Points to remember when finishing the semester strong (and realistically)
By Julexus Cappell
The home-stretch is here. April signifies the last month of spring semester at almost every college and university, and with 4 weeks left to lock in final grades it can all seem so overwhelming. The term research papers, scheduling the next semester’s classes, final presentations and exams can wear you down not only mentally, but physically if you allow it to. For some, becoming so consumed with securing everything before the end can exhaust what motivation is left to finish the semester. The customary speeches students receive from professors and family alike are the generic variations of “finish strong,” but how we realistically apply that to the final weeks is the question. Zeroing in on strategies to concluding the semester on your best note, keep these points in mind throughout April.
If there is an opportunity, seize it.
It seems like an obvious tip, but if you’re in need of it, take the extra credit opportunity if offered. Although the assignments can seem strenuous for what could be gained (typically smaller points given), it’s important to remember that they are… something. Extra credit is not meant to make up points for an entire semester, but if you aren’t necessarily at the A or B grade, the initiative shown is oftentimes noted by professors. Also, the popular memes retweeted and shared about miraculously showing up at office hours at the eleventh hour are hilarious, but having regular discussion with your professors after class (before the last week) can make that difference between an 85% to a 90%, and so on.
Pacing yourself through due dates.
In the last month or so of the semester, it’s not uncommon to receive final assignments like papers and presentations. More times than not, we know about these things the entire semester, letting the due date loom, doing some parts here and there until crunch time. Simple acts like squeezing the time in between classes to sit in the library or scheduling designated times through the weeks to work on approaching deadlines rather than, again, at the last moments feasible can save you from a meltdown in the student center.
Always remember, what is done is done. But there is reflection.
Maybe after the seizing and pacing through these last days you still aren’t satisfied with the outcome, allow this feeling to better you. Ultimately, whatever the outcome of your semester will not be the end of the world; the world will keep on turning, and it will conclude. Not having a 4.0 semester and being displeased about it doesn’t equate to not being in good shape academically overall. At times, it seems we can get fixed in the getting through the class, the semester and other shorter term obstacles that we miss the bigger picture. Although we cannot go back and undo points missed through a semester, we can take the time to evaluate ourselves as learners, continue to push on to class until the end, and, above all, always keep a check on our self-care.