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15 Days of Exams challenge promotes wellbeing

Online student-led event offers prizes and supports mental, social, and physical wellness during exam season.

Photograph of a person writing in a notebook while looking at a laptop
Students are hard at work studying for exams, and Student Wellness Services is offering ways to stay well as the term comes to an end.

With the start of the fall term exam season, the busy nature of this time of year can push health and wellbeing to the backburner, and the pandemic has increased stress among many students.

To help students find some balance, Student Wellness Services (SWS) is back with the 15 Days of Exams Health Challenge. This event includes online challenges that cover healthy eating and cooking, mental fitness, sexual health, substance use, physical activity, financial literacy, and rest and relaxation.

“This is the 10th year we have run the 15 Days of Exams Health Challenge,” says Beth Blackett, Health Promotion Project Specialist in SWS. “We’ve found that it not only gives students an opportunity to feel socially connected but also, by engaging in daily wellness challenges and sharing online, it can help with motivation.”

From Dec. 7 to 21, students can participate on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The goal is to promote community engagement, social connection and healthy activities throughout the exam period.

“This event is directly driven by our Peer Health Educators, which is a group of over 35 volunteers in eight different topic areas ranging from Healthy Eating to Mental Fitness,” says Erin Burns, a Research Assistant at Health Promotion. “Each health tip is uniquely developed by students themselves and often reflects their personal experience of what helps them stay well during exams.”

Students who participate – by tagging @queensuniversitybewell in an Instagram story or @QueensUBeWell in a tweet or Facebook story, and commenting on the challenge of the day (including their favourite animal or book, or by identifying a “green flag” in a relationship) - can enter for a chance to win a daily $10 gift card. Students who tag and comment will also be entered in a draw to win one of three prize baskets worth $30, $50, and $70.

“During any exam season, it is hard for students to prioritize their wellbeing in relation to their academics and grades, but it is so important,” says Rose Welsh, a Psychology Major with a Certificate in Law, who helps develop social media posts for Health Promotion at SWS. “During this exam season, especially with everything being online, we aim for the 15 Days of Exams to help remind students to take breaks, go outside and participate in activities, giving them the chance to win a gift card helps incentivize this challenge and adds some fun!

With prizes based on engagement and participation, SWS continues to work to grow a supportive and active health-promoting campus community.

To participate, follow SWS on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter