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Erin Kuepfer
Communications Assistant
Tue, 04/09/2019 - 13:45

It's exam season again, sending stress levels to at an all-time high for many of us. Fear not though, Warriors! Fourth-year psychology student and UW MATES coordinator Jordann Hunsperger outlines the services that MATES provides during exam season to help us succeed.

MATES is a student-run peer-support service that provides support to students who are looking to build social skills, are experiencing personal or academic concerns, or low-level mental health and wellness difficulties.

MATES volunteers go through an intensive selection process and receive extensive training in mentorship by Clinical Psychologists from UW Counselling Services. MATES wants to make sure that no student feels isolated and alone within the UW community.

“MATES strives to advocate and spread awareness about the benefits of peer support, as well as to reduce the stigma of seeking support for oneself,” said Hunsperger. “MATES volunteers serve a direct need on campus for students to speak to unbiased, upper-year peers, who can support them with various concerns surrounding personal and/or academic life.”

Whether you're looking for specific study tips, help with time management, or someone to vent to about exam stress, MATES has got you covered.

The mental impact of exam season on students is well-known. MATES encourages students to use their services for a variety of concerns surrounding exam stress.

"You are so much more than your grades," Hunsperger said. "Grades, while important in university, do not define you. Students are often under a lot of pressure to achieve high grades for co-op positions, grad school, or post-grad employment, but it is important to remember that one bad grade does not mean you don’t deserve to be at university.”

MATES will be operating in two UW libraries for the first week of exams:

Monday April 8 to Friday April 12, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

DC Library room 1554 

and DP Library in the 3rd floor computer lab

Hunsperger and fellow MATES volunteers compiled a list of their top exam tips for thriving over the upcoming weeks:

1. Take Breaks

“Perhaps the most common tip that MATES volunteers share during exam season is to take breaks while studying. Taking breaks in between sessions of intense studying can help to prevent burnout and can give students that much needed time to rest before their next round of studying.”

2. Organize and Write Things Down 

“Another common tip that MATES encourages is to write down a list of everything that needs to be done (studying, projects, etc), and prioritize them. Sometimes it can seem very overwhelming when there are multiple projects or tests to study for, however ranking each task in terms of when they’re due, or when the test is scheduled for can be really helpful to get everything done on time.”

3. Don’t Forget to Eat and Sleep

“A common self-care tip is to remember to eat and sleep regularly during exam season. This can be a hard tip to follow, as exams often require late nights of studying, and can lead us to forget to eat proper meals. Keeping these two things in mind though will help to maintain focus during studying and writing exams.”

During exam season MATES will operate through appointment by email, and students are encouraged to use the library drop in hours provided above.

Also, for more feature study tips, news about upcoming MATES events, and further insight into what MATES has to offer, be sure to follow their facebook page[external link]!

MATES wants to wish everyone the best of luck on their upcoming exams - you can do this!