After coming back from spring break, the final push to the end of the semester in April can be tough. The last few weeks include projects, tests, assignments, and final exams. We know that this can lead to increased levels of stress and tiredness. Here are some tips to finish the semester strong:
- Make short term goals and plans for what you want to accomplish as each day passes: This could look like setting aside certain numbers of hours to study for a class, specific hours for running errands, and set-aside hours for something you enjoy! Creating an hourly schedule helps you keep focus and have a clear idea of what you aim to do each day.
- Take care of yourself and set aside some time to rest: Rest is vital for avoiding burnout, maintaining your physical and mental health, and keeping up the energy you need to put out the necessary work for school and for a better life balance. This could look like setting aside time for friends, hobbies you enjoy, physical activity, meditation, sleep, etc.
- Attend your classes: Being attentive during classes can prevent you from falling behind, keep regularity in your schedule, and can help you learn as you trudge through the rest of the semester. Learning daily in smaller increments tends to be more helpful with retaining knowledge and makes studying much easier when the time comes for finals!
- Go back to your favorite study spot: Creating a space that is comfortable and productive, whatever that looks like to you, can make it easier to want to spend time there. If you’re in a setting that puts you in a good mood, it's easier for productivity to follow.
- Use campus resources: Services such as CAPS or Wolverine Wellness can be a great place to find resources when it comes to mental health support, finding ways to de-stress, tips for helping others, etc. More information on those topics can be found here https://uhs.umich.edu/wolverine-wellness#services.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help: Many schools offer free tutoring sessions, as well as professors’ and GSIs’ office hours. This can also come in the form of asking a classmate for clarification or even better to study together. It may seem like a hassle, but talking out questions you have and discussing material is an effective way to gain comprehension. Being proactive will prevent any night-before-the-exam panic!
- Try practicing some healthy habits: Even smaller steps such as getting more sleep and eating a more balanced diet can make a world of difference on your mental and physical health, and energy levels. Your brain uses fuel to function! When you're eating and sleeping you're supplying both your brain and body with the fuel it needs to work efficiently.
- Extend yourself some grace during stressful times: With high stress levels in school, work, or relationships there is a tendency to want perfection in all outcomes. This can lead students to be overly harsh on themselves, can feel even more overwhelming, can lead to even less motivation, and burnout. If you don’t get the score you hoped for or didn’t accomplish all that you had hoped to that day, extend yourself some kindness and look to see everything else you have accomplished! Maybe you ate dinner every night this week and were in bed by 10pm. Go easy on yourself.