Ask a student what the best gift they could get for the holidays is and you’ll likely hear an “A+,” an exemption from a term paper, or no exams. For these students handling crunch time stresses, studying and juggling some amazing jobs is all in a day’s work. Metro checked in to uncover their survival tips.
Anson Kwok, above
University of Toronto, MBA program
“I’m a terrible crammer. I’m always studying so that when the big day comes the material isn’t a surprise to me,” he says.
“Cooking and indoor beach volleyball helps me keep my sanity in between work and studying.”
Crystal Ferrier, above
York University, arts sociology, theatre studies
“I’m so busy that stress has to make an appointment to get a hold of me,” says Ferrier, who is starring in and co-producing CariRonto, a reality sketch-comedy theatrical production premiering on Dec. 9 (www.synergyproductionscanada.com). “My advice for exam preparation is to try to apply what you’ve studied to real life situations. When you can apply the content you are likely to remember it.”
David Lewis, above
Ryerson University, disability studies major
“Besides school I juggle two jobs as both a project co-ordinator with an AIDS service organization and as a program assistant with an addictions treatment centre,” says Lewis.
“I like to study with classmates. Sharing the stress of studying communally is always a way to lessen it individually.
“Being committed to projects you’re passionate about outside of school can also help re-energize you as a student. It’s an opportunity to put the theory you learn at school into practice.”
Uitsile Ndlovu, above
University of Toronto, masters in health sciences, health promotion and global health
“Anticipating stress and planning for it actually de-stresses me. On any given day I choose five things off of my priority list that I can realistically complete.”
Ndlovu’s study strategies include making detailed notes during the term so that by exam time she’s got excellent study sheets to review.
“Don’t forget to reward yourself, too, after every exam. I vote for chocolate.”
Ndlovu is also the co-founder of Soul Influence (www.soulinfluence.org), an African acappella septet that has helped to raise more than $1 million to support AIDS/HIV work globally and also co-organized U of T’s first ever recognition of World Aids Day in 2004.
Kristina Marie Minnella, right
University of Toronto, theory and policy studies (OISE) major
“I make good use of my agenda. All my projects and exams are listed and I’m able to visually see how much time I’ve got allotted to each assignment I’ve got to get done.”
For Minnella, hobbies like hanging out with friends and watching The Office are great ways to chill out in between exam studying.
Minnella, also a residence don (and assistant researcher at U of T) encourages students not to wait till the last minute to study.
“You’ve got to include sleep, eating and fun into your agenda and that can only happen if you plan ahead with studying and spread it out. Your brain will love you for it.”