Real World – Starting a Real World

For the first project of the the final year we have been tasked to come up with an idea that will make Cardiff Metropolitan University a healthier place to study, whether its from making the campus more environmentally friendly to creating a diverse and accepting student community. The clients are the staff members that are helping to spearhead the new ‘Healthy University’ programme, meaning that contacting and meeting up with them has been very easy so far.

The whole project must be completed in a group of 4 or 5, with each group being assigned a specific area of the ‘Healthy University’ programme and a target audience. My group of 4 have been given Health and Well-being, with the target audience being students.

It is always interesting working in a group as there is so much potential for great ideas but there is a big risk of them getting buried in the chaos of group discussion. Luckily the group dynamic has been very exciting so far, with each of us having a good idea of where we want to go with project.

The initial process of getting to the real problem with student health and well-being went very smoothly as we discovered fairly quickly that the general idea of a strong and healthy lifestyle didn’t necessarily fit in with the perceived student lifestyle. From our own personal experience, our research online and asking other students we were able to uncover that most people love the university lifestyle which is obviously a real problem.

So we thought that we had a good game plan which focused on peoples bad-habits and helping them to gain a solid rhythm in their life by encouraging them to make small changes. This idea, although good, has been moved lower down the list as we realised that the University is already doing a good job of encouraging people to be healthier.

This meant that we changed our focus to something else. After a productive meeting with our client, Emma, we discovered that one of the real problems was communication from the University to the students. This changed our entire mentality to the project. Instead of trying to get people to make changes in their lifestyle we thought that a better idea would be to make people happy while they were on campus.

Mental and physical health is always an issue in any organisation and the University has a great support platform to help people, but there is no point in having that support if no one knows about it. So our new goal is to create something simple that will engage students and make them have fun, while still raising awareness for the support that the university offers.

Overall the project has gone fairly smoothly so far. We have come up with some great ideas and the effort that we have put into doing the research and discovering the core problems has been invaluable. I think that sticking with our ideas and creating something original are the key factors while moving forward in this project.

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