When November finally rolls around, the city feels different: winter is on its way, leaves are falling, and Christmas is near.
But for students on any campus nationwide, this is when the stress begins: November means due dates and essays, crammed with more studying for exams than relaxing. As these due dates pile higher than your co-op residence, there are a few things you can, and most definitely should, do to regroup and take a breather.
Follow Ross and Rachel: take a break
Just step away from whatever you’re doing. Go watch a 22-minute episode of your favourite comedy show or read a few chapters of a non-school related book. By taking short breaks, we remain sane and human even in the most stressful times. You provide yourself the opportunity to take a step back and return to your assignment with fresh eyes. Make a cup of tea or get a coffee. Light a candle. Call a friend. Whatever helps you take a deep breath and re-centre your energy will help out in the long run.
Go outside! Seriously.
Yes, it may be windy, or raining, or still boiling out. Even if you walk to the closest Starbucks, go to the grocery store, or even walk aimlessly around the block, you will feel better. It seems silly to go outside; you might have a window you can crack instead. But trust me: the fresh air will rejuvenate you. We all need a break from our coffee mugs and stuffy libraries every now and then—clearing your head with fresh air might be just what you need to help you focus.
Turn Your Phone on Airplane Mode
Your assignments will easily take less time to complete without any distractions. Surrounding yourself with constant vibrations and dinging will only deter your focus and possible cause more stress. I like to think about being on a plane: there is no service, you have to just accept the duration of the flight will be quiet. You will survive without texting a friend back for an hour.
Talk to a close amigo or family member
Some people don’t like to talk about their thoughts or feelings, and that is totally okay. Others could share everything that happened to them that day, sometimes on repeat. But talking out what is stressing you out doesn’t make you look weak or vulnerable — we’ve all been there! It also helps to get opinions and bounce your thoughts off someone. What might seem daunting and insurmountable to you gets lighter the more people there are to share that burden with.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
There is no such thing as a stupid question! Even if it is the day your assignment is due and you still don’t understand, send the professor an email. Ask questions in advance if a concept in unclear and never assume when projects are worth so much! Ask your peers too: odds are they’re facing similar problems. Asking questions to make sense of what is expected of you is natural, and you will only go further, both academically and professionally if you’re able to understand and deliver on what’s expected of you.
Campus Resources- they’re always there for a reason! You are never alone.
Bookmark this website! There are so many resources here for students. You can talk to peers if you are more comfortable, or visit an professional on campus free of charge and with the promise of confidentially. This website also provides access to the Ryerson Medical Center, their Health Promotion and the Center for Student Development and Counselling.
If you are in a crisis and need immediate help, please note:
911 or an Emergency Room
Gerstein Center: 416-929-5200
Distress Centre of Toronto: 416-408-4357
Ryerson Community Safety and Security: 416-979-5040
Graphic by Shayna Nicolay.