Weird ways Canadians are coping with exams - Macleans.ca

Weird ways Canadians are coping with exams

Don’t end up like the angry library girl at California State

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Studying at Waterloo. By Colin O'Connor

We all know exams cause stress. That explains the reaction of this student in a noisy library at California State University, Northridge.

Personally, I’m with the angry girl.

But that level of stress is better avoided. Last week, we offered readers 10 ways to study stay sane while studying. It was a pretty traditional list. But students across Canada have found a few more creative ways to procrastinate, ahem, study. I thought I’d share them with you.

At McGill University last week, hundreds of students showed up for pet therapy with animals from Therapeutic Paws of Canada. This may sound bizarre to the uninitiated, but there’s reason to believe it works. Petting dogs releases oxytocin in humans. Oxytocin, the so-called “love drug,” reduces anxiety and engenders calm.

At the University of Windsor, Bernarda “Bernie” Doctor, the 78-year-old director of the Organization of Part-Time University Students, offered peers surprise “cookie therapy,” handing out 360 sugar rushes. It’s not the healthiest snack, but Bernie knows how to study: she’s been doing it 50 years.

Leave it to Canada’s computer science mecca, the University of Waterloo, to offer a virtual snowman building game as a study tool. Students can build and share their own Mr. or Mrs. Frosty while snowflakes fall gently down their computer screens. By the way, try typing “let it snow” into Google.

Finally, the award for the weirdest—and smartest—way to cope with exam stress goes to Uytae Lee, a first-year student at Dalhousie University. Lee turned his boredom while studying for a Sustainability 1000 exam into a stop-motion music video with a soothing soundtrack based on his study notes. That’s more fun than traditional studying—and I bet he did well on the exam too.