Top 5: Things to do on campus during finals that aren’t writing, reading or studying

Maybe you’ve got to write five term papers, maybe you’ve got to take five final exams, or maybe you’ve got to do both. In any case, you’re probably stressed five times more than the undergrad still living in Lister who clocked five hours on the beer pong table each week this term.

Point is, finals are stressful and I recommend trying one, or a combination of, these five things on campus (which are relatively inexpensive) to relax your psyche.


5. Be outside

Editor’s Note: While #5 on this list WAS good advice at the time of writing, this is Edmonton, and unfortunately it has been cancelled from this Top 5 until further notice. Please check back when the weather un-fucks itself and resumes its regularly scheduled spring programming. We thank you for your patience. Please continue on to item #4 and have a nice day!

It’s spring, there is lots of daylight, and all the snow seems to be gone. Being outside is so awesome. Don’t just go outside for a bit to clear your head; take your whole existence outside. Spend some time looking at trees, chasing rabbits, and listening to birds. Switch your phone to airplane mode and engage with nature on campus. As long as it doesn’t start raining and a bolt of lightning doesn’t hit the tree you’re sitting under, you will feel better being outside.

Cost: nil.


4. Phone a friend

Texting, Tweeting, and Snapchatting selfies are great; however, no one seems to talk on the phone anymore. Find a quiet nook on campus and phone a friend. Say, “Hey, how’s it going?” and remember that the sound of your friend’s voice is way better than any clever emoji.  

Cost: Varies according to your cellular provider.


3. Take a nap

I love naps. There are many great places on campus to shut your eyes for five minutes. I shouldn’t have to say anything more to promote napping as a useful activity during finals.

Cost: $0, unless someone steals your wallet when you’re asleep.


2. Go to the gym

Put that non-instructional Athletics and Recreation fee to good use by swiping your ONECard and hitting the gym in the Physical Activity and Wellness (PAW) Center. If you’re mad, there’s a heavy bag you can punch. If you want to run like Forest Gump away from your obligations, there are treadmills. If you’re training to be a professional wrestler, there are weights there you can lift up and set back down. Working out clears the head, sweats out stress, and makes you want to go bed early.  

Cost: The Athletics and Recreation Fee is $82 for full-time students.


1. Talk to a stranger

This is a weird thing to do, but if you’re brave I recommend talking to a random person on campus. You’ll find that people are actually nice. Be real and you’ll feel quite good after an authentic interaction with another human — especially after all those one-sided “talks” you’ve had yelling at your textbook pages and PowerPoint slides. Maybe it’s the extrovert in me, but a good bit of communication gets my energy up. Plus, you might make a new friend (just one more shoulder to cry on after that really bad final) or finally learn the name of the person who’s been writing your name on a coffee cup all term. 

Cost: Nothing.