Advice for the End of the Semester

With the semester coming to a close, it is easy to fall into the trap of indolence and lethargy when approaching these last few weeks of classes and exams. After all, we did just come back from a holiday break, and it’s difficult to get the momentum going again. I definitely fall victim to procrastination and reluctance to work, especially after having such a jam-packed semester. Unfortunately, the end of the semester is typically when those major projects are due, not to mention those all-important final exams. You might be thinking, why is it that the most important assignments and the majority of our grades come at the very end of the semester? That’s just college for you. Despite how tortuous these last few weeks of the semester may be, there is no room for slacking off. Here are some tips for staying motivated during these all-telling last few weeks of the semester.

1. Make a plan of action for completing all of your assignments

Keeping lists and schedules to map out your assignments for the end of the semester is super helpful to stay organized. I happen to be pretty meticulous when it comes to scheduling, so I often schedule everything to the most minute detail. You definitely don’t have to do this. But making a list of assignments and checking them off as you go is a way to hold yourself accountable and ensure that you get the grades you worked all semester for.

2. Finish all of your shorter assignments as early as possible

You probably have some lengthy assignments to finish before the end of the semester. To ensure you are not distracted when it comes to writing those essays and research papers, try to finish your shorter assignments first. Checking those off of your list will give the illusion of having less to do, which will help motivate you to finish the remainder of your projects.

3. Find the environment that allows you to study most effectively

It will be pretty obvious when you find your environment. For me, my most productive work occurs while sitting in a coffee shop with a good latte and a pastry. It’s something about the ambiance combined with caffeine that really keeps me motivated and on track.

4. Go to sleep and wake up on a schedule

Sure, it may be tempting to stay up all night to finish assignments, but in the long run, it will be better for your physical and mental health if you go to sleep and wake up on a schedule. Personally, I try to go to sleep before 12 a.m. and wake up between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Everyone is different, but I know that in order for me to function at my highest ability, I need to stick to a consistent sleep schedule.

5. Go to the gym

Exercise releases endorphins, which makes you happier. Taking care of yourself physically results in a positive mindset, aiding you in your studies.  

6. Eat healthy

Eating healthy goes along with exercise and taking care of your body. I know when I get stressed out, I tend to crave food that isn’t necessarily good for me. Counteract your cravings by having healthy snacks with you while you are studying. Trust me, you will feel so much better while studying if you avoid sugary foods and eat clean.

7. Give yourself breaks

While you may be bombarded with multiple papers and exams to study for on top of your normal course load, take a few minutes every hour to stretch and take a minute to de-stress. It’s even okay every once in a while to watch an episode or two of a TV show on Netflix or Hulu.

8. Lastly, remember that you’ve got this!

You are SO close to being finished with this semester! Look back and think about how hard you worked for the past four months. Now, all that’s left is these last three weeks. It’s time to use that last bit of reserve energy to get to the finish line. Winter break will be here in no time. Just think about how rewarding it will be to finish your assignments and exams and have a solid few weeks to relax and spend time at home. You’ve made it this far, now just keep going. I’ll see you on the other side!