My Week at Uni – Jumping through Hoops

This week needed to be a slower week and in some ways it was but in some ways it most certainly was not. The two assessments at the end of last week went really well. I got some incredible feedback and some useful criticism which is always helpful.

This week, I definitely did slow down a bit – the Nutrition and Performance module we had a pre-recorded lecture about ergogenic (performance enhancing) aids. Really interesting and found out some fascinating facts which you can read below. The tutorial was just another session to ‘embed our learning’ through an online quiz. The tutorials are really not the best sessions. I get the point of them but for me answering questions is not the best way for me to remember the learning, using it is.

For the research project there was also pre-recorded content, however it’s about the report write up which right now is not a priority because I need to get ethical approval for my study as I’m working with pregnant people. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to get approval and we’re provided with very little guidance. So, it’s a lot of me researching and working things out on my own to be told it’s all wrong by my supervisor so lots of back and forth which seems a little unnecessary. The templates provided have not been the right ones, which hasn’t helped. Also, the ethics approval committee only meet once a month and they meet next week so if I have a hope in hell of starting this project in December I need to get approval at that committee!

After a week of constant back and forth and form after form and just persistent low-level stress and anxiety, I have submitted all the necessary documents. Let’s hope they get to the committee in time and all goes well.

I think this whole year is just going to be like this, it’s not so enjoyable and I feel like I’m just trying to make it through each week but maybe that’s ok. Maybe I don’t have to force myself to enjoy this part and maybe it’s ok to accept that I just need to make it through.


Personal learning this week: It’s ok to just make it through a day or week. Not everything has to be exciting.

Interesting things I’ve learnt this week:

  • Caffeine used to be a banned substance for athletes – until 2004 caffeine was on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list. Considering the wide use of caffeine as a stimulant and an ergogenic aid it seems crazy that it was once not allowed!
  • Sports supplements are mainly marketing bullsh*t – this shouldn’t be news but most really do not have any evidence that they help improve performance or health or anything really. It’s also a highly unregulated area so there can be a lot of crap in these supplements.
  • Hedgehogs follow straight lines – Hedgehogs put their noses to the ground and follow hedgerows to navigate. The problem with this is when hedgerows are placed perpendicular to roads, hedgehogs walk straight into traffic. A study has found that in places where this is the case there are 27% more hedgehog casualties.

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