Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge — the 5th largest metropolitan area in Ontario — has been dubbed Canada’s technology triangle. Waterloo was named Top Intelligence Community in 2007 by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a New York-based non-profit think tank that focuses on economic development in the broadband economy. With two major universities, and five colleges that are best known for their post-secondary programs in mathematics, computer sciences, IT, business, accounting, engineering, and health sciences — it’s no wonder these cities are fostering some of the greatest minds in these fields.
But with such a high population of students, what activities can this region offer to help relieve the pressure during high-stress periods, and prevent burnout? Students taking a demanding course load will often find themselves living in extreme ways to ensure their academic success – pulling all-nighters, eating poorly, exercising little, and avoiding social activities until all their assignments get done. This lack of balance contributes to burnout quickly; ultimately hurting them physically, mentally, and by extension – it takes a toll on their performance. To maintain a cohort of healthy students – there needs to be some opportunity for leisure; ideally through activities that get the blood pumping and help to release pent up steam.
A recent addition to Kitchener-Waterloo’s recreational scene, axe throwing is one activity that encourages sharp-minded students to practise concentration, collaboration, and community building outside of the classroom. It also gives students the opportunity to get moving and engage in some healthy competition. Located in the in the heart of Kitchener-Waterloo, the Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) has been the premier axe throwing league in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding communities since spring of 2015. With midterms coming up – it’s the perfect opportunity for students to take their study group out for a night away from their books; to recharge, and return ready to crush those exams.
The venue, converted from a 1920s curling club, is part of a multisport facility with a common vision to serve the community – including its talented and innovative young people. There are affordable drop-ins 3 days a week, where trained coaches will instruct on posture and stance, proper throwing technique, and follow through. Furthermore, students can drop in individually where they can throw some axes to de-stress before a test, or wind down before getting a good night’s sleep – so they can wake up early to finish that project they haven’t gotten to yet. BATL in Kitchener also allows players to bring their own food and drink – great for students who are on a budget but want to do something active on their lunch break.
Whether you’re studying for an exam, completing an important placement, or preparing a presentation, school can get busy and overwhelming. Participating in physical activity and taking the time to see friends outside of the context of school is key to preventing exhaustion and burnout from happening. While you might be studying computer sciences, your minds and bodies don’t run like these machines – you need to make time for down time.