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Ending With A Bang

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Duke chapter.

My first article this semester was about getting yourself ready for a successful semester. Even though that feels like just a couple weeks ago, the end of the first half of my sophomore year is rapidly approaching. To be honest, I really don’t feel ready. This semester was definitely my best so far at Duke and it is hard to say why. I really don’t want it to end. However, I decided to make the most of the rest of 2015 at Duke. In reflecting on how to finish up the semester in the best way possible, several ideas came to mind. 

1. Try to touch base with friends before leaving on break.

The end of the semester can be extremely daunting. There are so many things to do and not enough time to do them. Even though it may seem like a given, making sure to say goodbye to your closest friends before they leave can be difficult since everyone has different finals schedules. Write down when people are leaving for winter break so that you can say goodbye. I know I missed the chance to say goodbye to a couple friends last year and I’m definitely going to avoid doing that again this year.

2. Let a professor know how great their class was.

If you had a particularly great class or professor this semester, go beyond filling out an evaluation and tell them in person. Letting them know that you genuinely enjoyed their class can really show them how valuable their work is. In the past I have written thank you notes to fantastic professors to let them know what made the class so great.

3. Do something completely indulgent during finals week.

The night before a final last year, my friends and I ate at the WaDuke. Should I have been studying? Maybe. However, I think I actually did better on that exam because I was more relaxed. Finals can seem like a competition for who can spend the most time in the library. I don’t think that is a good thing. I believe that balancing fun with your studying will not only make you more relaxed, but also more productive and focused. Other ideas for relaxing include going to Southpoint for a couple hours, trying out ice skating, or baking cookies in your common room.

4. No matter how difficult and busy this time of year is, take time to be reflective and thankful.

Even though we are all super stressed with final exams and papers, remember to be grateful. Be thankful not only for your friends and family, but also for the opportunity that we have as Duke students. This can be especially hard to remember during finals when leaving campus is all that we can think about. When I get super stressed, I try to remember what an amazing place that Duke is (most of the time) and how many amazing experiences I have had. It makes me feel better, even if only for five minutes, and I’ve found that my studying can be more productive.