Connected Conversations | Bec Hanna

Our Connected Conversations series continues with Bec Hanna who shares some insight on balancing work at the University of Adelaide with her passion projects while also studying a Bachelor of Health and Medical Science.

Bec Hannah

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Bec Hanna. I’m the Marketing Manager, Faculty of the Professions while also studying a Bachelor of Health and Medical Science with a major in Neuroscience. I live in Woodville with my husband, who’s unofficially my IT guy, and my personal trainer. When I’m not studying or working, I’m usually writing for my Brain blog, or planning my future TED talks and books. I’m a big believer in pursuing your passions. I manage my work and study by staying meticulously organised, and realistically planning time for mental rest. Through my blog, I try to help people understand how they can expand their knowledge using only spare time; something I’ve been practising for the last five years.

How have the current changes at University impacted your daily routine?

I’m a big fan of maximising my time; I used to listen to podcasts during the commute and meditate at the same time each day. Now the changes have just meant I have to find new ‘moments’ in the day for these tasks. I haven’t mastered this yet, but I’ll keep trying.

What do you miss most about physically being at University?

The labs and facilities in my degree are my favourite part of studying at the University of Adelaide. I’ll never forget the first time I held a human brain in my two hands; it was life-changing and inspired my future career. I look forward to getting back into the lab and continue collecting these awesome experiences.

What opportunities do you see for the future?

This situation has forced us to entirely re-think the way we work and study, and limitation breeds creativity. So, I’m personally excited about how the new environments will look. More work-life balance. More time spent outside. There are undoubtedly a few things that people will want to continue doing once restrictions are lifted, and I think that’s a great thing. I’ve never seen so many people inspired to finish odd jobs, learn new things, expand their knowledge or create unique activities for their family.

Name one thing during this time that has been pleasantly surprising for you.

I’m very quietly impressed with how much healthier I’ve been. I can prepare fresh meals every day, and I’m suddenly in a position to make recipes that I would never have had time for before. I’ve even dedicated part of my kitchen to this pursuit; I’ve created a ‘healthy shelfie’... must trademark this!

What are your doing to stay motivated?

I still train at 6 am every morning with my husband. We’re lucky enough to have borrowed some gym equipment. We have separate work areas in the house, and we eat lunch together on our ‘breaks’. Once or twice a week, I’ll go for a walk at the nearby track–just to get fresh air and rest the eyes!

What are you doing to stay connected to your peers, friends, family etc?

I come from a very big family; I’m the youngest of six, and I have eight nieces and nephews. So, a few times a week, we’ll get into a group video chat and its absolute chaos for ten minutes or so. I’d say the most challenging thing about the restrictions is not being able to get together as a family–we’re too big!–and I’ve really started to miss the noise, the laughing, and of course, the kids. I’m very grateful for regular video chats with my placement supervisor too, because I get to ask loads of questions, talk about research, and I’m learning so much just from these awesome conversations.

What’s the best advice you have heard to stay positive during this time?

It never rains forever. I just keep this in mind when I’m feeling over it.

Name 3 things you won’t miss about this current moment in time.

Not being able to celebrate birthdays with big parties, seeing empty supermarket shelves, and generally just talking about a virus.

And the three things you won’t forget...

Spending so much extra time with my husband, working on our side projects together. Seeing so many people outdoors and exercising! And the incredibly low price of petrol.

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