Blog: 5 tips on how to connect with nature as a student

Hi everyone! I’m Alice, a first-year Digital Media and Communications student. As someone who has grown up in the countryside, I love spending time in nature.

With assessment season in full swing, it’s important to find ways to switch off, and spending time outside is the perfect way to do this.

Keep reading for my top tips on how to incorporate nature into your week, regardless of how much time you have, to help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Visit local parks for nature walks

Even if you only have 10 minutes, find a green space and breathe in some fresh air – you’re bound to feel better! A walk along the Birmingham canals is perfect for this but if you have a little bit of extra time, why not take a trip to Selly Oak Park, Edgbaston Reservoir or Cannon Hill Park? These are my favourite places to visit because they are all within walking distance of student accommodation and are completely free!

You can watch the ducks, listen to the birds and soak up the sun. There’s even paddle boarding on the Edgbaston Reservoir and pedalos on the lake at Cannon Hill if you’re feeling more adventurous. If you’re missing your pet dog like I am, the park is a great chance to do some dog spotting!

Female student stands in a field with her back to the camera staring at the sunset

Take day trips to rural areas

If you have more time, I recommend blocking out a day in your week which is solely dedicated to spending time outside. After a hard week studying, the Malvern Hills is one of my favourite places to visit via a 45-minute train journey that is student budget friendly and, in my opinion, definitely worth it! The views are incredible, and I find that I can really focus on being mindful and present there.

I always take a sweet treat on my long walks to give me something to look forward to, but you could take a picnic of your favourite foods if you want to really make a day out of it.

Make your own green spaces

Buy some plants and put them around your room. Having greenery around you can help create a calming environment and I love naming my plants as a fun way to feel more connected to the green spaces I create. If you’re anything like me and forget to water your plants on a regular basis, why not invest in ‘Hydrospikes’ as a nifty gadget that you fill with water and stick in the plant’s soil for consistent watering? They’re affordable and a lifesaver for the forgetful!

A collage of three different potted plants in student accommodation

Join outdoor clubs and societies

Whilst nature walks are great, it can sometimes be hard to feel motivated. However, inclusive outdoor clubs and societies such as UoB’s Wayfarers Hiking Society or Cool Runnings make it easier to hold yourself accountable and can motivate you to get outside more regularly. They’re also a great chance to meet new people, get moving and discover hidden gems in the Birmingham area.

Download nature apps

Nature apps for bird identification and stargazing are perfect if you’re pushed for time but are still craving your daily dose of nature. I use the free bird identification app, ‘Merlin’, when I’m out on a walk to identify birds by their songs and am often shocked by how many birds I didn’t know existed. The best thing about these apps is that you can even use them from your bedroom window!

No matter where you find your daily dose of nature, it's bound to help nurture your wellbeing by providing a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of student life.

Who knows, you may even discover a new love for the natural world around you and the tranquillity that it has to offer.


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