United Kingdom

Manchester University tells pupils to 'beat blues' by learning 'how to FOLD socks'

The University of Manchester has been mercilessly ridiculed by students after suggesting they 'can beat their January blues by learning how to fold their socks'.

On Blue Monday, dubbed 'the most depressing day of the year', the institution shared a social media post detailing five 'foolproof ways' to keep happy during the pandemic. 

The bizarre suggestions included discovering how to fold your socks, 'learning how to parallel park', being present in the moment and helping others amid the third national lockdown.

Floods of baffled students couldn't help but mock the unusual advice on Twitter, with one complaining that the random tips came 'on the first day' of their exam season.

The University of Manchester gave students unusual tips to bring them some happiness amid lockdown, which included urging them to watch a video to learn 'how to fold your socks'

The bizarre suggestion came alongside other tips, such as 'learning how to parallel park', being present in the moment and helping others amid the third UK lockdown

Advising students to learn a low-maintenance skill, the post read: 'This skill could be anything you can think of; from learning how to grow herbs in your kitchen, watching a video how to fold your socks or learning how to parallel park – the possibilities are endless.'

Sharing the university's post, one astonished student wrote: 'Not University of Manchester telling us to "watch a video how to fold your socks" to "beat the january blues" on the first day of exam season.'

Another  simply tweeted: 'Good grief', while a fourth said: 'University of Manchester thinks watching sock videos = depression cured.'

A fifth added: 'How has University of Manchester suggested that to wind down and destress we should watch videos of people folding socks or learn how to parallel park?' 

A University of Manchester spokesperson told Femail: 'This is one instance of what we offer to support students which ranges from the general wellbeing example given here, to a 24 hour support line, extensive counselling services and a unique city-wide partnership with the NHS. 

But floods of baffled students couldn't help but rage about the unusual advice to Twitter, with one complaining that the random tips came 'on the first day' of their exam season

'Some of our suggestions will be more light-hearted, others more serious and we believe there is demand for both.' 

Responding to the January Blues article on Twitter, one student also revealed an older Instagram post, shared by the University of Manchester, which said to look at lockdown 'as a retreat'.

While another also referenced the post, tweeting: 'University of Manchester really said "are you feeling down? we'll just treat everything like it's a retreat and maybe watch a video on folding socks and poof depression gone".'

The post came under fire for being 'patronising and insensitive' by some students at the time, reported The Tab. 

After the post was shared on Twitter, one student posted an old Instagram post from the University of Manchester on Instagram, which advised pupils to treat lockdown 'as a retreat'

A University of Manchester (pictured) spokesperson said the old Instagram post 'highlighted' the results of a 'research project' and was not 'advice for student wellbeing'

A spokesperson for the University told Femail that the Instagram post 'highlighted' the results of an 'independent research project' and was not 'advice for student wellbeing'.

After student feedback, the post was later removed by the University of Manchester as they realised 'the content could be taken out of context'.

A University of Manchester spokesperson explained: 'The post in question was the result of an independent research project aimed at people working with teenagers and young people, learning about their lockdown experiences to create a toolkit. 

'It was never intended to be University advice for student wellbeing. It was simply highlighting research carried out by a team at the university. 

'After some student feedback and reflection however, we realised the content could be taken out of context so removed the post on Instagram and apologised for any distress it may have caused.'

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