Surviving Semester

Tips on Surviving the Rest of the Semester

After midterms and spring break, the workload of the semester can hit like a tidal wave. As longings for summer arise, it is not uncommon to feel sluggish and unmotivated. However, there are plenty of opportunities to find ways to thrive from now until the rest of the semester.

Motivation is the driving force behind a successful semester. It can be found by looking ahead at future goals and celebrating past accomplishments, both big and small. If there’s a specific goal you want nothing more than to achieve, then finding the incentive to work toward it will come naturally. Motivation is a powerful tool that will provide endless bursts of energy to get stuff done.

“I find motivation by just reminding myself that everything will be okay, and that I can do everything one step at a time,” said Caitlin O’Leary, a sophomore clinical lab sciences student.

Spring is an opportunity for new beginnings. The time is ripe for planning ahead, arranging a consistent study schedule, and managing time.

Staying organized will ensure that you don’t lose track of assignments as the semester progresses. Simply maintaining a planner or setting phone reminders can go a long way, and a classic to-do list has never let anybody down.

Janice Stapley Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology, said, “Since adolescents and emerging adults tend to be present focused, it is better to work on the rest of the semester in a week by week fashion and set a reward for yourself when you complete things on your planner list.”

As the weather gets warmer, working on assignments outdoors can boost your overall mood and create an optimistic environment. There’s just something about the way the spring sun warms the campus that sends a surge of happiness to last all semester. Keeping an optimistic mindset can erase any doubts about grades and goals that may arise as the semester comes to a close. Keep the mindset that giving up does not exist.

Thinking about maintaining good grades can often be stressful and overwhelming, which is why self-care is always essential to surviving the rest of the semester. It is easy to get caught up in work and school and forget about the importance of taking alone time.

“I always make sure that I try to find time for myself during the day and not spend all day doing work,” said Nicholas Testa, a freshman history education student. There should be a healthy balance between work and self-care.

Many people feel guilty for taking time for themselves when assignments are piling up, but there is nothing more important than a little self-care throughout the day. Relaxing for an hour or two before beginning schoolwork may just be the balance you need.

“Our bodies are very clear when they are unhappy with choices we have made,” said Michele Van Volkom Ph.D., a lecturer of psychology. “If we do not invest in taking care of ourselves, we will get sick which will then cause even more stress, as missing classes due to illness will just make us fall behind. If we continue to push ourselves beyond our limits, then we will experience negative consequences.”

O’Leary said that she practices self-care by getting enough sleep, staying caffeinated, maintaining a skincare routine every night, and surrounding herself with supportive people. For some, self-care means re-watching a favorite show, and for others, it means unplugging from devices for a bit in order to truly relax.

As the semester wraps up, it is important to never let go of aspirations. Persistence will put you on the right path toward a gratifying semester.

To survive the rest of the semester, Testa said, “I make sure that I don’t lose the good grades that I’ve worked so hard to get.” For Testa, maintaining good grades results from handing in assignments on time, participating in class, and doing well on exams.

Reaching semester goals, such as an excellent GPA, creates a sense of fulfillment that pulls you into a motivated mindset.

The recipe for surviving the semester consists of motivation, optimism, organization, and self-care.

Rather than dreading the remainder of the semester, it is important to view it as an opportunity for success.

PHOTO TAKEN by Jenna Puglisi