Staying motivated in the final stretch of the semester

By Nykola Dovgyy

As I sit here writing this post on the first weekend of reading week, it is easy to shrug off the responsibilities that still lie ahead.  The beginning of reading week is a checkpoint for students to regroup and relax while both reflecting on the semester thus far and gaining a positive outlook for the rest of the term.  In this blog, I will mention some of the strategies that I use personally to ensure I don’t burn out before finals.

1.     Acknowledge what you have accomplished so far this term.

Since it is already November, students have completed two full months of the school year.  That’s nothing to scoff at and it’s important to acknowledge how far you have already come this year.  In talks with student’s from around the country, the move to online schooling has certainly not resulted in a lighter workload for students.  The feeling that assignments are constantly piling on with due dates rapidly approaching is a common one, but it’s important to realize what you have already completed.  Rather than counting all the assignments and exams that are still to come before the end of December, count the amount of assignments and exams you have already completed and relish for a second in the fact that you have already completed so much.

2.     Work on Term Assignments over the break.

While point number one suggests taking a well-deserved break before the final stretch of the semester, it is important to get on top of the big assignments that are still to come.  The break is a time to relax but can also be a very useful time to casually work on the important assignments still due before finals. The due dates for term papers and assignments are a high source of stress so taking time to put in work on them during what is hopefully the least stressful week of the term will pay off in the weeks to come.  Relax now but also focus on reducing stress for future-you.

3.     Ask for help when you need it.

As a fourth-year undergraduate student, one of the most important lessons I have learned from University is that it is okay to ask for help.  The amount of time I have spent, stressing and becoming frustrated with assignments is frankly unbelievable.  In the last year to two years, I have swallowed my pride and began asking close friends for help in completing assignments.  Bouncing ideas off your friends when you’ve hit a wall can be extremely beneficial and keeps your creative juices flowing.  The end of term assignment period mentally taxes all students.  Collaborating with other students, friends and family can give you the last little boost needed to push your projects over the finish line.

The most important thing to draw from this post is that we need to be kind to ourselves as students.  Acknowledging how far you have already come this term, starting final projects over the break, and asking for help when you need it is a great place to start in avoiding burn out and stressing over the final stretch of the term.  Remember that your mental health is more important than a final grade and reach out to others when you need to.  Our SUSK national team is more than happy to assist in any challenges your USO may face during this time to help reduce student individual stress.