How to Keep Busy During a Strike

Whether you’re praying for it or praying against it, there is a very high probability that York University will be hit with a strike in late February or early March. You can read more about the negotiations here, because I’m not going to be talking about the politics or likelihood of a strike. Instead, I’m going to tell you how you can entertain yourself on a potential month off of school.

Do Your Homework

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first. Doing coursework might not the most exciting way to spend your time off, but it will make the return to school less painful. In 2015, the strike lasted a month, so if you carve out even a little bit of this time to tackle your upcoming assignments, your grades will be forever grateful.

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Explore the City

Toronto is a city full of events and opportunities, but around this time of year, I always find it hard to get away from North York. If there is a strike, you can evade your assignments and responsibilities for a couple days to act like a tourist in your own city. From visiting an exhibit at the AGO, to trying out a new nightclub, to checking out the lastest Instagram food trend, Toronto has a lot to offer in the month of March and the strike will give you the perfect excuse to get off your ass and do something fun.

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Visit Your Hometown

If you came to Toronto for school, the strike would be the perfect time to go and visit your friends and family at home. My friends are always trying to convince me to come back to Ottawa for a weekend, but usually I am too swamped with coursework to even consider it. A strike would be a great opportunity to reconnect with your friends, families, and pets.

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Make a Movie

This isn’t just a suggestion for students in the film program. Making a short film, or even just goofy videos to upload to a secret Youtube account, is a great way to pass the time. You can use a couple days of the break, or even take a couple weeks to make something really impressive. Not only will it give you and your friends a creative outlet during the strike, but you will actually produce something to commemorate your time off of school.

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Take Up a Hobby

You may have made a New Year’s resolution about taking up a new hobby, such as learning a new instrument or taking dance glasses, that you haven’t quite gotten around to yet. Use the respite the strike affords you to keep this promise to yourself, or even just try something new. You might have a lot of time on your hands soon, and taking up a new hobby will give you something productive to do with it.

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Read a Book

During the school year I rarely read anything besides the course material, and sometimes not even that. You can use the strike time to finally start in on that stack of books beside your bed, or pick out a new read from the Toronto Public Library or Chapters. You can get some inspiration from the New York Times Best Sellers List or just ask your more well-read friends what they recommend.

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Catch Up On Your Netflix Queue

If you are anything like me, your Netflix queue probably seems like an endless pit of movies and TV shows that you haven’t gotten around to yet. I think everyone’s first instinct to the strike announcement will be to cuddle up in bed and watch Netflix, but what’s so wrong with that? School is taxing, so you deserve a couple days, or weeks, to de-stress and spend time with your favourite characters.

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Road Trip

A break from school is the perfect opportunity to take your car, or hit up your friend with a car, and travel across the province. If you have friends at other universities or colleges, you could go check out their campuses (or even sit in on their classes) or visit a city you’ve never been to before. Road trips are usually an activity saved for the summer months, so you might as well take the unexpected opportunity to see something you haven’t before. Just be careful on the icy roads!

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A strike would mean some major money problems for a lot of people. If you work on campus, then you will likely have no income for the duration of the strike. Or maybe you’re living off your savings and didn’t include an extra month of food and rent in your budget for the semester. It’s unlikely that you will be able to get a job for a month to make up the extra money, which is why you should try freelancing. Websites like and allow you to use your skills, like video editing, proofreading, and designing, to make a couple bucks on the side. If a strike does happen, you will have a lot of time on your hands to freelance, so why not make the most of it?

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Write for Her Campus!

If the strike does happen, you no longer have an excuse not to join our team. We are always looking for new writers, and we would love to hear what you have to say! The time off school would be an amazing opportunity to take up the new hobby of article-writing, and churn out a couple of pieces for Her Campus York University. Apply here!