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Elbow Grease: the Semester Isn’t Over Yet

Well, we’re almost halfway through March and for us Montclair State students, that means spring break just ended. We’ve surpassed the beginning of the semester and the rocky road of February that always feels like a triathlon, but we did it. Now, we’ve earned a week of relaxation, lazy mornings, and for some, a fun-in-the-sun filled vacation.  For others, it might be a week spent finishing  assignments that are due after it’s over. Either way, most of us will be spending half of those seven days recharging, letting ourselves wander away from the academic mindset.

Of course that doesn’t mean we can stay in that mindset once spring break is over.

The semester is only halfway through and while spring is fun, if you’re not careful, it’s like a disease to those grades you’ve been working so hard on. The amount of work given during one college semester is incredibly daunting and when you’re given a small break, it’s easy to slip into a mindset that keeps you away from that constant overloading, but you’ve got to fight it and keep working hard. So, here’s a few ways to keep your grades up and make it to the end.

Keep yourself organized.

A cluttered workplace, room, or desk is synonymous with a cluttered mind. If you’re unable to keep everything organized, than at least set up one specific area (I recommend the place you complete most of your schoolwork) that is devoid of any mess. That way, when you have to hunker down for a big assignment and you can’t seem to focus, at least you have one place to run to that might help clear your head.

Make sure to set up a calendar too!

Do you have a desk or wall calendar you haven’t touched in awhile? Update it and write down all deadlines, including the last day of the semester. Since spring break is so early, it can feel like you have an eternity until the semester is over, but in reality, once the break is over, us Montclair students only have about 8 weeks left. In college time, that’s not very long at all. So even if you have to make your own calendar, write everything out. It’ll create a physical time frame and it’ll stop any crucial assignments from sneaking up on you. (Extra tip: Have no time for paper and pens? Google Calendar is your best friend.)

Don’t forget to keep yourself motivated.

 Reach deep in your heart and pull out that beginning-of-the-semester passion you had. Apply it to your studies and your goals. Think about everything you can do now, on top of what you could do before . Spring is inching its way up and out of the frost. Break out your gym clothes that you haven’t used because it’s been freezing and go for a run to sharpen your mind; or do some yoga or pilates, whatever floats your boat. Restart those New Year goals that might have gotten stuffed to the back of your mental closet. Try them again and a pattern might begin, and a pattern means a solid foundation. So even if you can’t seem to focus, you’ll have one thing to keep yourself grounded.

Set up some summer goals.

Create an idea or two, make a bullet list if you have to, but set up some goals that you’ll be able to go after once the semester is done. Make sure they’re things that excite you and bring a smile to your face, because you can take that anticipation and put it towards completing your assignments. And imagine how good it’s going to feel when you finally reach those summer goals after finishing the semester on a high note.

Good luck, you can do this!

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ashley Altieri

Montclair '19

Ashley is a double major at Montclair State University; she majors in English and Psychology, while minoring in Mythology. She is part of the Pinterest team for her branch and is also a contributing writer. When not getting wound up in academia, she's either with her friends, with her computer, or with a good cup of coffee. Instagram: ashleyaltrose
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