Whether a student or a teacher, by this time in the semester it’s easy to feel like you’re crawling toward the finish line. You’ve had late nights, long papers, pop quizzes, and crazytown group projects.
Is this you? Have you been nodding along, silently thinking “yes! I relate to this!” Then keep reading. We have some quick ideas for keeping your energy up and finishing out the semester strong.
Revisit Your Syllabus
When the November workload gets you down, sometimes a glance at your course syllabus is enough to put things in perspective and organize your thoughts. First, look at all the ground you’ve covered. Look at all the assignments that have been assigned, collected, graded, and crossed off.
Now, see that you’ve only got a little bit further to go. The end is in sight. It’s a few more weeks, a few more assignments, a few more benchmarks before this course is in the books.
Looking at a syllabus will help you focus on the pieces, not the whole. It’s when we get lost in the big picture that it can seem overwhelming, but when we break it down into manageable parts (one more test, two more papers), it’s a little bit better.
Take a Coloring Break
Yo. Adults can color, too. It’s a thing. And it relieves a crazy amount of stress. (This is coming from a girl who has the animal-themed stress-relieving book. It’s helped me knock out many a project when I’ve gotten stuck on something.)
Cook for the Week Ahead
There is no better time to take good care of yourself than when you’re overwhelmed. This is not a time to skimp on sleep or hydration or nutrition. These are the things that are going to help you finish this semester strong.
Cooking for the week ahead on Sunday is a good way to save yourself time throughout the week without sacrificing healthful meals between classes, prepping for finals, grading, or putting the final touches on projects.
Let me recommend the Buzzfeed Food newsletter. It’s a bi-weekly offering of recipes. It won’t clog your inbox and you’ll find lots of budget recipes and ideas for new cooks. Plenty of options for cooking, packaging, and storing meals you can eat throughout a crazy finals week.
Clean Your Workspace/Backpack/Desktop/Thumb Drive
Don’t you just want to tidy up this desk? Wouldn’t that make you feel better? Yeah, me too.
In the spirit of focusing on little wins, clean your desk. Clean out your backpack. Organize your notes or your hard drive. Clean up your thumb drive or Google Drive space dedicated to your coursework. It will make you feel better. It’s productive. It will give you a blank slate on which to begin your final push of the semester.
Just Say No to All-Nighters
This one speaks for itself.
Quick Fixes for the Afternoon Slump
If you came here looking for a quick way to energize yourself during marathon study sessions or slow afternoons, say no more. Here are a few favorites. You can find some similar suggestions in our recent post about back-to-school stress busters.
Exercise breaks. Even a walk around the block will get blood flowing and increase your focus when you get back.
A simple glass of ice water does wonders. Studies have shown that dehydration can lead to increased stress. So drink up.
Or how about a snack? Try some of these power snacks for studying.
Find your second wind by game-planning your evening. Revisit your to-do list. Block out your hours. Schedule time for a good meal. Triage what you can. Just making a plan can get you energized and ready to take it all on.
Never forget the value of a mood-boosting playlist.