Eleven Tips to End of The Semester Success

The end of the semester (especially Spring Semester) can bring many challenges and stressors. The weather is starting to get nicer, the days are getting longer, and your attention span is getting shorter. If your class schedule has looked anything like mine, you’ve prolly been pounded with essays, projects, and tests since returning from spring break. It can all get very overwhelming quickly, and by the time finals starts approaching you’ve all but virtually checked out. As hard as it may be, it’s important to keep your morale high to get through finals. No one wants to throw away all the hard work they’ve put in throughout the semester over a little stress and fatigue. So, here’s some of my tips on how to stay focused and finish out the semester strong.
1. Try to get as much sleep as possible. I’m probably the biggest hypocrite of this tip. As a Nursing student, I’m constantly educating patients on the importance of sleep while neglecting my own. It really does make a huge difference though when you get 7-8 hours of sleep verses 5. You’ll be more awake to get through your classes and any homework you may have after.
2. Eat three solid meals again. Again, I’m also a hypocrite of this rule. However, eating three decently healthy meals a day will help you have the energy and focus to get through whatever assignments are thrown at you. So as hard as it may be, try to resist the urge to eat a pop tart, or easy mac for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. Make a schedule. You may feel less overwhelmed if you plan your week or even just your day slightly ahead of time. I’m not talking about making a big elaborate color coded excel schedule with built in class and study times. A simple outline of what you would like to get accomplished for the day and a time frame for that written down on your memo pad on your phone will do the trick.
4. Avoid procrastination to the best of your ability. We’ve all heard this a thousand times before, but I’m sure everyone would agree working on an essay or project for an hour each day, is a lot less stressful than jamming in 12 hours’ worth of work the night before it’s due.
5. Try to Exercise at least a half hour 3-4 times a week. They tell us in nursing school to try to encourage our patients to work out at least 5x per week, but a 5x a week exercise scheduled is just not realistic for most college students. Exercising 3-4x a week for a half hour to an hour is a lot more attainable. Exercise will not only give you an energy boost but will also release endorphins that will make your stress levels go down (for a little while anyway).
6. Ask for help. If you’re struggling in a class or a project, don’t wait till the last minute to try to get assistance. Go see your professors now and make a plan for improvement. They’re also many other resources such as smart thinking and the writing center to help you with papers and projects.
7. Find a study space that works for you. If you haven’t been a big studier till the end of the semester and don’t have a consistent routine, now is a good time to start looking for places you are able to focus. The library gets very crowded towards final week and may not be the best choice for you. Start looking for possible alternative study locations so that when the time comes, a lack of location doesn’t get in your way of studying.
8. Do not over study. This is something I have just recently learned. I found that I was a lot more successful studying for two hour blocks twice a day, with breaks in between, rather than trying to jam pack 8 hours of consecutive studying in. It’s important to take short breaks in between studying so that your mind can process and refresh before the next round of studying. Go for a walk, get a snack, or watch some tv.
9. Prioritize. Narrow down your top priority finals, projects, and essays. Start working on the top priorities now, while keeping in mind not to completely neglect everything else.
10. Reward yourself! College is hard and a lot of people just don’t realize that or forget. School is practically a full time job. You’ll go crazy if you’re not taking some time for yourself. Whether it be exercising, playing sports, or watching Netflix for an hour or two; find what it is that is a de-stressor for you and don’t feel guilty about doing it.
11. Most importantly, keep your goals in mind. Remember why you’re here and the career goals you have. Remember that you’re working so hard so that you can be a doctor, lawyer, police officer, etc. Visualize yourself in the career you are pursuing and remind yourself that your working hard so that you can have a job you love.