Semester Reset: How to Finish Off Strong

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With Thanksgiving break right around the corner, our time on campus is coming to a close, as we switch to fully remote learning for the remainder of the semester.

At this point of the semester it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the workload, as well as the fact that finals weeks is looming ahead. On top of that, many students are now going to have to adjust to doing their classes and work from their parent’s homes, adding to the stress of it all. Don’t worry though, VALLEY is here to help give some insight on how to recharge and reset yourself to push through the rest of the semester. 

Make a Plan

Writing out your upcoming assignments, exams, final papers, as well as a plan on how to execute everything, is important in being successful. Make sure to write down these assignments and their due dates in either a planner or in Google calendar to make sure you are up to date.

Once you’re aware of your upcoming assignments, it’s time to make a plan of action to assure you’re well prepared for your upcoming final exams and assignments. A good way to do this is by writing down weekly, as well as daily, goals and to-do lists. This gives you an idea of tasks you need to get done, while also allowing you to keep track if you’re progressing at the rate you need to.

Another tip when making a plan is to make sure it is realistic. Try to spread out your workload and not pile everything to complete in one day. Also, make sure you’re allotting time for your other daily tasks — classes, meetings or any other activities you want to fit in.

Manage Your Time

Going along with making a plan, managing your time is crucial. Allotting time for each of your tasks will allow you to be able to be more productive, as well as feel less stressed about your workload.

Try time blocking for the different obligations in your day such as classes and meetings. Then block off what tasks or actives you want to pursue in your ‘free time’. This will help you get tasks done in a timely and effective manner. Time blocking also keeps you on a set schedule, which is beneficial in staying organized for the last crucial weeks of the semester.

To help make better use of your time and avoid distractions, VALLEY recommends setting a timer on your phone for a certain time, and then dedicating all your attention to one task and trying to get as much done as possible. This is also a good way to track how much an assignment is going to take you and how fast you work in general.

Organize Your Space

Staying organized is a good way to declutter your mind to be able to focus on the tasks on hand better. It’s just as important as keeping your school work organized!

While studying at coffee shops and spots on campus are great options, with the upcoming switch to fully remote learning, most will no longer have that luxury.

Whether you’re staying at your parent’s home or residing in your apartment in State College, try and find a spot in your room or home to dedicate as your ‘study space’.

Try to declutter and reorganize your desk with all your books and other necessities. To help spice up the space make it more visually appealing with a lamp that provides good lighting, a note pad and different color pens, as well as a candle or essential oil defuser.

Remember to Make Time For Yourself

While being productive is important, this point in the semester brings a lot of stress with it, making it crucial to set aside time for yourself. Allotting some ‘me time’ every night is a good way to destress and unwind. VALLEY recommends watching your favorite show/movie or reading a book (that’s unrelated to your classes of course) to relax!

Also make sure to provide time in your schedule to do things that make you happy. This can be the little things like getting in your daily movement, spending time outside or spending time with your family and close friends.

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