If there is power in numbers when fighting procrastination, then Okanagan College was fully plugged in last week.
Long Night Against Procrastination, held virtually Thursday March 25, was organized by Penticton Librarian Eva Gavaris, with several Okanagan College instructors and staff members who volunteered their time to slay the beast of procrastination.
More than 230 students registered for access. Gavaris said there were approximately 100 students in a variety of ‘break-out rooms’ at the peak.
“Over the past year, Okanagan College has implemented innovative ways to sustain support programs for students. The success of a virtual ‘Long Night’ is a testament to our close-knit and connected community at OC,” said Meri Kim Oliver, OC vice-president of students.
Rebecca Pleasance, a third-year business administration student, was able to take part this year because Long Night Against Procrastination went virtual. What was originally a Penticton campus event was expanded to be open to all OC students, including Vernon campus students like herself.
“I’ve been looking forward to this event since last semester,” she said. “Even though it’s meant to be more of an initiative for working, it’s always great to actually get the chance to chat with people in similar classes with me that I’ve never talked to before as well as catch up with the accounting professors.”
Long Night Against Procrastination was the brainchild of European University Viadrina in Frankfurt-Oder, Germany, to combat procrastination and provide students with research and writing help. As word spread of the successful approach, universities and colleges across the world began hosting their own events. OC English professor Frances Greenslade mobilized Okanagan College’s first event six years ago.
“There’s a sense of connectedness, even in the virtual environment, that helps students (and staff) know that they’re not alone,” said physics and astronomy professor Ryan Ransom. “Several students dropped into the physics/astronomy break-out room for help on assignments, chat about their experiences so far, and to gain some insight on careers in the physical sciences.”
Meditation for focus, pet therapy and yoga were on offer to balance out the study activities. Ransom also led a light stress-buster session just before midnight, checking participants’ birth signs for fun.
“For as late as it was, the session was essentially full, and very lively. Overall, I think students left the event feeling a little more energized,” he said.
Hayley Speers graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree in 2020, and then transferred to university to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Speers still takes courses at OC and didn’t hesitate to sign up for Long Night again.
“Honestly, the Long Night was the most amazing thing to me that OC did. I loved it. Every year I felt like it was incredibly fun, and yet I also somehow did a crazy amount of studying,” Speers said.