Maize Longboat is a 2016 graduate from the Faculty of Arts at UBC with a double major specialization in First Nations and Indigenous Studies, and History. During his studies at UBC, Maize also worked as the FNIS Student Assistant for several years – some of his projects included coordinating the Raven and the Post. We asked Maize to share some advice on how students can prepare for finals and how to find balance during a stressful part of the academic term. Keep reading to learn more about Maize!
Tell us a bit about yourself, what you decided to take at UBC, how you got here, etc.
My name is Maize Longboat and I graduated from UBC with a double major in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and History. My Mohawk ancestry originates from southwestern Ontario, but I grew up in Squamish territory on the Sunshine Coast. Moving to Vancouver to attend UBC made sense to me because it was so close to where I was raised, but prior visits to the campus and talking to Indigenous faculty and students prior to moving to campus solidified my decision to pursue my post-secondary education that much more.
What was the hardest part of this time of year for you during your studies?
University is not easy. Apart from juggling their course load, assignments, and readings all at once, students are encouraged, and rightfully so, to find a part time work, socialize with friends, maintain a healthy eating habit and sleeping schedule, exercise, and make time for self-care. These responsibilities become compounded more so during exam time and there may be nothing more stressful than having to prepare for your finals and assignments all at once. Having to complete my finals while juggling my other commitments and responsibilities was always the most difficult time of year.
How did you cope with the stress?
The stresses induced by finals can be suffocating, but it’s important to remember that your peers are all in a similar situation as you. Finding ways to support both yourself and your classmates is particularly important, whether it’s through organizing a productive group study-session or editing drafts for your term papers. Taking breaks from all-day study sessions for social activities and self-care is also vital to student success, so be sure to get some fresh air and reset every once in a while.
Do you have any tips for students for the upcoming finals?
Finals are temporary. University students are expected to get though many of them during their time at school, so continuing to develop personal strategies that help you succeed will only make things easier as you get closer to graduation. There are many exam periods and a lot of time to keep growing. Do what you need to do to learn while keeping yourself happy and healthy!
A lot of students are far from home, do you have any advice for them?
Just two weeks after I moved to UBC my mother landed work in Alberta and moved from the Lower Mainland to Edmonton. It was tough being a whole province away from my family, but having support from my new friends that I had made in residence, as well as frequent phone calls home, made the transition to university easier. If you’re having trouble with homesickness reach out to your family and your friends. I’m sure that they will understand and want to support you.
What does life after graduating look like for you now? Any plans?
Currently, I’m working as the Indigenous Programming Intern at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver. I will be helping the Gallery to create and deliver original programs that will engage the public. This position is limited, so I also plan on continuing my studies in graduate school next year. I have always loved school and I don’t think I could stay away for much longer!
Need extra help with your final papers and exams? Visit the Learning Commons website to find out how you can receive tutoring support or read over the many resources available on their site!