So here we are. The semester is over, the midterms and essays have been written, and the all-nighters have been had, sort of. Exam season is a special time here at UTM and much like Halloween, it brings out the zombie in all of us. Here are 10 things I know to be true about exam season.
1) Sleep goes out the window.
We think we’ll get more work done if we just take an extra hour to review something or finish an assignment, but this is definitely not the case.
As a hopeful graduate this year, I’m starting to think about what I’m doing with my life next year.
The options are endless—I could travel the world, I could volunteer, I could apply to a graduate program, I could apply to a college program, I could even say “Not today!” and just sleep all day, every day!
Or, you know, the dreaded… finding a job thing.
I have heard horror stories and seen memes about undergrads trying to find jobs. That endless cycle of needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to get experience. Or needing a Masters or a Ph.D. to get a job but then being overqualified for said job. How is this possible? How do I get experience in my field… with no prior experience in my field??
I am currently working two jobs and taking six courses. My jobs are not in my field, and I don’t think much of my coursework counts as job experience. If anything, I have barely enough work to put together a portfolio of some sort (I’m in CCIT and English), and even if I can make one, how valid will that be to an employer if it is not from the actual workforce?
One of my friends has already secured a job for next year. People, I am freaking out.
I talked to a career counselor two years ago, and she told me that one of the best ways to get this mythical experience is by getting involved in relevant organizations on campus that have something to do with my field so that I can put them on my resume. I have been trying to do that. However, already having a lot on my plate with jobs and school, I admit it’s difficult and requires intense time management (shoutout to the Passion Planner) and little to no time for myself. I like to think that I am involved, but is it enough? What do employers want?
I can’t wait until I’m in fourth year and ready to graduate. All those all-nighters and spending my days in the UTM library will soon pay off. Oh, that lovely HBSc! Then I’ll be set for grad school. I’ll buy my parents a nice house pay for my sister’s education and travel the world…
“It is okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.”
These words resonated with me more than anything else I have ever seen, read, or heard. As a university student, especially at the University of Toronto, it’s easy to get caught up in coursework. But sometimes, I think it’s imperative that you allow yourself time to breathe.
Breathe (verb): to pause, take rest.
Having an off day? Bomb an exam? Considering quitting life? Take a break!
Research actually indicates that taking breaks is the secret to success. It’s taken me three years to realize this. Prior to testing out this “break” theory, I cringed at the idea, but I tried it. Now, I am confident that taking breaks is the secret to success, and the increase in my GPA proves it. Rather than moping around and beating yourself up over that one unfortunate grade, relax, regenerate, and come back in full force tomorrow!
I feel like young adults are misunderstood. We teeter on the bridge between adolescence and adulthood, a precarious in-between state. The responsibility of crossing this bridge is daunting, and I’ve found that the people on the adulthood side forget that.
Midterms, tests, assignments, shifts at work, the December exam schedule coming out—the struggle is real at this time of year. The leaves may be turning pretty colours and pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage (shout-out to Starbucks!), but that does not change the fact that we each have roughly ten billion things that need our attention.
Let’s get down to something that’s going to drive us all crazy this coming month: exams. I can already hear terrified shrieks as some of you merely read the word. All-nighters, pervasive coffee breath, and complete disregard for physical appearance are only some of the symptoms of this dreadful epidemic. From what I’ve mentioned so far, it’s apparent that exams can cause a fair amount of panic, be it from testophobia (yes, that’s actually the word for it) or last minute work. So let’s talk about tackling exam stress and avoiding a freak situation at the eleventh hour.