Trying to find the time to study can be hard enough, finding a place to study can be much harder. At the Durham College and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) library there are group study rooms available for students to enjoy while talking, and discussing projects and sipping on lidded drinks. Librarian Technician Anne Muir describes the group study rooms as “pretty much sound proof,” but that doesn’t mean students can shout – they should keep the volume at the level the library dictates on each floor.
The group rooms can be found on the second and third floor and are “popular year-round but around exams they are really popular,” Muir said. They “vary in size” and can accommodate four to eight people. Students can book a room up to 20 times per semester with a student card, she said. Students must book a day in advance and it’s necessary to have the names of two to three people to book a room, depending on the room size. “No eating or drinking is allowed, but drinks with lids are allowed,” Muir said. There are photos of each of the 10 rooms online for students to best pick the ones that suit their needs.
How would you feel if your exam was interrupted by a bomb threat?
Story, image and poll by Cait Hoock
Remember the movie Road Trip? And how at the end of the movie one of the characters calls in a bomb threat to delay an exam?
Mid-February is prime time for mid-terms and on Feb. 17, someone made a bomb threat and all Durham College and UOIT students were evacuated. As well, all classes were cancelled for the rest of the day.
Coincidence? Probably not. This sort of thing isn’t as uncommon as some may think. Take York University for example. The campus is becoming increasingly notorious for this kind of behaviour.
According to a 2007 York University newsletter, there is an increase of false bomb threats during exam time. Students act out of desperation because they aren’t prepared and don’t know any other way to handle the situation. The people who make these threats are thinking only of themselves, and not about the stress, time and money it causes others.
Luckily, I wasn’t on campus during the chaos, but I can only imagine how ticked off I would have been if I was writing an exam. Just like many other students, I study and prepare for exams, and if I’m not ready, well too bad for me. I’m not going to make everyone else suffer for my lack of motivation.
And let’s say I wasn’t writing an exam. I probably would’ve spent a good part of my afternoon trying to get out of the crammed parking lot. I could’ve been late for work, an interview, an appointment. Way to go buddy, you’ve just ruined my day.
And it’s not like college and police officials can treat these situations lightly either. The Police Department, Fire Department and sometimes the K-9 Unit are called in. And these services don’t come cheap. In 2005, York University officials dished out more than $160,000 to the Toronto Fire Services for answering false fire alarms. And I’ve got a feeling student fees are included somewhere in that figure.
Someone could be in dire need of help, but instead firefighters and police officers are unknowingly wasting their time because of someone’s idiotic hoax. These pranksters need to understand that while they may be laughing at their joke, someone may be dying at their expense.
Get control of your stress, before the stress gets control of you
Spring break is over, school is back in session and we’re in it for the long haul home. And with the school year winding down, it’s crunch time. It’s time to put those finishing touches on major projects, get those last few assignments in and start studying for final exams. With everything mounting at school it can be a stressful time for students, but you don’t have to rip your hair out and lose your mind if you learn how to manage it.
“One of the most important things is prevention; staying in control of your stress and planning ahead, said Mary-Alice Harvey, a mental health nurse at Durham College. “Often as a student we end up with a great procrastination skill … which is not a good skill to have because you end up working constantly under stress.”
She outlined a few simple things students can do at this time of year to keep calm, cool and collected.
RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN SYMPTOMS
Look at your life and learn how to manage and reduce things in your life that cause you stress. Learn how to say no and don’t take on more than you can handle.
Put off things that are due next week and finish the assignments that are due first. Organize your time and plan out what you need to do so that you have a sufficient amount of time to produce your best work.
TAKE A MINUTE
Take some ‘you’ time and relax. Read a book, do some yoga, go for a walk, listen to some music or even hang out with friends. Just take time for yourself.
Try your best to eat a well-balanced diet, including lots of fruits and vegetables. Drinking lots of water is also very important. When you are stressed you should be drinking more than the recommended 8 glasses a day.
When you are stressed your body produces a hormone called cortisol, and exercise is good for you because it produces the antidote for the stress hormone. Try to incorporate exercise into your day wherever possible.
“Stress management is just that, managing your stress, taking control,” said Harvey. “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.”
Click here to see why breakfast and lots of sleep are an important part of managing your stress.