By McGill Reporter Staff
Healthy McGill understands that the end-of-semester crunch is a stressful time – and it wants students to know that success doesn’t have to mean living in a blur of all-nighters and jumbo-sized cups of coffee.
On Wednesday, April 12, and Thursday, April 20, students can pick up a free exam care kit containing pens and pencils, chocolate, condoms, ear plugs, bookmarks, tea, key chains, highlighters – and a note of support from a recent McGill grad. Also on hand: fresh fruit and a sympathetic ear. Staff from Healthy McGill will be handing out kits in the main lobby of the McLennan Library, starting at noon.
Healthy McGill partnered with Campus Life and Engagement and the McGill Alumni Association to launch the project in December 2015. An initiative of Student Services, Healthy McGill connects students with support and resources, with a recognition “that ‘healthy’ means something different to everyone and [we] encourage you to make decisions that are right for you.”
The exam care kits are a hit with students, and the project has grown from 150 kits in its first exam period to this semester’s 500. This year, the Office for Students with Disabilities and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life have joined the initiative.
The kits include a card featuring health-focused study tips:
- Set goals as you study
- Familiarize yourself with your exam schedule, including the building and room your exam is in.
- Take breaks to eat and move
- Take time to sleep (try to aim for 7-9 hours)
- Dress in layers and try to be as comfortable as possible
- Bring earplugs, extra pens/pencils, and a water bottle
The flipside of each card features a note of encouragement from a recent McGill alum.
“We reached out to graduates of the last decade, because we felt they could best relate to what the students would be experiencing at this time,” says Kay Dass, Alumni Relations Officer. “Exam times can be very stressful for students. Alumni have walked that path before, so we said, ‘Why not send the students a few words of encouragement to let them know there’s someone rooting for them to succeed.’
“We’re sending positive vibes, and the message that it’s important to stay healthy during this period.”