3 Tips to Finishing Your Spring Semester Strong
As we approach the end of the spring semester, many of us are finding ourselves having a more difficult time focusing on schoolwork. The weather is warming, flowers are blooming, and many of our classes are drawing to a close.
With the end almost in reach, staying committed to completing work is a challenge. Things feel prematurely over. However, keep getting things done for your classes so things don’t pile up and your hard work from the rest of the semester can pay off!
Continue Working Consistently
First and foremost, it is important to keep up with the work you have to do. This may seem a bit obvious, but it is so easy to feel like school is ending and summer is here.
Remember, you have spent the past few months working so hard to keep your grades up and finish your assignments, and it would be unfair to yourself to let that come crashing down in the last few weeks before you are finished.
Pay attention to what your professors are assigning and what you have coming up in terms of final projects and exams so you are fully prepared for what’s next. Continue to take advantage of office hours, the writing center, and tutoring that may be available to you. Also, continue to spend time each day doing some of the work that is assigned.
If you procrastinate, you may be stuck with an unreasonable amount of work to complete in a short amount of time, which will be more stressful and could jeopardize your grades. (This applies to studying for your exams, too!)
Set goals for yourself for each day, even if it is to read a few pages or do a problem or two on your problem sets. Every little bit counts! Write down your goals so you can remember what you are planning to do and stay organized. This will help ensure that you are accomplishing everything on time because you can see exactly what you are going to do and when. Note that you should not be overworking yourself in anticipation for finals; make sure you are continuing to work at a consistent rate that will allow you to be successful with a minimal amount of stress.
Hopefully, you will have more free time around the end of the semester as your classes are finishing up. While there is still more work to be done, when you are planning out your schedule, ensure that you leave space each day for relaxation and personal enjoyment.
Spring is here, and the weather is warm and pleasant. Now is a great time to take walks and appreciate your campus (if you were fortunate enough to be there this semester), or take a while to relax after a long, strenuous semester. Use this time to do the things you enjoy and have been meaning to do but never had the time, like watching a new show your friend recommended, getting back into one of your old hobbies, or finally fixing your sleep schedule.
Also, if you are living on campus, you and your friends will likely be moving out soon and might not be able to see each other for a few months. If you have a safe way to do so, spend some time with the people you have gotten to know this semester. At the very least, take some time to reach out to them and catch up virtually before you both leave, an especially good option if COVID restrictions or something else impedes your chance to see each other in person. Make some good memories that you can fondly recall while you are away, which may help get you excited to return after the summer.
Ask for Help
This can be a difficult thing for any student to do. Personally, I have always been independent and have convinced myself that I can manage on my own. However, this semester, and frankly this entire year, has been unique and challenging in new ways for everyone.
It seems that everywhere I look I am seeing negative statistics about student mental health. There is never any shame in needing help, and chances are, your professors are going to understand the difficulty you are facing and be willing to offer support. If you are finding your assignments too hard to finish on your own or you do not understand some of the material you have been learning, it’s going to be far more difficult to keep yourself motivated to finish the semester strong.
Reach out to a professor, a TA, a friend, or someone you know has previously taken the class and see if there is any way they can help you. If you have a pile of assignments due at once and you don’t see how you could possibly get done with them on time, ask for a deadline extension. Everyone is going through a tough semester and each person is experiencing their own set of challenges from it.
To make sure you finish the rest of the school year while staying mentally healthy, admit when you need help and seek out options to make things easier on yourself. If you are not utterly struggling to manage your obligations, then it will be much easier to motivate yourself to get your work done.
After what was surely one of the most difficult years many of us have had to date, congratulations on making it this far in the spring semester!
It hasn’t been easy, and no one can blame you if you are feeling ready to wind down and relax. But, with maybe just a couple of weeks left, it is time to give the final push needed to make it through the end of the semester and watch all your hard work pay off.
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