As we enter the halfway point in the semester, the stress seems to just keep coming. But we have made it this far, and it is a good time to celebrate that success. It is also a great time to evaluate ourselves in order to adjust and refocus to take on the second half of the semester. If you took steps at the beginning of the semester to prepare yourself, such as the suggestions in a previous article, you should be in a comfortable place. Even if you started the semester on the less-than-prepared side, it’s not too late to correct the path and stay the course. Here are some steps you can take to get yourself ready for the second half of the semester:
- Evaluate Grades
Calculate and look at your grades so far. Some professors are better than others about posting and keeping up on grades, so do the best you can with calculations where applicable. Figure out what classes you are doing well in and what classes you are struggling in. If your grades are lower than want, don’t panic because eight weeks is plenty of time to bring them up. But keeping your grades in mind as you enter the next eight weeks will help you plan and prioritize.
- Look Ahead
After evaluating your grades, look ahead to what is coming up in class. Write down assignment due dates and exam dates. Plan ahead so that you can study sooner. This will help keep you on track, and it also helps you see which assignments and exams you need to spend the most time on (such as ones in struggling classes or ones that are worth the most points). Looking at the deadlines for the next eight weeks also allows you to schedule other activities around them, such as social outings or work.
- Seek Help
It’s not too late to meet your professors or teacher’s assistants for help. Now that you know where you are struggling and when you have exams or assignments, you can seek the help you need to get back on track or stay on top. If past papers or exams were tough for you, ask the professor for guidance and advice (this will help for cumulative finals). If you are worried about upcoming assignments, seek help now so that you can learn what you need to before the grades come. It can be really difficult to ask for help, but professors really do want you to ask. They won’t judge you for it. In fact, they will probably praise you for coming to their office hours.
- Assess Goals
Ideally you wrote down goals for yourself at the beginning of the semester, or at least have had some goals in mind. Halfway through the semester is a great time to check your progress. Ask yourself: Did I reach this goal? How close am I? What do I still need to do to reach this goal? What changes or efforts do I need to make? If you need to, make some new goals. Checking in on your semester goals periodically is an important step in refocusing and meeting your goals.
- Self Care
This can be an extremely stressful time in the semester. And with more exams and busy holidays coming up, it’s probably not going to slow down. But it’s absolutely essential to remember yourself and your mental needs. In addition to taking some time to refocus in school, you need to take some time to relax your mind.There are a lot of self-care methods to take a mental relaxation and refocus. Do some healthy, relaxing activities, spend time with friends or family, or take a “treat yourself” day. Do what is best for you to make sure you are not overstressed heading into the second half of the semester.
In this busy time, take a moment to check your progress and refocus yourself. There is no better time than now to make sure the rest of the semester is the best it can be. These five steps can help prepare you for the next eight weeks.