5 Ways to End the Semester Well
March 3, 2020
When you’re in the thick of the winter term, it’s likely all you want is to finish your schoolwork for the year. You’ve worked hard, completed assignments, written essays. You’ve run labs, and kept up with your non-school obligations for months. Summer break couldn’t come any sooner, could it?
But the reality is, it’s not summer break yet. There are still assignments to finish, tests to take and finals to study for. To help you finish your semester strong, we’ve put together these five tips.
1. Study Hard, But Don’t Burn Out
By April, a lot of students feel burned out. (Let’s be real, by January a lot of students feel burned out!) Social pressures and academic requirements can start to weigh heavily on you. And it doesn’t help that the weather is cloudy and cold.
So my first piece of advice is to study hard, but don’t burn out. Don’t kill yourself pulling all-nighters at the library or doing nothing but studying. Your mind needs a break every now and then, and breaks will actually help you do better.
Remember to lean on God while you are studying and ask him for wisdom in knowing how to use your time well.
2. Think About Your Summer
Another way to end the semester well is to plan ahead for your summer. If you’re looking for internships, you’ve likely already started. But if you’re not, consider how you’re going to spend your time. Are you going to work? Serve at camp? Travel? Visit family? Are you going to continue living on campus or move home? Take classes or be a TA?
Knowing and planning for your summer ahead of time will save you a huge headache once the semester ends. Plus, having a plan in place will free up much-needed mental space for you to direct toward your classes.
3. Keep Up with Community
For some of us, hanging out with friends may be the first thing that gets pushed to the side when due dates are looming. But research shows that the benefits of friendships are incredible. Staying connected to your community can improve your mood and take your mind off your assignments. (And that’s a good thing ;).)
Christian communities on campus can pray with you when you need it most. They’ll be there to study with you and to celebrate your accomplishments. You’ll have people you can lean on and who you can support as well, as they also go through the end-of-semester push.
4. Focus on the Positive
What are some small wins that you can acknowledge? Did you get up early and spend the first half of your day at the library? Did you get through that chapter that’s been dragging on? Did you finally create the perfect data cluster?
Okay, some of those are big wins. But acknowledging what you’ve already done is huge. You’ve completed so much already, so don’t forget that! Focusing on the positive will boost your confidence. It’ll help you look back on this semester with satisfaction.
This could be the most important tip on our list. If you’ve put in a lot of hard work, you should celebrate that! Especially if you’re in your final year. You’re about to finish your undergrad. Savor and enjoy it! Even if you’re not a fourth-year. If you’re jumping into an internship or full-time job after the semester, take time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Then find someone to celebrate with.
Maybe that looks like a big party at the end of the term. Or maybe you plan a small dinner with some friends right after your last exam. You could go out for your favourite dessert or have a board games night.
Whatever you decide, having a fun goal to work toward will give you something to look forward to. And once you’re done, it’ll be a great reward for all your hard work.
Hopefully these tips will help you push through your final weeks of class. If you’re still looking for a summer job, consider working at an InterVarsity camp.
Megan Maclaine is the Communications Coordinator and Writer for InterVarsity. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2016 and the Humber School for Writers in 2017.