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Embracing the finish line

Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro


The end of the semester is quickly approaching and that means that we are navigating this last stretch of the marathon. Our initial enthusiasm we had at the beginning of the semester is long gone but has most likely been replaced by the enthusiasm of having survived another academic year.

Sure, there are still the stressors of those final assignments, exams and the cumulative weight of an entire semester’s worth of knowledge, but the finish line is in sight. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I promise you, it’s not a train. In light of that, let’s all take a second to look back on the semester and see how far we have come.

Before nose diving into what feels like the shallow end of the pool, take a moment to reflect on your academic journey this semester. Look at all of the challenges you have had to overcome, the knowledge you have gained and the personal growth you have gone through. These alone are cause to celebrate, no matter how you view your journey. Looking at this semester retrospectively can serve as both a powerful motivator and a remainder of resilience and capabilities.

Image via by Prateek Katyal

Now to tackle the end of the semester. It would be a great first step to first evaluate what you are up against. Organize time efficiently by breaking down remaining tasks. Breaking those tasks down into more bite-sized portions can also lead to a task feeling like they are more manageable and a greater sense of accomplishment.

However many goals you set for yourself, make sure they are realistic. Try to keep a positive mindset. Do not burn yourself out. Remember that quality trumps quantity, so focus on master concepts when you study. This is not the time to pack in an entire semester of learning and no one would ever survive college if they focused on every minute detail when studying.

Another tip is to find your study sanctuary. The library will most likely be filled with students hoping to learn through osmosis — brownie points to you if you remember that term from biology.

There are plenty of lounges to be found around campus, and even the occasional quiet spot in Donovan. If you live on campus, you can also make use of the lounges in the dorm rooms. Having a designated space to buckle down is super important, not just for the end of the year. Recently, I have found that body doubling to accomplish homework has been beneficial. Body doubling, usually found to help those with ADHD, is the process of having someone with you. My body double does not need to speak to me, but her presence alone is enough to keep me motivated. If you have trouble with motivation, I suggest you try this. Experiment with different environments and situations and once you find your groove, your concentration and productivity will skyrocket.

Don’t forget to take frequent breaks, both for your sanity and for your physical health. Eat well and hydrate properly. Walk away from assignments and studying when needed. Make sure your self care routine is truly self caring and sleep when you need to. A rested, calmer mind is a more productive and focused mind.

Most importantly, remember that you are not alone in this end of the semester hustle. You can always reach out to your classmates and friends to form study groups, get support, share resources, or just vent about your workload. Collaborating with others in any capacity can contribute to an enhanced perspective and even an increased understanding of your course material.

Visualize your success. See yourself completing your assignments, acing your finals and accomplishing all you set out to do this semester. You are one step closer to achieving your overall academic goal.

Good luck, Anchors, and congratulations to those graduating this semester.


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