July 2023, this blog will turn 6 years old 🥳🎉🎂
I don’t have a fancy way to celebrate this milestone, except for a few reflections, if you’ll excuse me the navel gazing for a moment.
At a practical level, this blog has been a useful tool for us here at Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS) to talk about and promote our services, programs and resources. That remains its number 1 function. It isn’t as fancy as an Instagram, Tiktok or Threads account, but it is solid and reliable and gives a stable home to our content. It also gives me the space to do longer-form content. For example, the blog was where I published my first thoughts on mental fitness.
At a personal level, this blog has been a place for me to use writing and reflection to improve my understanding of health and wellbeing. I came into this role with what I would understand later as a rudimentary understanding of how to build and sustain wellbeing. Writing this blog has helped (and continues to help) me get better at my work. It has shown me the value of writing as a tool for improving our thinking.
At a social level, this blog has catalysed a number of prized collaborations, particularly with lecturers and staff around the university, which has translated into unique wellbeing promotion projects (e.g. GVE). I don’t think I’d know half the people around the university that I do, without the binding agent that is this blog.
I honestly can’t imagine this job without the blog.
Some thankyous are required. To Jodie Zada for creating my role and greenlighting the blog in the first place, to Chris Carapetis for his ongoing support on the technical side of the blog, to all the colleagues and students who have provided content for the blog, and to all of you the readers who consume the content and recommend it to peers and colleagues.
There are no intentions to slow down activity here on the blog. Whilst I am working and learning, it will be part of my workflow.
If you wish to contribute content to the blog, discuss ideas for how we might use it, have suggestions on how to improve it or just want to give some feedback, please email me at email@example.com
Otherwise, join me in raising your glasses with a study/work-appropriate beverage and celebrating 6 years of the blog.