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Tips for Conquering the Second Half of the Semester

We’re now done with Fall Break, which means we’re officially in the second half of the semester. After a break, I often find it hard to find the motivation to delve back into my school work. Here are some tips on how to find that motivation to conquer the second half of the semester.


Re-Friend Your Planner

If you’re anything like me, you’re best friends with your planner for the first month or so of school and then start to neglect it. Now that we’re in the second part of the semester, it’s time to re-friend your planner.

Update your planner by:

  • Checking your syllabi and seeing if any due dates have been updated
  • Creating personal due dates for long-term assignments
  • Planning ahead for assignments due at the end of the semester
  • Writing down your plans and commitments for the rest of the semester


Go to Office Hours

It’s always recommended to go into office hours at the beginning of the semester, but it’s equally as important to go into office hours mid-semester. Talk to your professors about your status in the class, ways to improve your grades and tips for finishing the semester strong. Think of it as a progress check: you can see how you’re doing and make a plan for the rest of the semester.


Try New Studying Techniques

If your old study techniques don’t seem to be working anymore, try something new. New study techniques can help you think about a subject in a new way and get a better grasp on the concepts.

Some of my favorite study techniques include:

  • Study groups: Try to go beyond your friend group. Find the students who seem to really understand the class and study with them.
  • Teach your friends the information: Find a study buddy and take turns teaching each other the information. By teaching the information your brain has to simplify the ideas and therefore helps you understand it better.
  • Quizlet’s your friend: Quizlet has tons of flashcard sets for every subject, book, etc. Find one for the subject you’re studying or make your own. Plus you can share it with friends and help them study.
  • Chunk your workload: This idea works best for me because it keeps me from frying my brain by focusing on one subject for too long. “Chunking” your work is easy. You work on one subject or assignment for a predesignated amount of time, take a break, work on a different subject for that same amount of time and then repeat. I also find it’s helpful to make a note after finishing each chunk saying what you would’ve done if time hadn’t run out. That way you know exactly what to work on when you come back to the subject.
  • Re-write your notes: As tedious as this is, I find that it really works for me. It helps condense pages of notes and re-writing helps cement concepts into your memory. 


Try a New Studying Spot

There are so many places to study on and off campus, finding a new study spot can help you find your focus again. Some of my favorite places to study include:

  • Library
    • Main area
    • Quiet floor
    • Study rooms
  • St. Mary’s Lounge
  • The Commons
  • The Pilot House
  • Dorm study rooms
  • Coffee shops
  • Cathedral Park


Set Attainable Goals

Setting attainable, short-term and long-term goals helps you be more productive. It isn’t always realistic to think you can write a 15-page paper in one day, so set daily goals until an assignment’s due date. This way you feel the productivity of working toward a goal and you aren’t too overwhelmed by your workload.


Treat Yo’ Self

For as hard as you work, it’s important to treat yo’ self throughout this second half of the semester. While Winter Break’s the best treat at the end of the semester, it’s important to reward yourself before then. Plan out your rewards ahead of time. This’ll give you something to work towards, thus motivating yourself throughout these next 8 weeks. Go out with friends, indulge in a nice meal, go shopping, take breaks. It’s important to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re doing. 


With these tips, you’re more than prepared to conquer the second half of the semester. Let’s kick butt in these next 8 weeks! 

Chips and guac are the way to my heart.
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