Ask Meaghan: End of Semester “Bliss”

Hello students,

Welcome to the Hunger Games where study snacks are essential and you cannot volunteer (as tribute) because you are so busy at this point in the semester! Below are some Q&A’s that may give you some relief heading into the final examination period.

via GIPHY

What’s the point of completing Instructor feedback forms?

The “Student Perception of Teaching” (SPOT) is an important piece of self-advocacy for students. By completing your SPOT you are utilizing an appropriate advocacy method to have your student voice heard. This is a professional avenue to leave your feedback on your Instructors’ classroom style(s). Don’t get me wrong, Rate Your Prof can get spicy (RIP 🌶️) but it doesn’t have any impact at the higher levels of MRU, while the SPOT can.

What SPOT is not is a platform to drop a bunch of “f-bombs” in hopes to get your instructor fired. These feedback forms are kept confidential but not anonymous, meaning that you must refrain from losing your shiitake mushrooms and being sent to the Office of Student Conduct. If you need some help filling these out in a respectful way, you can consult with myself, Meaghan, to get some one-on-one coaching on communication and conflict resolution.

My professor did not post a SPOT for my class. Why can they do this and what can I do about it?

MRU faculty are allowed to put some restrictions on the SPOT. If instructors are teaching more than one section of any given class, they have the right to select one section to complete a SPOT rather than all the sections. Other possible restrictions include limiting the number of questions asked or the time frame students have to fill them out. If you’d like to explore this issue, please contact one of my partners in crime, Cordelia Snowdon, Vice President Academic with the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University. Cordelia tracks broad advocacy concerns, so if there are a number of concerns related to the SPOT from a broader perspective, she can advocate for changes to the SPOT for future students.

I am so done with this term. I’m at the end of my rope and I still have finals to prepare for! I feel like I don’t have time to get everything done. How do I keep my energy up enough to do all my work?

At this point in the semester, everyone’s feeling the pressure. You are, absolutely, not alone. Everyone needs support every now and then so I’ve employed a few “Friends” to help me do that for you, Reader.

I know this time of year is tough for students. Holidays are coming up, as are exams, and deadlines. Could there BE any more deadlines? I feel your pain. Don’t pack up and move to Yemen quite yet; hang in there!

So how will you get through the rest of the term and make it out in one piece? Two words: Self 👏 Care 👏

First of all, I want to gently remind you that stress isn’t a bad thing. In fact, if you re-frame your thoughts so that you view stress as an acceptable emotion, or even as a tool, you can reduce many of the negative symptoms associated with it. So don’t try to PIVOT away from stress… instead, try to manage it. One of the first things students normally do to “manage” their stress is to limit, or even stop, their self-care. Bad idea!! When basic needs aren’t met, it can lead to us getting sick or becoming even more stressed. And since getting sick during this time of year is kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck fantastic, you need to take care of yourself. Fuel your body with healthy foods, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and exercise (I promise it will help).

How you doing? If we asked you this (genuinely and not in the flirtatious way Joey does), how would you respond? Would you respond by exclaiming “I’m fine!” in a squeaky voice? If you make time for self-care and are still feeling overwhelmed, there are plenty of resources on campus to help support you. Wellness Services is a great place to go if you’re feeling like you’ve lost your unagi. Wellness Services on campus has free counselling and is a confidential service offered to students; a great resource if you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or have concerns regarding relationships, addictions, and more. The counsellors, along with the on-campus mental health nurses, can help you address mental health concerns. And in case you do get sick or sprain your ankle putting up the holiday decorations, and have assignments still due, you can visit Health Services for a doctor’s letter to support your condition. It IS possible to defer a final exam, before or during a final exam. So don’t hold on until the end of the exam to lose your cookies! Defer the exam for when you’re feeling better by getting that letter and filling out the “Defer Final Exam” form at the Registrar’s office.

We wish you all the best in final stretch of your semester and into exam season. If you need some help, feel free to connect with us in the Student Advocacy Resource Centre.

How to submit your questions:

Get involved today and #AskMeaghan to discover how you can become a #SAMRUselfadvocacy champion! Submit your questions by using the #AskMeaghan hashtag on social media or email me directly at m.paturel@samru.ca. I’m in the Student Advocacy Resource Centre (Z303) in Wyckham House from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm but feel free to pop by during drop-in hours from 12 to 2 pm on weekdays. The Student Advocacy Resource admin(s) or myself would be happy to help you!

X