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Resilience – it’s all in your mind

August 24, 2018 by Susan Surgener

Resilience – it’s all in your mind

Nowadays, we’re living in a world of total information overload but we seem to have adapted to it really well. We have embraced technology on the go like we have never been without it. And, let’s face it – some of us haven’t!

As part of the Careers for Tomorrow Festival, Dr Margo Brewer delivered a really great workshop on resilience.

So, what’s the big deal about resilience and, err, what exactly is it?

Resilience, as it relates to you as a student, is perhaps best summed up as the ability to be adaptable and flexible, to handle stress and change with no worries, and to be able to stand up well to any challenges coming your way!

The impact of resilience

But 21st century students maybe haven’t had it as good as those studying in the 20th century. There’s more concern about finances – uni fees are a bit higher than back in the day. 25% of students are more likely to work more than 20 hours a week and 15-17% might even go without food as they are on the go all the time. We are more likely to be continual life-long learners – so juggling more for longer periods in our lives.

Resilience is actually linked to lots of different outcomes such as:

  • Mental Health
  • Career decision making and adaptability
  • Professionalism (not cutting corners, being ethical i.e. no plagiarism in sight)
  • Happiness
  • Coping
  • Persistence
  • Wellbeing

You don’t have to be superhuman to be resilient, you just need to have, or to develop, the ability to look after yourself and to bounce back.


Dr Brewer also talked about mindfulness, and taking time out to clear your mind and focus on what is around you at any given time. Take some time to smell the roses and just breathe. We don’t need to aim for perfection. In fact, this can stop you from achieving your goals. We also don’t really need to run around like crazy. We can just learn to be mindful.

Lastly, be kind to yourself and be realistic in goal setting. You can be optimistic about working with the skills and attributes you already possess. To help you develop all of those other things you’re aiming for, ask for help and look for good role models, like Dr Brewer and others who are making inroads into studying resilience to help you on your 21st century journey.

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