Puppies, free food help to alleviate stress for students heading into exams

Puppies, free snacks and activities filled the second floor atrium in Scott Library on March 19 for Yu Got This, an event designed to help students de-stress and learn more about managing their well-being going into the exam period.

Organized jointly by Learning Skills and Health Education & Promotion, the event gave students an opportunity to engage with Learning Skills and Health Education peers for coaching on exam prep, time management and study skills, as well as strategies to boost mental health and wellness.

Results from the 2016 National College Health Assessment indicated that post-secondary students across Ontario found academics to be a top stressor. In the flurry of final deadlines, exams, assignments and numerous other priorities, students can often feel overwhelmed, which can have a significant impact on their academic confidence and overall wellness.

Helen Lee, manager of well-being and health promotion, reiterates the importance of taking a collaborative, multipronged approach to support the well-being of the student community.

“Knowing there are a number of different factors that shape student well-being, we were so excited to continue this partnership with Learning Skills to offer a holistic approach to wellness during the busy exam season,” said Lee.

Senior Learning Skills peer Alessia Loduca said the event gave her the opportunity to meet students at different stages of their York journeys, and most shared a similar concern: how to have a smooth exam experience.

“Whether their worries were related more to practical tips when writing exams or mental health and test anxiety, our event helped students feel prepared, confident and supported,” said Loduca. “On a personal note, as both a York employee and student, I was able to share my learning skills-related knowledge with others while also learning to take my own advice so that I could de-stress before my own exams. And, as always, the free food and dog therapy were so much appreciated going into the exam season.”

The event had more than 570 interactions at the different stations set up throughout the space that highlighted services available to students. Participants enjoyed interacting with therapy dogs provided by St. John’s Ambulance, which was a popular stress reliever.

For more information on preparing for tests and exams, visit lss.info.yorku.ca/resources/preparing-for-tests-and-exams.