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Tricks and Tips for Ending the Semester Right

            Since at the beginning of the semester I wrote an article about starting off the semester right, I figure that it would now be fitting to write one about ending the semester.  It’s alway easy to set goals as the semester is starting.  Before the projects start and the laziness sets in, they always seem possible as well.  The truly difficult part is finding a way to push through the semester and end on a strong note, even when some of your initial goals cannot be fulfilled.  So here’s some tips for doing the best you can with the semester that you have left.

1.      Set new goals.

Just because you can’t meet a few of the goals that an overly ambitious you of the past decided to set, doesn’t mean that something helpful arose out of setting them.  Setting new goals gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your priorities and focus on the aspects of your life, both within and outside of academics, that you most want to continue or change.

2.      Treat yourself.

Sometimes after a long day or even a long class, treating yourself can make a really big difference.  Whether that’s getting Red Mango before your next class or watching an episode on Netflix before bed, do something small that makes your day a little bit better.

3.      Reward yourself.

I know that this may seem like this is exactly the same, but it’s not.  Yes treating yourself is nice, but rewarding yourself is even better.  Did you just finish an essay that you’re really proud of?  Reward yourself!  Take advantage of your food points and go to WaDuke, give yourself the night off to decompress and relax, take a little trip to the gardens, or just take the time to grab a long dinner with some friends.  Knowing that you have something waiting for you at the end of a daunting task is a great way to stay motivated to finish it.

4.      Talk to your professors.

While some professors can seem intimidating, they still want you to succeed in their class and learn what they’re teaching.  So if you’re not happy with how a class is going, go to office hours.  Ask questions and give yourself the opportunity to learn in a smaller setting.  Or you can also lunch a professor.  Getting lunch (on Duke’s dime, may I add) is a great way to break past the classroom setting and get the opportunity to see how incredible professors here are.  I can guarantee that you would learn something really cool from any of the incredible professors we have here.

5.      Remember its almost over.

When all else fails and I feel completely unmotivated, I grab my phone, scroll back to pictures from LDOC last year, and think about how in less than 4 weeks that day will be here again.  We are so close to the end of the semester, so don’t let all of the hard work that you’ve done up through now go to waste.  Keep pushing yourself and make sure that you end the semester with the knowledge that you accomplished at least a few of the things that you set out to do.

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