It is that time of the semester once again. Deadlines are looming over us much too close for comfort. Scheduling for next semester’s classes has arrived, and summer approaches must faster than it seemed possible.
However, I am so glad I have experienced all this before. Now I have the opportunity to prepare myself for what lies ahead. I wish I had the opportunity to tip my past self off so that I could have better prepared for the ending of my first spring semester.
Since, unfortunately, I cannot go back in time and share insight with my younger self, I might as well share it here for all who may be interested in a few tips that have worked for me in past experiences.
- Catch up on sleep on the weekends. The end of the semester is really busy. There is a temptation to power through all of your assignments and skip sleep in the process. However, it is much better to work ahead. If faced with the decision to stay up studying rather than sleep, be sure to sneak some naps in and catch up on sleep over the weekend. It is not worth risking your health and becoming absolutely miserable to take finals while not feeling your best.
- Talk to your professors. Our professors are wonderful. They are absolutely the best. If you have any questions about a project or an upcoming exam, go by their office and ask them. Professors would love to talk to you and spend the time helping you succeed. Also, if you find yourself unsure of which classes to take for the next semester, your professors would love to walk you through all of your options and help you decide.
- Call home. The summer is coming up quickly, and with it will bring a lot of changes. If, like me, you are planning on moving back home for the summer, your schedule will drastically differ from what it includes now. It is valuable to talk to your family about your plans, goals and expectations for the summer so that you can both plan more easily. Also, contact your friends and begin to make plans. This will give you something to look forward to. Plan on starting a Bible study or accountability group so that your time together will be edifying. Being in constant communication with your family and friends about your summer plans will help all of you to make a smooth transition into summer life.
- Send out the troops. If looking for a summer job, your family or friends from back home can send out feelers to let you know might be available. This will allow you to gather options and decide where you might want to apply.
- Consider taking summer classes. This is pretty straightforward. Summer classes can propel you closer toward graduation. They are also great ways to fill your time and keep you productive year-round.
- Do not panic. The end of the semester should be a time to remain focused and enjoy learning in your area of interest. Do not let stress replace prayer, and take breaks when you are feeling overwhelmed. Remember why you are here, and gather up your energy to finish the semester strong.
The end of an academic year need not be a cause for panic. Take the time to enjoy the days that go by, and invest in the company of other students experiencing the same thing. We are here for each other, and we can tackle the upcoming days together.
I hope my checklist will be of some use to you. Just remember: all seasons pass and all are meant to be fully lived. Make it a great week, and let us make this semester go out with a bang.