Caring for You – Some Tips for Stress

COVID protocols while on campus

As the numbers of COVID start to climb across the province, we want to keep each other safe. Please remember to wear your masks in all public spaces on campus, keep 2 meters distance, and refrain from eating and drinking in labs, including the computer labs.

When you leave your work station, follow the cleaning protocols for that space. It is a privilege to be able to have some classes and labs in person. Let’s ensure we can keep this up by being vigilant and following the protocols. Knowing that we are all following the protocols will help us all feel safer and lower our stress.

Student Legislative Council Election

We will be conducting SLC elections in the month of October for positions to begin in November 2020 running to March 2021. This year, the election will be online. You will receive an email on how to vote.

If you are interested in receiving a nomination package, please email All packages must be returned to this email address by October 16th by 4pm. Any packages received afterwards or are incomplete will not be accepted.

Midterms and Finals

Some of you have already started midterms and others are coming soon. The Registrar’s Office is working on the Final Exam schedule.

Faculty have given careful consideration to the best ways in which to test content. Some courses simply cannot adequately be tested through on-line methods. For these courses, we are working closely with Facilities and the COVID Response Team to ensure safe spaces and processes for in-person exams.

We have equipped a number of rooms with plexiglass “sugarcubes,” to provide COVID safe workspaces. The maximum number of students in McGivney Hall (M100) for exams will be 40. Other classrooms with sugarcube pods will be used to adhere to all the AHS safety standards.

Other exams will be held remotely while some courses will be tested through open-book or take home tests or other assignments.

Students with medical challenges will be eligible to receive accommodations if they cannot attend an in-person exam. Details will be forthcoming when the exam schedule is released.

Please do not panic. We have rigorous safety protocols in place and our first priority is your safety. If we plan an in-person exam, it is because this is the best way to test the knowledge – and we have a plan to do it safely.

How To Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed

The life of a student can often be as stressful as it is enjoyable, so knowing how to deal with stress is important. American neuroscientist Daniel Levitin reveals how to stay calm when tackling stressful situations – whether it’s an all-important essay deadline or grueling exam. Check out this Ted Talk:

Another proven way to reduce stress is to follow a consistent pattern of preparation and review. This take concentration and planning – but really pays off. My first year in university I discovered that I did not know how to study. I had some pretty embarrassing grades and thought I might not be smart enough for university. Then I took Psychology and learned how the brain works and picked up some tips. I learned how to avoid that gut-wrenching anxiety of cramming all my studying into the last few weeks of the term. Bonus: I got awesome grades. And completing my degree became way more fun.

Study Cycle

If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself if you are preparing before class so you can focus on the pieces you don’t understand. If you haven’t read the chapters your professor is teaching about, it will be hard for new terms and concepts to stick. This works.

Time to be Grateful

You have made it through the first part of an unusual term. Faculty are sharing how engaged you are and mindful of each other. You have adapted well and are supporting others who are not as comfortable with technology.

I feel immensely privileged to work at a university where we know each other, feel part of a vibrant community, and can extend care – even across virtual spaces. Thank you for showing up, for leaning into your studies with grace and commitment, and for caring for each other. Every time you wear your mask, sanitise your hands, and stay home when you’re feeling unwell, you show your care.

Balance your studying this weekend with time for rest, exercise, and time with the people who matter to you. Dr. Hinshaw is urging us all to keep to our own households to avoid a super surge in COVID cases. Be creative in how you celebrate all that we have – maybe Thanksgiving dinner will be curbside, in a garage, or over FaceTime.

Enjoy – and be safe!