Self-help books to guide students through tough and confusing times

Monday November 23 2020
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Most self-help books help you organise, manage and learn how to achieve goals you set your life. PHOTOs / net.

By Monitor Reporters

With the amount of classwork it might seem like a little bit too much having to read material that does not directly affect your grade. However, in a circuitous way what you read in these books might actually make your grades better since it deals directly with your well-being. Some of these books are classics and others are fresh, all of them however promise to help you live a fuller, richer, and more meaningful life it.

Being Well in Academia: Ways to Feel Stronger, Safer and More Connected
Petra Boynton is a social psychologist and Agony Aunt who teaches and researches in International Healthcare. She specialises in addressing the safety and wellbeing of students and staff in academic settings. In her new book Being Well in Academia: Ways to Feel Stronger, Safer and More Connected, Boynton acknowledges how just how challenging life can be for those working in universities and offers tips on how to manage the ups and downs of life in the sector.

The book includes not only information about venting but a safety plan to help you address any suicidal thoughts and feelings, stress, abuse, prejudice, overwork and exclusion. And, alongside its guidance to individuals, it offers many pointers about where universities are going wrong.
Boynton worked at UCL until six years ago, teaching in areas such as international healthcare, and still advises many universities on bullying, keeping researchers safe and staff and student well-being.

The central goal of her new book, Boynton explained, was to help people feel they are not on their own and can do something practical right now. At the same time, given the range of people working within universities, she hoped to avoid the trap of much traditional self-help literature, which she saw as based around having free time, a disposable income and facilities in your home that allow you to have your bubble baths and other self-care activities. 


101 Secrets for Your Twenties

Paul Angone covers almost every area of life. Physical and lifestyle changes, psychological challenges, relationships and social interactions, and spiritual difficulties are all covered in the 101 secrets in an inviting and helpful way. 
Each stage in life has its own set of challenges the things one faces in the first decade of adulthood may or may not be the hardest things we face in life, but that does not diminish the realities of the challenges. 
Navigating what it means to live as an adult, forming our own opinions, maturing, moving into a new stage can be a challenge. This book helps you navigate the many challenges you are sure to encounter in your twenties.
 Every generation faces new challenges in its 20s, but some are constant, from those nerve-wracking first job interviews to how to handle a break-up and not feel like the worst person in the world. How do you navigate this new world you’re discovering;  the one of adulthood? How do you live well in your twenties and establish habits that will guide the rest of your life? It’s written in a witty, honest, and wise voice that will entertain and inform. 101 Secrets For Your Twenties is a must-read to pick up for your nineteenth birthday.
The Last Lecture

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For most a “last lecture” just means the end of the school year, but for Randy Pausch, it was different he was dying, and he knew it. When Randy Pausch discovered he was passing away of pancreatic cancer cells, he found himself in rather a problem: at the top of his professional game, with a lovely spouse as well as three children, exactly how should he check out of life? 
A computer technology professor at Carnegie Mellon College, Pausch is the founder of the university’s prestigious Home entertainment Innovation Center as well as has actually dealt with such firms as Google, Electronic Arts and Walt Disney Imagineering. 

“I love assuming I might discover a means to defeat this late-stage cancer,” he writes in The Last Lecture. 
“Due to the fact that even if I don’t, it’s a better way of thinking to help me make it through each day.” Utilizing the forum of his college’s “Last Lecture” collection, the terminally unwell Pausch chose to distill his life lessons into a talk for students, good friends and coworkers regarding exactly how to accomplish your childhood’s desires. This is one of the funniest, most riveting, and fascinating books ever posthumously published.  Keep the tissues handy—you’ll cry at the end. But it is well worth it for the advice on overcoming obstacles, encouraging people around you, and chasing your childhood dreams. Filled with inspirational quotes, you will remember this book for a very long time. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” –Randy Pausch

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
A staple in the self-help industry, this book is practically legend. Often lauded as Stephen Covey’s seminal work, it outlines transformative habits. More than just a book for those looking to get into business, this little tome can help you no matter what you’re studying. With its no-nonsense style and easy reading, this is a must-read for everyone. This book will help you organize your life from the inside out. It may be celebrating its 30th anniversary, but the advice is far-reaching and timeless. 


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101 Secrets for Your Twenties

Girl, Wash Your Face
Rachel Hollis’ writing feels like a big sister who can show you the ropes and help you avoid messing up your life. In her latest book Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be, Hollis explores several hurtful lies surrounded by one big truth; your happiness is up to you. Rachel shares her story to empower her readers to live their best life yet. Happiness isn’t elusive, happiness is for all of us to achieve; it’s a choice. She invites her readers in to take a closer look at different areas within her personal life that made her feel overwhelmed, less than and not enough. Every chapter is dedicated to each “lie” she has told herself at some point in her life and ends with how she overcame those lies. The book is current, relatable and fun to read. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People
A heavy-hitting self-help classic, Carnegie literally taught us everything we need to know on how to be an influential person. How to Win Friends and Influence People has been around for decades and it’s still as popular today as it was when back in the day. Read this book and make notes. Not only will it help widen your circle of friends but it will also help you climb the ladder of success in your professional life. You’ll be reaching for this one more often than you may think.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
By David Allen

Granted, the title of this book might not capture your imagination, but if you read one book about productivity in your life, then make it this one. The basic principle behind the Getting Things Done, or GTD method, is the idea that you should get all your thoughts and tasks out of your mind so they do not clutter your headspace. First, apply the two-minute rule. If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it now. If it takes longer, follow a simple five-step workflow: capture, clarify, organise, reflect, and engage. By following these two principles you can virtually take control of all projects and tasks in your life. Sound simple? That is because it is. You can start applying it to school work, hobbies, and any other projects right away. While the original book was published in 2001, Allen has kept it updated and relevant to today’s busy and noisy world of multi-tasking, email, and social media.
 The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind

By Alan Wallace
Never have we been surrounded by more technology fighting to grab our attention than now. Smart phones, social media, notifications, the average attention span of a human has shrunk to that of the notoriously unfocused gold fish. There are even apps created to helping us with our lack of focus, adding another layer of distraction to our everyday lives. In The Attention Revolution, Wallace shares some techniques to attain the highest form of Shamatha, a Buddhist meditation state of mind. While it’s near impossible to achieve in just one lifetime, using some of the lessons shared, you will be able to take control of your attention again, to focus on anything you set your mind to, whether you’re studying for an exam, or practicing a hobby or sport.

Small Move, Big Change
By Caroline Arnold

Have you ever promised yourself that this school year you won’t leave writing your term paper until the last minute, just to forget about your resolution as soon as term started? Why did you struggle to stick to your new resolution? Caroline Arnold dives into this question in her book, Small Move, Big Change, discovering that most of us fail at keeping our resolutions because they are too vague and too big.By incorporating ‘microresolutions,’ tiny behavioural modifications, into our daily habits, we can achieve lasting change in virtually any area of our lives. It all comes down to identifying our habits and external cues that can be linked to tiny resolutions that stick because they are so easy to achieve. This is an essential read for anyone wanting to change their habits.
expected to fund testing of teachers and maintenance of SOPs such as hand washing facilities, temperature monitoring equipment, face masks and disinfection facilities.

Paul Bigirwa, the director at Nyakigumba secondary school in Fort Portal town has 800 students, with only 120 school candidates. A number he feels is insufficient to maintain costs at school. 
Bigirwa is contemplating cost cutting as a measure to continue with what he describes as ‘business’.
“We do not have the budgets to run the school. I have 34 teachers, and we are trying to bring down the number to 15,” he says.

“If students have to report on 15th October, there’s no money to pay for bills, food, water and other utilities. I think we shall have to charge parents for the bills. How do we run the school? One class cannot pay all staff members and maintain other utilities as well,” he adds.
In fact, Bigirwa says some parents who are still reeling from the pandemic economic effects have decided to withdraw their children until next year.
Filbert Baguma, the general secretary of the Uganda Teachers’ National Union (UNATU) concurs with Bigirwa that parents are overstretched financially.

“The burden of maintaining schools has to shift to parents, but they aren’t safe either because some have lost jobs, others are on half pay; others have been suspended, and yet you expect some money from them. Some may not be able to send their children back to school,” Baguma explains.
SOPs in public schools
Government’s proposal to distribute two masks for each public school has been met with mixed reactions, especially given that the Presidential directive on the distribution for masks to all Ugandans in June did not materialise until August, with some Ugandans claiming to have never received a government mask to date.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a primary school head teacher in Masindi district, says the government has encouraged them to sensitise parents to provide masks for their children, without necessarily relying on the government alone.
“At the district, the District Education Officer encouraged us in the meeting to mobilise parents so that they can also purchase some of the protective equipment  without necessarily relying on the government alone,” she says.
She adds that the idea of isolating pupils to live within the school premises is still difficult since some parents may not have the requirements. Neither can most public schools afford to house teachers.

There’s still the probability a Covid- 19 case may occur in school. A number of questions arise from such a scenario.

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UNATU’s Baguma asks: “How sure are we for both learners and teachers that they are safe?,” noting: “In the event that we hear that there’s a Covid- 19 case in the school, learners will be struggling to get out of school, and whether the school is government or private, it might close. The question is whether they will quarantine all the students and where do you quarantine them?”

handy close you will cry at the end. But it is well worth it for the advice on overcoming obstacles, encouraging people around you, and chasing your childhood dreams. Filled with inspirational quotes, you will remember this book for a very long time. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” –Randy Pausch

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


A staple in the self-help industry, this book is practically legend. Often lauded as Stephen Covey’s seminal work, it outlines transformative habits. 
More than just a book for those looking to get into business, this little tome can help you no matter what you’re studying. With its no-nonsense style and easy reading, this is a must-read for everyone. This book will help you organise your life from the inside out. It may be celebrating its 30th anniversary, but the advice is far-reaching and timeless. 

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
Rachel Hollis’ writing feels like a big sister who can show you the ropes and help you avoid messing up your life. In her latest book Hollis explores several hurtful lies surrounded by one big truth; your happiness is up to you. Rachel shares her story to empower her readers to live their best life yet. 
Happiness is not elusive, happiness is for all of us to achieve; it is a choice. She invites her readers in to take a closer look at different areas within her personal life that made her feel overwhelmed, less than and not enough. Every chapter is dedicated to each “lie” she has told herself at some point in her life and ends with how she overcame those lies. The book is current, relatable and fun to read. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People


In this heavy-hitting self-help classic, Dale Carnegie literally taught us everything we need to know on how to be an influential person. How to Win Friends and Influence People has been around for decades and it’s still as popular today as it was when back in the day. Read this book and make notes. 
Not only will it help widen your circle of friends but it will also help you climb the ladder of success in your professional life. You’ll be reaching for this one more often than you may think.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
By David Allen
Granted, the title of this book might not capture your imagination, but if you read one book about productivity in your life, then make it this one. The basic principle behind the Getting Things Done, or GTD method, is the idea that you should get all your thoughts and tasks out of your mind so they do not clutter your headspace. First, apply the two-minute rule. If a task takes less than two minutes to complete, do it now. If it takes longer, follow a simple five-step workflow: capture, clarify, organise, reflect, and engage. By following these two principles you can virtually take control of all projects and tasks in your life. Sound simple? That is because it is. You can start applying it to school work, hobbies, and any other projects right away. While the original book was published in 2001, Allen has kept it updated and relevant to today’s busy and noisy world of multi-tasking, email, and social media.

The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind
By Alan Wallace

Never have we been surrounded by more technology fighting to grab our attention than now. Smart phones, social media, notifications, the average attention span of a human has shrunk to that of the notoriously unfocused gold fish. There are even apps created to helping us with our lack of focus, adding another layer of distraction to our everyday lives. In The Attention Revolution, Wallace shares some techniques to attain the highest form of Shamatha, a Buddhist meditation state of mind. While it’s near impossible to achieve in just one lifetime, using some of the lessons shared, you will be able to take control of your attention again, to focus on anything you set your mind to, whether you’re studying for an exam, or practicing a hobby or sport.


Small Move, Big Change
By Caroline Arnold

Have you ever promised yourself that this school year you won’t leave writing your term paper until the last minute, just to forget about your resolution as soon as term started? Why did you struggle to stick to your new resolution? Caroline Arnold dives into this question in her book, Small Move, Big Change, discovering that most of us fail at keeping our resolutions because they are too vague and too big.By incorporating ‘microresolutions,’ tiny behavioural modifications, into our daily habits, we can achieve lasting change in virtually any area of our lives. It all comes down to identifying our habits and external cues that can be linked to tiny resolutions that stick because they are so easy to achieve. This is an essential read for anyone wanting to change their habits.
 

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