I don’t know about any of you, but I have had a busy semester. Like many students, both undergraduate and graduate, I juggle a large workload and a full schedule. So as the last day of classes quickly approaches, I am torn between feelings of excitement, anxiety, and utter exhaustion. As the day’s pass and the semester clock ticks, all of my free time is consumed by completing assignments and I increasingly find myself squeezing school work into the smallest crevices of my hectic schedule. With all that goes on during the end of the semester, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and stressed out. During this past week alone I wanted to throw in the towel, feeling too fried to stretch the completed 9 pages of my research paper to the required 15-page minimum. Too tired to do that trivial little assignment that “probably” won’t have an impact on my final grade. Eventually, however, I snap out of it and forge forward keeping in mind that it will all be over in a matter of days. So as a fellow student, I am here to offer some advice on how to “snap out of it” and keep your eye on the December 20th prize.
1. MAP OUT A TIMELINE: I always find that after Thanksgiving, the semester flies. So after the holiday, I make a point to review my class syllabuses and map out a time line. I mark on my calendar with very bright highlighter what assignments are due on which days and give myself ample time to complete them, and complete them WELL. Be sure not to let your workload implode on you the week before the semester ends.
2. STICK TO A PLAN: After you develop a plan, STICK TO IT. Don’t deviate. It’s there for a reason. The more you procrastinate and make justifications to not do work, the more you will pay for it later.
3. REMAIN CALM: After I fill in my calendar with all my assignments, it’s no longer a white sheet of paper with empty boxes. It’s a colorful mess of highlighter markings and dense scribble and I panic thinking, “How I am going to finish ALL of this?” Then I take a deep breath and remind myself that everything will be okay. If you plan and pace yourself, you will get it done.
4. DON’T GIVE UP: Lastly, when you finally reach the end of the semester, you will be tired and you will be sick of doing work. When you’re on the verge of giving up, just remember that you are in the home stretch and when you get A’s on all your classes, you’ll know it was all worth it.
-Kaitlyn Riley, Graduate Assistant