10 Ways to End the Semester Strong

So, it’s that time of year. The sun is shining, summer is in the air, and the thought of studying makes you cringe. We’ve all been there. Those last few days of classes and the thought of finals are a struggle to get through. Here’s my top 10 list of how I got through the end of my days in college (and grad school…). Hopefully, in some way, they’ll help you too.

1. Don’t Give Up: I don’t want to sound all hokey, but don’t give up. You’re almost there and all your hard work will pay off when you see those A’s at the end of May. It’s so easy to give in right now and say, oh if I get an 82.75% I’ll get a B and I’m okay with that. Keep working for those A’s – it’s what you’ve been working on all semester. Don’t let the temptation of the sun blind you from your goals.

2. Sleep: Don’t forget to get some rest. It’s a tradition to pull those all-nighters but pulling an all-nighter may be more detrimental than helpful. Words may blur together and you aren’t as alert as you would be with a full night sleep. Make sure to get 6-8 hours before that big exam – it’ll help you get through it.

3. Eat healthy – coffee, energy bars, and sugar won’t help you get through the last few days. They’ll keep you awake to some degree but you’ll crash at the end. Who wants to get sick before summer vacation? Make sure to eat well while studying – pack an apple or an orange to the library. You’ll get the same sweet taste but also some vitamins to keep you going.

4. Study: This sounds like a no-brainer but some people just don’t study anymore. They’ll take the grades they have or bank on what they remember from those classes in January. Go over your notes, skim the chapters, make sure you’re studying.

5. Have fun: I know you’re thinking, what?! Fun?! Now?! Yes, have fun. Go out to eat with some friends, see a movie, relax. These little things will take your mind off the stress and will refresh your mind and body.

6. Stay focused: Sure your friends may be hanging out on the quad, laying out by the pool, playing Frisbee on the horseshoe (shout out to South Carolina…) but don’t get distracted. This may sound opposite of #5 but it isn’t. A healthy mix of fun and focus will help you in the end. Keep your eye on the price – 5:00 pm on Friday – your last final is over!

7. Find motivation: remember how you started the semester. What were your goals? Think about what motivates you to do well and focus on that. It’ll get you through those grueling hours memorizing Western Civ. dates.

8. Set a schedule: when will you study? when are your exams? Make sure you remember when your papers are due. Writing out your schedule for the finals weeks of school will help you see what should take precedence and what subject can be put off until other projects are completed.

9. Take a break: this goes back to having fun. Make sure to walk away from the books for a while. Take a nap, go outside for some fresh air – this helps clear your mind and gives you a fresh outlook once you pick the books up again.

10. Look to the future: what are you working towards? Are you wanting to go to Med School, Law School, Grad school? End strong and a scholarship could be within arms reach. Or maybe a good summer’s tan is enough into the future to keep you moving through those papers and finals.

Good luck, study hard, and summer is almost here!

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