BBC 6 minute English-Is student life all good

BBC 6 minute English-Is student life all good



Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Alice: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Alice

Neil: … and I’m Neil. Hello

Alice: Hello, Neil. You went to university, didn’t you

Neil: Yes. University – the best days of my life. I made fantastic friends, went to great parties

Alice: Did some work

Neil: Well, yeah, I did some work, but probably not enough

Alice: Well, the subject of today’s show is student mental health. So, Neil, do you think you’re looking back at your university days through rose-tinted spectacles? And that means looking at a situation as being better than it really was

Neil: I did feel out of my comfort zone when I arrived. Yes, everyone seemed to know everyone… knew where to go

Alice: Yes, well, being out of your comfort zone means being in a situation that you aren’t familiar with and which makes you feel nervous. Did you talk to anyone about your feelings, Neil? Did you get any counselling? And that means professional help with personal or psychological problems

Neil: What? No, not me. I’m one of those men who isn’t good at talking about their feelings, Alice. I just felt a bit homesick that’s all – I missed my friends and family. But let’s move on, shall we! Why don’t you ask me today’s quiz question

Alice: Alright then. So here it is: In a survey of students at Imperial College London, how many students said they suffered from high levels of stress or a mental health condition during their time at college? Was it

a) 1 out of 4

b) 2 out of 4? or

c) 3 out of 4

Neil: Well, I’m going to go for c) 3 out of 4 because I do think that university life can be more stressful than people realize

Alice: Yes. And stress means pressure or worry caused by a difficult situation. OK, we’ll find out if you’re right or wrong later on. Now in the UK, there has been a rise in students using counselling services

Neil: Why’s that, Alice

Alice: Well, let’s listen to Kirsty, a student at Exeter University, talking about why she has had problems. And here’s a question for you while you listen: Did she enjoy her first days in college

Kirsty McMurron, student at Exeter University

No. The thing is… it… is a real balancing act. When I first got to university I don’t think I’d really realized that I’d forgotten how to make friends you know, I’d been with the same school friends for seven years, and so I was trying to balance you know social success with academic success whilst learning how to look after myself at quite a young age. And I think that’s the experience of a lot of young people. And people really struggle with it

Neil: What’s a balancing act, Alice

Alice: It’s where you try to give your attention to two or more things at the same time. So here, Kirsty is trying to balance making new friends with doing her academic work and learning to look after herself

Neil: What does Kirsty mean when she says she’s learning to look after herself

Alice: Well, to look after someone means to protect or take care of someone – and in this case, Kirsty’s learning to take care of herself – for example doing her own shopping and cooking

Neil: OK, let’s listen to Dr Ruth Caleb of the counselling service at Brunel University in London talking about what practical stuff students could learn before leaving for university that might make life easier for them

Dr Ruth Caleb, Head of the counselling service at Brunel University, London

Certain things that I think it would be very very helpful for students to have put in place are an ability to do the practical things of life – to do the washing, to do the cleaning and so on – being able to cook. Budgeting is extremely important in university life. And also spending time on your own comfortably

Neil: Yes, that’s excellent advice. I couldn’t boil an egg when I arrived at uni

Alice: Oh, really? Can you do it now, Neil

Neil: Just about, just about

Alice: Yeah? Great. And what about budgeting? This means planning how much money you have and how you will spend it

Neil: I’m still pretty bad at that. However, I am very good at spending time on my own comfortably

Alice: Yes, I can believe that – feet up, watching TV with a takeaway

Neil: Takeaway, of course a takeaway cause I can’t cook anything

Alice: No

Neil: … not even an egg. You know me so well. So how about the answer to today’s quiz question, Alice

Alice: Alright then. I asked: In a survey of students at Imperial College London, how many said they suffered from high levels of stress or a mental health condition during their time at college? Was it

a) 1 out of 4

b) 2 out of 4? or

c) 3 out of 4

Neil: And I said c) 3 out of 4

Alice: Yes. And you are correct – well done, Neil! The survey, completed by over a thousand students, also found that almost 70% of those that suffer from stress do so at least once a week, and 9% of students feel stressed constantly. Stressed means anxious and worried

Neil: Well, I feel anxious just thinking about all that stress. Can we hear today’s words again

Alice: We certainly can. They are

through rose-tinted spectacles
out of your comfort zone
balancing act
look after yourself

Neil: Well, that brings us to the end of today’s 6 Minute English. We hope you’ve had a stressfree time. Please do join us again soon. You know where to find us, don’t you? Go to , where you’ll find grammar points, vocabulary and more editions of 6 Minute English

Both: Bye

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