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How UNE students conquered their exams with the Yellowstone Walking Challenge

The Yellowstone Virtual Walking Challenge, a part of the Conquer Your Exams Challenges by TuneFM, has successfully wrapped up, bringing together UNE students in a unique blend of physical activity, environmental awareness, and academic support. This exciting UNE Healthy Campus initiative has seen students collectively walk an impressive 2,494 kilometres while managing their exam preparations.

Challenge Highlights:

  • Total Distance Walked: Participants covered a combined distance of 2,494 kilometres, simulating a journey through the picturesque landscapes of Yellowstone National Park.
  • Environmental Impact: In addition to walking, students could choose to either plant trees or prevent plastic bottles from reaching the ocean. As a result, 215 trees have been pledged for planting, and 1,500 plastic bottles have been stopped from polluting marine environments. The environmental impact metrics were based on a set calculation tied to participant numbers.
  • Participation: The challenge saw enthusiastic involvement from 73 participants, each contributing to its overall success.

The Conquer Your Exams Challenges are not just about physical activity; they integrate educational elements through student-created docuseries and our digital study space, Gather Town. Every episode of the ‘Yellowstone: A Legacy’ podcast has now been released and can be accessed here. This podcast, alongside the walking challenge, provides a multifaceted approach to wellbeing and exam preparation.

UNE Life’s Gathertown

Rhiannon Munari, an online Bachelor of Zoology student who completed the challenge, said, “My favourite part was probably the matching study area within Gather Town. I went from being completely sedentary to walking an average of 2 km per day and smashed out 120km in half the time I thought I would… 43 days!

During the exam period, it was a godsend, this was the most prepared I have been for exams and it really was getting that study / exercise balance right. I was so much more productive and seemed to retain information better.

My fitness improved, going from not being able to walk to my mailbox without being out of breath, to 2km’s being not only a breeze but something I look forward to each day, and a habit I am continuing. The biggest and most surprising effect was on my mental health. I have struggled over the last couple of years and this has really helped me break out of the mental funk I have been in. I’m happier, more organised and super motivated. I’m very excited to get the medal in the mail, I will feel a great sense of achievement and have something to remind me about the month of the  Yellowstone Challenge, which I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Following the success of the Yellowstone challenge, TuneFM is gearing up for its next exciting exam walking challenge: the Jurassic Coast series. UNE students interested in geology, palaeontology, and history are encouraged to participate as researchers, narrators, or audio editors.

Signups close on Friday, June 28, and can be submitted via email to tunefm@une.edu.au

The Conquer Your Exams Challenges will continue to run every trimester, providing students with ongoing opportunities to stay active, de-stress, and engage in meaningful environmental actions. Each challenge is designed to seamlessly integrate with students’ academic schedules, promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

For more information and to join future challenges, follow TuneFM on Facebook and Instagram and become a part of this vibrant and impactful community.