A therapy dog being pet by individuals.
Teaching & Learning Campus Life

Relax, pet some pups, and study smarter!

04 December 2023
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Classes are over, but December can be a stressful month. We’re bringing you Exam Jam, visits from the St. John Ambulance therapy dogs, and some tips to build effective study habits to help you feel confident at your final exams and end 2023 on a positive note. 

De-stress at Exam Jam! 

The Centre for Experiential and Service Learning is bringing you Exam Jam! Celebrate the end of classes and de-stress before finals with some snacks, crafts, and holiday movies going on throughout the day. Bring your friends – the more the merrier! 

When: Tuesday, December 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: Riddell Centre Multi-Purpose Room 

It’s important to take some time to decompress, stay prepared for your final assignments and exams, and be kind to yourself. — Shauna Koester, Associate Director, Student Success

Take a deep breath, paws, and relax 

Finals can be “ruff,” which means the St. John Ambulance therapy dogs are coming back to campus just in time! Students, as well as the entire University community, can come and enjoy the company of the therapy dogs on December 12 and 20 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Research and Innovation Centre (RIC) Atrium.

Studies have shown animal-assisted therapy, like therapy dogs, increases the hormone oxytocin, commonly referred to as the love hormone, and decreases the flight, fight or freeze, and anxiety hormone cortisol. When stroking, patting, scratching or touching therapy dogs, cortisol levels drop - decreasing anxiety and stress, while increasing oxytocin, making us feel better.

Individual sitting at a table and reading a tablet.
Make the most of your study time by finding your ideal study environment. Photo credit: iStock

Get prepared and build effective study habits 

We talked to Shauna Koester, Associate Director, Student Success about how students can prepare for finals and make the most of their study time. Here are her top three tips: 

  1. Make a Study Plan: If you make a study schedule or set aside time for studying, use that time more effectively! Make a list of all of the topics you need to study for each class, and plan what topics you will cover during each study block.
  2. Examine previous tests and assignments from the course to inform how you study: Identify why you lost marks (e.g., misread the question, used exam time poorly, did not show your work, etc.) and prepare accordingly. For example, if you previously ran out of time on a test, this time around take time to read the entire final exam first, and start with the questions worth the most marks.
  3. Find your ideal study environment: There are lots of cozy corners around campus to get your studying done. If you’re looking for complete silence, you can go to one of the red zones in the Dr. John Archer Library. Or, you could form a study group and book a group study room at the Dr. John Archer Library. 

“Final exams, paired with the holiday season, can be a stressful time for students,” says Koester. “It’s important to take some time to decompress, stay prepared for your final assignments and exams, and be kind to yourself. We hope that all students can end the semester feeling confident, and go on to enjoy their semester break.” 

Are you looking for a cozy spot to study? Students in BUS 310 (Strategic Marketing) put together some videos featuring their favourite spots to study on campus! Check them out here and here.

Everyday behaviours to improve your mental health 

Do you want to work on building everyday behaviours to strengthen your mental health? The Online Therapy Unit’s “The Things You Do” online lesson involves reviewing one lesson and then slowly working on daily behaviours to improve mental health over four weeks. It is focused on cultivating everyday behaviours and actions which most people recognize as important for mental health. It is available to Canadians 18 years or older who are looking to manage their mental wellbeing. Apply for the “Things You Do” course.

Congratulations to all students for making it to the last day of classes and best of luck with your final exams!

Banner photo credit: University Communications and Marketing.

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Set in the heart of the Canadian prairies we are a comprehensive, mid-sized university where the opportunities are as limitless as the horizon. Our campuses are on Treaty 4 and 6 - the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda peoples, and the homeland of the Michif/Métis nation. It is our responsibility to strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities to build a more inclusive future for all. Our three federated colleges, 10 faculties, 25 academic departments, and 18 research centres foster innovative research with practical and theoretical applications. We are committed to cultivating the potential of our 16,000 students and supporting their health and well-being. We take learning beyond the classroom through work and volunteer experiences to develop career-ready graduates.

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