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Okay everyone, here we are. As Thanksgiving Break is right around the corner, so are final exams! Whether your Fall Semester has been filled with long stressful nights, fun weekends, and spending lots of time with your friends, it is time to buckle down and get serious. But, I’m sure I’m not the only one breaking the news first, I am sure your professors and syllabi have kept you posted on what is to come in the next few weeks of the semester. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, the finals few weeks of the semester are stressful for everyone! So let’s make them as stress free and enjoyable as possible!

Here are a few tips to keep on top of all your work at the end of the semester!

1. Stay organized.

Yes, yes we are all aware that staying organized is important. Or maybe we think that our stacks of papers and unopened boxes of pens are our self-proclaimed way of showing we can beat the system? Either way there is no denying that surrounding yourself in an organized environment is key. Try cleaning an unnecessary papers and junk out of your desk and folders. Even clear your desktops on your laptop and group documents for each class into different folders. All your notes will be at your fingertips! This way when you begin to stress over final papers and exams, you will  know exactly where to find what you need. It’s that simple.

2. Cute planners are your best friend.

Continuing with being organized, an agenda is perfect to help you stay on top of your day-to-day tasks. Agendas come in all sizes and designs, which can be a perfect way for you to make a statement of your personal taste. Before you decide to just grab any old planner, make sure it will work with the type of bag you use and if it has enough space for what you need to write. Go for flare and functional. (Common ones are Lily Pultizer and Kate Spade, but you may want to try May Designs Maybook, you make your own customized planner with your name or monogram, also super lightweight!). Forgot to use that planner you bought in the beginning of the semester? Now is the perfect time to crack it open and write down all of your assignments for the rest of the semester!

3. Wake up ten-minutes earlier than you think you need to.

Just face it. Waking up for 8:45 a.m. classes can be rough. Who doesn’t want that extra beauty sleep to hopefully feel more refreshed? We can try to convince ourselves that those ten minutes will make us feel better for the day ahead, but in reality those minutes can be key to being on time for class. So pull back those covers and get up! Being on-time to class the last few weeks is extremely important to show to your professors you are truly invested in their classes and that you are prepared to work. This could get you some extra brownie points before the end of the semester! Try moving those ten-minutes to the other end by going to bed a little earlier. 

4. Go to office hours.

Establishing a relationship with your professors, especially at a small school like HWS will make a world of difference. Even if you don’t have any specific questions, just go and have a conversation with them. Professors really appreciate you taking the twenty minutes to just sit and talk with them. Especially if you aren’t one for participating directly in class, having the professor know that you are invested in their course will help you. You may seem like that connection is a lost cause by this point in the semester, but it is a great way to reconnect. Professors especially appreciate if you ask questions ahead of time, especially before you get too busy with other assignments and courses.

5. Schedule coffee catch-ups with friends

Between finals projects and papers being thrown at us, it’s hard to find time to catch up with friends! It’s so easy to want to blow off other important things to see your friends, but a good alternative is marking out periods of time whether it be a lunch, an hour coffee between classes or a quick Pub dinner, use these breaks to see your friends and stay connected. Don’t let the whirlwind these few weeks cause to bog you down. Everyone needs a break! It doesn’t matter how many classes and extracurricular activites you are in, take a few moments to decompress and re-connect with your friends. Even a gym date is a great way to see your friends while still being productive.

Keeping all of these things in mind, let yourself enjoy what you are doing. Don’t let the stressors and unknowns of the end of the semester stop you from having a good time and making these last few weeks end on a great note!

(Here’s some support from the one and only…)

Good luck!!!