How to make this last week-and-a-half of the semester the best it can be

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

The semester is almost up, Pioneers! To think, just one year ago, students were sitting in their bedrooms at home, quarantining, preparing for online finals—yet, not that much has changed. However, the burnout is far worse. It seems like every person on campus is just slowly dragging their feet along, trying to get through this last week-and-a-half. But this last bit of the semester doesn’t have to be a drag! Here are some simple ways to make it the best it can be with finals week just a few days away and already in progress for some. 

Take time for yourself – This one may seem a bit obvious, but it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness and chaos of these last two weeks and forget that you are a human being that needs breaks and self-care. This can be anything from taking a 15-minute break from studying, to just laying down and staring at the ceiling, to going for a walk to get lost in the city and self-reflect. It’s these little moments that keep people from completely burning out. Prioritize your needs and be kind to yourself.

Don’t procrastinate – I’m sure every student has heard this time and time again from parents, professors and even themselves. Regardless, it’s still crucial to break up all that finals work into little chunks, so it isn’t overwhelming. While it may sound annoying, it’s much better to have started an assignment early and finish it the night before than having to do the whole thing the night before.

Communicate with others – The worst thing to do is socially isolate during this time. Things will probably get stressful, and it’ll seem like sulking in a dark room is the easiest way to get through. But it’s only going to hurt in the long run. Talk to others, talk about the stresses, the worries, the good and the bad. Don’t let bad thoughts and feelings pile up; instead, get them out. This also includes asking for help rather than suffering.

Daily mental check-ins – With mental health declining towards the end of the semester, keeping tabs on it is even more significant than usual. A simple way to do this is to keep track on a scale of one to 10, one being the worst, 10 being the best, to assess mental wellbeing. And if someone is truly struggling, reaching out to friends, professors or even the counseling center is a great start. 

Keep a positive mindset – It can be tricky to have, but a positive mindset will help finals week float by. The semester is almost over, and there’s so much to look forward to this summer, especially if it includes a break from classes. Students have made it through a year of a harsh pandemic, yet they continue to push on through this semester. That’s something to be proud of. It’s almost over, and as long as students keep looking ahead and know they are doing their best, they’ll be just fine. 

And of course, have fun – I cannot stress this enough, while there is still a lot to get done before there’s any hint of freedom, college is an experience, and having the only memory of college be all work isn’t going to do anyone any favors. This doesn’t mean forget about all that needs to get done and just go do whatever, but it does mean understanding that students can’t be at their best if they’re not enjoying themselves. Take a trip to the Point, watch a movie with roommates, bake a cake, order takeout, make the best of this last week-and-a-half in downtown. 

Don’t lose hope and motivation; the end is near! While finals week is always tough on everyone, the more negatively it’s looked at, the worse it is going to be. Pioneers, we’ve made it through a year now of online learning, odd adjustments to daily life and coronavirus, so I know we can make it through this next week to enjoy the bliss of summer.