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The Final Stretch: How I’m Forcing Myself to Finish off the School Year Strong

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

I think the hardest part about college is the fact that nobody is going to tell you what to do. Yes, you do have assignments, and yes, you do have deadlines, but there isn’t a personalized advising experience like there was in earlier school years. At the end of the day, how you do in school is your choice. As I’ve realized this, I’ve fallen into the traps of skipping my early classes to sleep in an extra hour or leaving the last few problems on my math homework blank when I’ve struggled with them. But I know at the end of the day, I have to put in the time and effort to make the necessary changes to my life in order to succeed. So, here’s how I’ve been doing that:

Do Your Work Early

Doing my work as early in the week as I can is a habit I picked up when I realized my grades had been falling behind. I know it varies based on the person, but I feel like when I’m doing my schoolwork, I almost get in a zone when I am focused enough. By finding my favorite study spot (D2 in between breakfast and lunch) and making a plan for myself for the week, I’ve found that I am able to accomplish so much more. Plus, I get my weekends to relax, which is always a plus in my mind.

Keep up with chores

I can’t sit here and tell you that I am a neat freak, because that would be a lie. However, I am the type of person that feels better in the mind when my space is organized. I try and do one basic chore per day, whether it be organizing my desk, cleaning my sink, or doing my laundry. I also live in a dorm with no air conditioning, so I’ve taken it upon myself to try and wash my sheets more often. I also recently took up the habit of making my bed every morning, and it makes my life feel a bit more together. It’s important to take care of your personal space: for your sanity and for hygienic reasons.

Take care of yourself first

You should be your upmost priority, always, no question about it. It’s okay to ask for that extension. It’s okay to put on some sad music and cry when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay to put off your homework for a little while to do self care. It’s okay to skip that lecture if you aren’t feeling well. I know life throws obstacles in our direction every once in a while, and on top of being a college student, it can be really stressful. Sometimes, you need to do what’s best for you, and that’s okay.

Utilize Campus Resources

If you are struggling in a class: Go. To. Office. Hours.

I know you probably don’t want to. I get it, sometimes, office hours are the most painful thing in the world. But as I state time and time again, you pave the path to your own success. Did I want to spend my free time last Thursday in the Math Lab working on my homework? Absolutely not. However, sometimes the resources provided to help you succeed here at Virginia Tech are easily accessible and actually very useful. The classes that I am the most proud of my grades in are the classes which I allocated extra time to go get help in.

ENJOY The weather

We all know that Blacksburg is an icicle in the winter. Winter is a miserable time to be here, especially this year with a lack of snow. So when you see that the high is 80 degrees and the UV index is 9, don’t be afraid to go outside and take it all in. I recommend you don’t forget to take your allegy medicine if that applies to you, just like I did today, but Vitamin D is good for the body, the mind, and the soul.

Caroline McIntyre

Virginia Tech '27

I am a first-year student majoring Business, planning to either cncentrate my studies in Cybersecurity Management and Analytics or Marketing Management with a concentration in Digital Marketing Strategy. I spend most of my free time listening to music, going on walks, spending time with my friends, and reminiscing about good old New Jersey bagels.