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How to Survive the End of the Semester

There is only one full week of classes left in the semester. Then, a half a week. Then, final exams. Can you believe it? I can’t. I feel like this semester has gone by so much faster than normal, and it’s also been so much harder than the others. But I’ve made it this far, so what’s the point in giving up now? It’s time to power through the end of the semester, even if that means pulling all-nighters for the next two weeks. Here is some advice about how to survive the end of the semester that I hope I actually follow myself.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE. I put this in all-caps so that maybe it will burn into my sub-conscious, and I’ll actually do it …. wishful thinking. Procrastination is a bad, bad habit that I’ve never been able to kick, and I know I’m not alone. I thought I’d learned my lesson so many times, but I still wait until the last minute, every.single.time. However, now that everything is becoming due at once -- final projects, final exams, assignments you’ve had all semester to do -- it is realistically not feasible to procrastinate. You can’t do three things that are due tomorrow in the time it takes to do one (although some of us, including maybe me) will try. Instead, try to give yourself reasonable goals and spread out your workload over the course of a few days. Make it a priority to complete one large assignment or a few little ones by the end of each day.

Don’t freak out. If you do happen to procrastinate, try to stay calm. It may seem like it, but it’s not the end of the world. One C will not ruin your life, and panicking will just make it harder for you to get your work completed on time. I know, it’s easier said than done, but there are ways to cope, and you need to find the strategy that works for you. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I usually put on some music that either relaxes me or allows me to express my anger and/or anxiety in a controlled way. I also like to take walks around the Drillfield, which helps me clear my mind and gain a new perspective on not just an assignment, but on life in general. It’s much easier to keep working on a difficult assignment after you step away from it for a little while. If music or walks didn’t exist, I may not have been able to survive last semester, so trust me, it works.

Above all, you need to take the time to reward yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself. College is hard, and you should be proud of yourself for being here and trying to make it through. So maybe you didn’t start your project until the weekend before it was due, but you still spent 6 consecutive hours working on it until it was perfect, even though all you wanted to do was binge watch Netflix. Although you may feel like you’re barely hanging on, all of your hard work will pay off and be worth it in the end. You just have to survive the end of the semester.

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