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Dear Everyone,

As we all know, UCU has its dark sides. While it is generally a place of joy and discovery, it can also be stressful and take a toll on your mental health. Over time most of us learn to adapt to it and find ways to make ourselves happy. But new students are not so wise yet.

In January, we will open our gates to yet another batch of 100 students to join UCU. Most for only one semester, but many also for the full three years. Since 2016, we put aside time during Introweek for families to talk about the important issue of mental health at UCU.
The idea is to spark a discussion, prepare students for the less pleasing aspects of whats to come and most importantly to tell them where to find light in times of darkness.

A very central and important aspect of these talks are the Wellbeing letters. In the past, these have only come from Alumni, but we think current students have just as much to say about how to deal with stress and pressure at UCU. So we’re asking YOU to write a letter to the new students.

The idea is simply to share a (completely subjective) perspective on UCU, good and bad. Advice on how to deal with pressure, things you wish you had known when starting, an inspirational letter on why you should go off campus when it all gets to much, we appreciate any kind of letter. The main point is simply to be a conversation starter for the families.

You may think “I’m doing okay, I don’t really have anything to say to new students”. But you’re wrong. I really think everyone could give a piece of advice to an incoming student. Just think of a time where you have been in need, or have helped someone else. Or if you’ve never had to struggle, think about why. And then put it in words.

And IF YOU ARE AN EXCHANGE STUDENT. Even better. Most of the incoming students in spring will be, and we appreciate anything on how to deal with culture shock, differences to your home-uni, etc.

So if you feel like sharing the kindness, and making UCU just a little bit better, please send us a letter (length is up to you, but we like to see anything from a few paragraphs to a page) at ucsa@uu.nl by the 8th of January.

Thanks for reading and happy holidays!

Your UXA board 

Ron

Author Ron

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