Why is this time of the semester so ridiculously difficult?! And how do I deal with it?

By Anne Dudley

I am a firm believer in the fact that the last month of the semester can be just plain unhealthy. First, you’re exhausted. Second, you’re busier than ever. Third, everything is due (suddenly) and fourth, you’re exhausted!

As much as you may not want to admit it, the business of a semester can really start to wear you down after about 10-12 weeks. With everything you have on your plate it can be hard to slow it down when crunch time hits.

Here are some tips to help you deal:

1. Make a countdown list and calendar: sync your syllabi, planner, extracurricular activities, and work schedule with the rest of the work you have to do. Schedule out when everything is due and more importantly, when you plan to actually do it!

 Here’s what to do:

Monday   Tuesday Wednesday

 Finish research for paper. 

 Make flashcards for exam.

 Make an outline of paper. 

Review Flashcards.

 Study for exam! 

Get rough draft done. 

KCS Mtg @5!


Thursday Friday

 Health Comm. Exam! 

Edit paper!

  Intercultural Paper Due!  



Health Comm. – Paper due 12/6, Exam 12/15

Intercultural – Group Presentation 12/1, Paper due 12/8

(and so on…)

2. Set personal deadlines earlier than actual due dates: I think the best way to actually do this is to set up an appointment at the writing commons or with your professor. Why? It’ll force you to have something ready to show them. Also, it’s a great way to recharge your energy and effort by taking a step back and looking at what you have so far with another person.

3. Sleep well. Eat well. Exercise: Take care of yourself. If you can’t find time for all three of those, make sure to at least do the first and get some sleep. Just because the library is open until 2 a.m. doesn’t mean you have to stay that late. Which leads me to…

4. Work smarter, not harder: Use your time wisely. If you don’t need internet, go somewhere where you don’t have access (floor 6 and up of the library is good!). Studying for 8 hours won’t do you any good if 4 of them were on Facebook and 2 on Twitter and one on TFLN (hint: see what you find when you actually click those links…). If you don’t get anything done in your room, commit yourself to 1 hour of uninterrupted study time alone somewhere else.

5. Group Study Room Scheduler: If you want to study in groups or need a place to do a group project, schedule a group study room on the second floor of the library in advance. The library website now offers this feature.

6. “Keep your eye on the prize” For four years, my aunt used to say this to me every time I visited home. It kept me thinking about the image I wanted to portray to my family, why I am in college for the first place, and my end goal. It’s easy to get caught up in college life. At this crucial time of the semester, stay focused on your end goal.  

Anne Dudley is a master’s student in public relations and a graduate assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.


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