Students get an early taste of university life


Exam stress, essay deadlines, the horror of cooking your own meals: starting university has its challenges.

But help was at hand last week at JW3 in North London when it opened its doors for UniFest, sponsored by the Pears Foundation with UJS and UJIA, to prepare students for life on campus.

More than 30 recent school leavers attended sessions over two days, ranging from cookery classes and workshops to lessons on how to deal with antisemitism. Meanwhile, last year's Great British Bake Off contestant Glenn Cosby ensured participants learned the skills to create a perfect pavlova.

"A lot of people are nervous about the atmosphere after all the recent events in Israel," said Birmingham student Simon Goldich, 19. "We have practised dealing with awkward conversations, which is reassuring."

For former Yavneh College pupil Adam Polin, 18, learning recipes was a highlight: "I haven't ever cooked at home, so this is helpful. It's a worry - but probably more so for my mum."

Psychotherapist Leanne Hoffman, ran the workshop "How to cope with stress". She said: "I see so many people who would have benefited from learning the tools to cope with stress earlier," she said. "Kids are under such pressure. It's important to help them discover their emotional responses before they leave for university."

Further events included sessions on student journalism and student radio, and how to relate to other faiths once you have left the "Jewish bubble".

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