When the going gets rough…sometimes the tough are too tired. The semester is nearing a close, but some students feel the sophomore slump in the last few weeks of second semester. With finals looming in the distance, yet far too close than most of us would like to admit, it can be convincing to let your motivation go out the window along with the fresh spring air. However, the last few weeks of the semester are survivable. Think of it this way: you’ve made it this far, and the summer’s joys (like ice cream, swimming pools, late nights by choice) are just around the corner. Here are some tips to help you not just meander through, but actually successfully finish your semester.
- Get started on those final projects now.
This may be quite the shocking revelation, but waiting until the last minute to start a project is not the way to get an A. Whether it’s an individual project or a group one, it’s a good idea to start planning ahead of time; as soon as the project is assigned, start brainstorming. Oftentimes, projects at the end of the semester count quite heavily on the grading scale. Be creative and be practical with your time management.
- Free up Your Weekends
Another obvious suggestion, but at the same time, many of us neglect larger assignments during the week, thus pushing them off until the weekend. Is it really a weekend when you have extraneous amounts of work to do? Try your best during your busy weeks to devote an hour or so to larger assignments like papers or group projects. This way you can enjoy your weekend and have time to get away from your work, even if it’s just for a Friday night.
- Talk with Your Professors
Feeling the pre-exam stress already starting? Talk to your professors during office hours and make a plan. If you have multiple exams or papers scheduled for one day, ask your professor or the dean of students if there is any way to rearrange your tests and major assignments. Cue the relief in three, two, one…
- Utilize Your Friends’ Smarts
Nothing is worse than feeling like you’re drowning when it comes to a subject area that is not one of your best. Ask around; having a peer tutor is not as scary or embarrassing as you may think. Often times, you can find a friendly student in a large lecture class who is looking for some volunteer hours or just offering to tutor out of good-will. Find one before you’re a week away from exams. It never hurts to tighten up your skills before the big test day.
- Plan Ahead
The amount of tasks that need to be completed before the end of the semester is daunting. If you’re planning to study abroad or take classes in the summer, now is the time to meet with an academic advisor and make sure your plans are set in stone. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the last few weeks, but don’t let this stress detract from plans you’ve made for your time off.
- Be Your Own Advocate
It’s tempting to fall into the trap of apathy. However, you have to be your own cheerleader. Create a system of rewards for yourself, like one hour of studying (without distractions) earns you a trip to the vending machine for a candy bar. Allow yourself breaks, but don’t go into binge-watching comas.
- Rely on Your Good Habits
There’s nothing worse than feeling like a has-been. As in, “I used to do so well in this class until [insert excuse].” Remember why you took the class in the first place and use that as a motivator for doing better. You will have enough time to get back to where you previously were grade-wise in a course.
- Don’t Forget: Summer Is Only a Few Weeks Away
The biggest motivator of all: summer is just around the corner! And with summer awaits adventures of all kinds. Whether they are academic, international, professional, or just recreational, the events that lie ahead of you can only be things to look forward to. Keep your eye on the calendar date (or we can call it a prize) and soon you will be relaxing before you have to immerse yourself in academia all over again in the fall.