I can feel it in the air – that distinct sense of shifting, as students are handing in their last essays and attending their last few lectures; the end of the semester is finally approaching, and as usual, it looks gruesome. The exam period – not only the actual writing of the tests, but the process of studying – overnights at Robarts, rewriting and rereading, cue cards, highlighters, coffee, sweatpants, snow, slouching – is just around the corner. It’s not a pretty time for U of T students, but it’s always laced with the comforting knowledge that winter break, that brief pause in our otherwise non-stop academic year (pardon me – there was that oh-so-satisfying “micro reading week”) where we might do a bit reading for year-long courses, but mostly can sleep, breathe, eat, and do all those other things that normal, non-U of T students do regularly and might consider, in fact, necessary to human survival.
I’m hoping to maintain my peace of mind during exam season this year, and while I know those moments of panic are unavoidable, there are certainly a lot of opportunities on campus for students to relax and defeat the stress plague, if only momentarily.
Hart House offers a variety of programs to soothe the stressed student:
Exam period is one I clearly characterize as bleak, but I think there are definitely ways to limit your stress. You do yourself a disservice by climbing under a pile of books in a library for a week and not facing the light of day until you are forced to enter the outside world in order to walk to your exam destination. Taking some time during the exam period to not study for exams will make the time you spend studying all the more productive. It’s always a pleasant feeling to realize that the world is going on when you feel like it’s ending, so allow yourself to bear witness to that comforting truth by taking a break. Whether it’s a yoga class, or just a walk around our beautiful campus, indulge yourself this exam period, if only for a moment.