A Drake-themed guide to Robarts during exam season

Exams are upon us, U of T. Time to buckle down, catch up with readings, and hit up the nearest campus library for some serious studying. Robarts is the natural go-to choice for many students. Exams may make you miserable, but at least being around other people who are stressing out as much as you are is somewhat comforting. Also comforting is knowing that you’re making Drake proud by acing that calc exam. And always remember that if Aubrey Graham could go from a teeny-bopper D-list actor on Degrassi to a bonafide rap legend, then you can certainly power through these final weeks of the first semester.

Drake leaning against a large storage container and a stereo, using the stereo as a desk to write lyrics on a piece of paper.
Even Drake's gotta constantly put in werk (Source: Instagram @champagnepapi)

You and I both know that you’re going to be spending some quality one-one-one with Robarts so learning a few tricks might be useful for your future study sessions:

Started from the bottom… The Robarts stacks (floors 9-13) are open only to U of T students with valid T-Cards. Just like how Drake rose to the top of the Billboard Top 100, you can make your way up here; the lower floors tend to be more crowded so if you’re looking for a little more space, try the stacks next time you’re in the area. Taking the stairs between stacks floors is probably also faster than taking the elevators, since we’re way, waaaay up. Disclaimer: These floors become closed after 11:00pm so make sure you’re out by then!

Drake sitting on a white staircase.
(Source: Instagram @champagnepapi)

Marvin’s room If you’re planning on group study, booking rooms in advance is definitely a plus. It’s private and closed off, which if you’re easily distracted would be helpful for focusing on course material. (Or if you’re wearing sweat pants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on and want to avoid the public eye). In Robarts, the stacks’ group rooms on the Sussex and St. George sides can be booked. Just don’t be that person on their Worst Behaviour who takes up a whole room to themselves!

The Sussex sign in Robarts.
Each side of Robarts (Sussex, St. George, Harbord) contains four group study rooms.

Crew Love Going to the library with a study buddy, friend, and/or fellow classmate can be useful and keep you from the imminent sense of melancholy that accompanies exam season. Going with a friend also helps because they can watch over your stuff if you ever need to go to the bathroom so you don’t have to pack up all your stuff every time.

Michael sitting at a desk with pens, markers, a calculator and notes sprawled across the table.
Study buddy and post Community Crew member Michael diligently at work.

HYFR (Hide Your Food Right) Your brain needs some healthy carbs to keep it going. Remember to bring small snacks for the occasional energy replenishment. May I suggest some Pound Cake? While we shouldn’t have food in the library, as long as you’re discrete, clean, and don’t bring full five-course meals and a steak knife, I think a little food break is warranted.

A table at Robarts, with my laptop, a Starbucks cup, earphones, chocolate pretzals, and a box of cookies. I have something of a sweet tooth!
My snacks hiding in plain sight. I choose small snacks I can grab with one hand and nibble on continuously. Try and avoid chip bags because you will get stares of death when you attempt to noisily open the bag.

Just hold on, we’re going home Late-night studying? Especially during winter exams, it gets dark out pretty early which can make us uncomfortable to walk home by ourselves. U of T Campus Police has a service called Walksmart, where you can call and arrange for patrollers to walk you anywhere on campus or to nearby TTC stations from dusk to dawn. The number to call to request a walk is 1-800-HOTLINE BLING (416-978-SAFE).


5 AM in Toronto For all night owl studiers, Robarts is open 24/7 - but only the first three floors are open after 11pm and only if you are a U of T student with a T-Card. If you’re feeling snoozy but need to stay up, the Robarts Starbucks remains open until 2:00AM Monday-Thursday. For this reason, the staff are a godsend during late-night study sessions so please remember to be kind to the workers when ordering!

The Toronto skyline at night, lit up by windows of tall buildings and the CN tower in the background.
Views from the 6ix (8th floor of Robarts).

So far gone Last but not least, know your limit and when you’re overworked. Don’t get to the point when you’re so far gone that you’re running low on brain power and haven’t showered or breathed fresh air in 12 hours. You can’t retain much information in that state anyway. And it will worsen your performance on the test the next day. Take a break. Call your mom. Invite her to a Raptors game courtside. 

Me posing with a sign that says "Drake Day" in front of a Drake poster.
Last year‘s ASSU-hosted #DrakeDay. I remember going to grab some coffee and relieve some exam stress.

If you’re reading this, it’s never too late to take this year’s exam season and make it your Comeback Season. Don’t let your #woes stop you. Channel your inner Drake and walk into the Exam Centre as if you’re going to come out of it with a Grammy/100%. You can do it, U of T! The 6God believes in you and so do I.

Icon designed for the song 100 by The Game feat. Drake
Keep it 100, UofT.
The ASSU office. A giant poster of Drake is stuck on the wall. Api, Abdullah, and Ondiek are posing in front of it. Api is holding a giant cardboard number 6.
Team Captain Api + Community Crew alumni turned ASSU staff, Ondiek and Abdullah repping our city and our favourite Torontonian. #DrakeForMayor (Source: www.facebook.com/LifeatUofT/)

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