Welcome back to the last edition of my SASS blog—for the 2022-2023 academic year, and maybe forever, as I’m graduating! As the year, and my degree with it, comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past year and share some tips that will help you finish strong.
First and foremost, I want to remind you to take care of yourself. The end of the semester can be a stressful time, but it’s important to prioritize your mental and physical health. Eating at regular intervals, spending quality time with friends and family, and taking those much-needed Netflix breaks will actually help you stay motivated and achieve more in less time. Even a simple stretch by your desk or a walk around the block isn’t just good for you—it’s an investment of time that will make you work better when you return!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to Student Wellness Services. They offer appointments, wellness groups, and online help like TAO (Therapy Assistance Online), which is accessible 24/7. If you require academic support, check out the amazing resources we have at SASS (check my previous blogs to learn more about these helpful tools and services!). Somebody from SASS can meet you one-on-one for an hour at a time to discuss making a plan for exam success, how to memorize and study better, and how to beat things like exam stress and anxiety. Book an appointment online—like that exercise break, it’ll save you time later!
As you prepare for exams and assignments, it can be helpful to have a physical calendar with all of your deadlines and important dates written out. Personally, I like to keep mine on my study table so that it’s always in sight when I’m trying to focus. That way, I can stay on track more easily. It also gives me a gentle reminder of the most pressing tasks at hand so that I can better allocate my day to doing the most important things.
Another great study tip that has worked for me is to study with friends. Teaching each other concepts can be an incredibly effective way to solidify your understanding of a topic. Plus, it’s always helpful to get another perspective on how to approach a problem. Over the past few blogs, I talked about my talent for getting distracted easily. Studying with friends helps me keep myself accountable! Even if your friends are in different programs, just studying together in the same space creates an environment that can help you get through that extra chapter or tricky topic.
As we approach the end of the academic year, it’s natural to reflect on the year you had and understand where we went right and where we could have done better. If you are a graduating student like me, the reflection may go beyond just academics. I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking to myself or talking to my friends about the memories we have made in this small city over the past four years. I still remember coming into my first year and thinking about how long I had before I could go back home for the fall reading break. Looking back, I can’t see myself ever truly wanting to leave behind this university and the countless memories I have made during my time at Queen’s. So if you have doubts about your place here, always remember that it may take longer for some than others to find it! Even though I was lucky to make strong connections and learn so much about myself during my undergraduate career, there is still so much doubt that it does frighten me a little: will I remain close to the friends I have made? Will my degree be useful in helping me find a stable career? Will I be able to “adult” in the real world? We all may have similar (or different) doubts in our mind right now, but one thing for sure. We have grown so much during this chapter in our life that we can all be excited to continue to the next stage in our journey.
It’s been a pleasure sharing my experiences with all of you these past couple of years, and I wish you all the best for the exam period and beyond. Let’s make sure we can leave Kingston with minds sharp and our hearts full of memories!