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Supports for students during exam season

The end of the term can be busy and stressful for many students, especially for those with exams and major assignments.

Units across Student Affairs have organized several events and programming to help students to stay healthy and feel prepared.

Earlier this week, Student Community Relations led a Check-in/Treat Yourself outreach on West Campus and in near-campus neighbourhoods, reaching more than 1,000 students. Staff and peers handed out hot chocolate and apple cider, as well as bags of treats and resource cards covering academic skills and writing, self-care, tips for health and wellbeing, support services, and upcoming events.

Student Academic Success Services (SASS), in partnership with Residence Life, ran a successful all-day study event called Get It Done in Ban Righ Dining Hall on Nov. 28, as well as workshops on essay writing, multiple choice exams, and several course-specific sessions.

“Exams are a turning point in the year for students; they signal the end of a term’s hard work,” says Mikayla Sebesta, Outreach and Peer Programs Coordinator for SASS. “The shift to studying for finals and exams can often be stressful for students, but SASS’s exam prep programming focuses on promoting strategies that will help students do their best.”

Over the course of the exam period, students can visit SASS in Stauffer library for continued exam prep workshops, or book an appointment for a one-on-one writing or academic skills support session.

Student Wellness Services (SWS) is also offering programming to promote health and wellbeing during this busy time. There are online resources, including how to manage test and exam anxiety, as well as a daily exam health challenge on SWS’s Be Well Instagram.

Students can join a SWS counsellor online each week to learn Mindful Moment techniques, and check out Health Promotion’s monthly CampusWELL online magazine to learn 5 steps for escaping procrastination and a 10-minute study break workout.

“While students may not have a lot of time to focus on their health and wellbeing during the exam period, figuring out a few strategies that help you reduce stress can be key,” says Beth Blackett, Health Promotion Special Projects for SWS. “When your stress levels are lower, not only do you feel better but often you can focus better and study more effectively.”

At the Health Promotion Hub in Mitchell Hall, students can visit with Oscar, a fluffy golden retriever therapy dog from St. John’s Ambulance, every Friday from 1:00-2:00 pm as part of Dogs on Campus, or they can register to pick up free mason jar chili and granola on December 16.

Exercise is a great stress buster, and this month at the ARC, students can join Charity Group Fitness classes for the AMS Food Bank or drop-in for open recreation, or a lane swim.

Students living off-campus are invited to take a study break and enter Student Community Relations’ door decorating contest on Instagram at @QueensuSSCE. The theme is ‘what winter/the holidays mean to you and your housemates’, with prizes and bonus points for using recycled materials.

For more information on all exam prep resources and programming, visit the Student Affairs Student Resources webpage.