Wellbeing is just up the road. Visit Firstsite!

Natascha Rimo displays all the different activities promoted by Firstsite and how they can take you out of the box and improve your wellbeing.

Have you ever found yourself stuck in front of the screen whilst writing an essay? If the answer is yes, welcome to the club! As a final year student, I understand how hard it is to prioritize mental health whilst also juggling assignments, readings, presentations and perhaps even a job or two. Now, I am not an expert in actual juggling but what I know for a fact is that, at times, we tend to forget about our own mental health and that of others. It is therefore essential, and I cannot stress this enough, that we allow ourselves some time to explore new things to evade the routine that may make us feel a little claustrophobic. In view of the forthcoming Mental Health awareness day on March 7th, why not consider taking a trip to town to take a break from University? Some of you have certainly realized that besides campus there is a whole world waiting to be explored, seen, tasted and most of all: lived. You don’t need to escape to Hawaii and picture yourself sipping some fresh coconut milk straight from the cracked nut, nor any of the flower necklaces are indispensable as some may be allergic to that. You can obviously join me in this dreamy panorama and keep feeling the sun on your skin with your eyes shut, or you can embrace the Colchester lifestyle instead, closer and much more realistic – let’s face it! 

Rooted in a rich medieval tradition, Colchester, ancient Roman legion proudly keeps its memorabilia deeply embedded in stone. Everything around you is a memento of that past that confers a pristine look to the town; look at Colchester Castle park or explore Saint Botolph’s Priory, enjoy a show at the Colchester Arts Centre or an exhibition at the Minories Gallery. 

Not feeling inspired yet?

Ever glanced at that contemporary architecture gem by Rafael Viñoly? You are all wondering what I am talking about, I presume. Well, one word, nine letters, a cultural force, a pure breath of fresh air that marked the shift in 2011 in the town of bricks and Roman pride. Firstsite, a young, contemporary art gallery situated in Lewis Gardens, right behind the Minories Gallery on the High Street and just off the picturesque Queen Street, surrounded by brand new areas for artist’s studios, cultural mentoring and a brand new Curzon cinema too. Such vibrancy is certainly due to the ongoing efforts to renovate the quarter and to build a central cultural hub for the community, including University students! 

Ranging from a carefully selected independent films programme and exciting theatre screenings, the gallery also includes numerous activities such as FREE workshops with CLIP, a duo of sound artists on Mondays 5 – 8pm, as well as other events like talks with artists and curators to thoroughly engage with the exhibitions and discuss current problematics; you could participate in multi-cultural festivals, local markets, tai chi courses, dancing and so much more. Particularly inclined to give thought to mental health, Firstsite decides to consider it all year round rather than just on specific occasions. This attitude is a reminder that we need to get out there and explore, delve into new experiences that will bring new friends, projects and all sort of exciting opportunities that we may not encounter by just binging on some new Netflix series at home. The world is out there waiting for us to be saved, helped and guided and we learn so much from others and their lives. Ever thought of helping the less fortunate?Why not have a go at teaching English to refugees at Firstsite? You can volunteer there, gain valuable skills and shape someone’s future!

A “Culture Crawl” will be taking place on Thursday 21stMarch from 2pm until 6pm. We will be meeting in Square 4 at the University and we will show you how to get there in person! The tour will comprise some of the venues above mentioned such as Firstsite, The Minories Gallery, the Colchester Arts Centre and some food and drinks places to thoroughly enjoy this experience and perhaps find your new eating spot to take your friends to! More information will be provided. Now it is time to purchase a FREE ticket to secure yourself a spot for this event! Last week of term needs to be celebrated in style, so get your friends to explore town with you!


Check: www.firstsite.uk

Get your tickets NOW! UoE Culture Crawl 2019: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uoe-culture-crawl-2019-tickets-58276384234

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