As post-secondary students, we quickly become accustomed to running this gauntlet year after year. Very rarely do we learn from our past mistakes. Countless resolutions revolve around having projects completed prior to reading week. These suggestions tend to fall on deaf ears.
It doesn't take long for the cracks to show come April. The whole vibe at school changes with the coming of spring. Students start asking way more questions in class. The quietest of lecture halls open up as students from the farthest corners of the room squirm for clarification from profs regarding deadlines and exam material. “Is this exam going to be cumulative?”
“Is that guy in my group?” “Is my textbook the right edition?”
Other things start breaking down on campus during tough times like these. For example, the smokers tables are littered with students who recently have turned back to smoking in the hopes of calming their nerves and scoring a C+. The mental and physical boundaries of students are tested to their wits end. Weekend drinking subsequently becomes excessive in the lead up to April. Procrastination is at an all time high.
I’ve already seen some disturbing effects first hand over the past week and a half on campus. Last week on three separate occasion, I saw joyless students staring off into oblivion. They all had closed textbooks in one hand, while the other hand limply supported their heads from toppling over. I saw a first year student who was so dejected, that she refused to pick up the uneaten banana which she had just dropped. She simply chose to leave it for dead on the floor. It was too much of a hassle, so she kept aimlessly roaming the halls.
I also witnessed a young man crying in the computer lab, while his girlfriend whispered sweet nothings into his ear about how things were going to be alright. She held him close as he signed off of his student account. They left together.
My personal favourite, is the mass sleeping which takes place during these final weeks. Students are very effective at finding the safest place to take 5 and nap the stress away. It's not that hard to find a fellow student slumped over in a comfy chair during odd hours of the day. The newly refurbished study space in the basement of the library is now the prime nap zone. With its new light green ambiance, this space is conducive to both studying and sleeping.
The classic walk of shame to the bookstore is always another highlight at the end of each semester. Countless students are forced to make these types of late purchases. Those brave souls who thought they could make it all the way without buying the textbook back in January. Now they pay the price, both literally and figuratively. Required reading can be a killer.
All that being said, do your best to keep on rolling with those punches and finish up the semester on a good note. Everyone is in the same boat, so reach out if you are having a tough time. If you or someone you know are struggling with severe stress, depression or anxiety during these final weeks, please don’t hesitate to utilize the wonderful mental health resources which we have on campus. Have a quick chat and share some good stories with the Mental Health Street Team. They are more than willing to listen and help you out. Study hard and stay safe Concordia!