How To Finish Your Semester Strong

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In case you haven’t noticed, fall semester is coming to an end. (lol, what?!)

If you’re anything like me, now is the time I tell myself to buckle down and finish strong. This sounds simple/annoying, but with overwhelming group projects, papers and excitement for Thanksgiving and winter break, it's necessary. 

Today I decided to write down a few things to help me get in the right mindset before finals week takes over my life. Hopefully some of these will help you too.

1. Re-read those syllabuses you haven't touched since the first day of class.

Most college students forget that syllabuses are actually the most important pieces of information we receive at the beginning of each semester. (Contrary to the “oh, it’s just syllabus week” mentality.) Now is the time to revisit those class guidelines and double check the grading scale. Those weighted projects and assignments take a toll on your grade if you’re not careful. Also, you may catch make-up exams and extra credit opportunities while you’re there.

2. Make a list of important group projects & assignments that need to be finished.

After you have that list, date them and re-order them to make sure you are focusing on the right things at the right time. I have trouble jumping between projects and working on things that I will have more time for after another assignment is due.  When looking at this list, learn to block your days to make sure these are accomplished. See: 10 Ways to Increase Productivity for further advice.

3. Re-think your morning routine.

This is something I’ve been working on the entire semester, but getting up an hour earlier can really make a difference. Balancing a few jobs along with school is catching up to me, so this extra hour helps me write out what I need to get done for the day and knock out some minor work tasks. The simplest things like setting up your coffee and picking out your outfit the night before shaves off more time than you think.

4. Scale down those crazy weekends and limit your weekday nights out.

Even though I’m all for making the most out of your weekends and taking those spontaneous adventures, it might be smart to pick just one night during the week to go out and maybe relax more on the weekends. I took a weekend to myself recently and was able to get some school-work done so I wasn’t cramming it all in during the week. So far, it's made this week one of my most productive this month. Use Thanksgiving to relax and re-group before finals week.

5. Start planning next semester now.

Although it’s a bit contradictory, planning out what your schedule is like for next semester will (hopefully) give you a better picture of what you should focus on. If you know you might not get the grade you wanted in a class you're taking now, pick a strong subject you know you can ace next semester. On the flip-side if you're searching for a full-time job, I hope your search has begun. :) 

As exhausted as we all are this time of year, really motivate yourself to put your best work forward and be a team player in those group projects. It can really change your dynamic!