We heard a little from Student Counselling Services who encouraged us to open up about our 'hopes and fears' for the coming year, which was reassuring for many. Jacquie and Linda then followed on from this with some practical advice for students who need extra support during their studies. We rounded off our morning with a coffee and pastry session, where we welcomed representatives from groups such as International Students, the Careers Service, postgraduate reading groups and EUSA.
Some really interesting issues were raised: the stresses of financing a PhD for one, and the question of 'what comes next?'. We hope to engage with these questions and our next event will look towards the later 'chapters' of the PhD and the journey to the next part of your academic life.
We'll post some photos on our #chapterone page - have a look at our stress dots (they changed colour throughout the day!) and our Mind Apples tree. Maybe you could even have a think about your own Mind Apples - what works for you, as a 5-a-day for mental health?
We hope to post our results soon, but one thing is for sure - postgraduate students really like cats...