We should all feel a sense of accomplishment two months down the semester. With the end of midterms, it is easy to get demotivated. Before we know it, pre-final assignments are due and then its time for finals. It is essential to keep going regardless of your midterm scores. Finals usually hold a heavy course load and we should be shifting our focus on what we can do and not dwell on the past.
The following are a set of recommendations to help you get back on track:
It is psychologically proven that concentration and level of focus is higher when there are things to look forward to after the task is accomplished. Let's give it to ourselves! Whether it is eating out, catching up on your tv shows, spending a little more time with loved ones, participating in festivities like Halloween, Diwali or a good mid-summer weekend. Take that break you earned. In addition to going out it is essential to give yourself enough rest - catch up on sleep after the long hours of cramming for exams and don’t forget to take your time away from the screen. If you find it feasible, take a weekend off.
Yes, it's time to get back to it, the semester is not over yet! To avoid realizing how big an assignment is, one day before it is due; plan for what is coming. Make a list of all the tasks and submissions that are coming up. This will make it easier to keep track of assignments, papers, exam prep and planning your schedule and choosing courses for the next semester before the enrollment date. By planning ahead, you will be more confident for the submissions approaching for the rest of the semester and be able to track your success for the rest of the semester. Finding the time to sit down and make your lists after a good break can seem tedious at first, but it will be worth it in the end!
Many students have commitments along with schoolwork, like part-time jobs, volunteer positions, family time and club duties. It is already hard to manage these while the semester going, let alone during exam season. It is healthy to take time off from these activities to focus on exams. But our lives cannot just be about studying, which is why it is important to get back into those activities once the exams end. Find the time to do those shifts that you promised, return to volunteer and club tasks, or maybe just spend some more time with your loved ones. Create a balance to enjoy your participation in each aspect you find important in life and feel the sense of accomplishment.
Something common that we hear our professors say before exams start is “But you don’t need to worry about these tasks until after the midterm/ mid-sem paper is over.” It is easy to throw ourselves into focusing on just exams but once they're over is when we need to shift back into our other academic priorities. It is important to get back to those readings and assignments, as for most courses at least 30% of the grade depends on your performance after midterms. With that being said, this is your chance to make up for lost marks during your midterm, so start planning on how you'll tackle the upcoming assignments!
At the the beginning of the semester, we set goals and expectations for ourselves. We often adjust our method of studying throughout the semester, to see how we can improve our performance compared to the semester before. It is easy to lose the momentum of workflow for several reasons. Sometimes midterms don’t meet our expectations and we start to undermine ourselves. Other times we set unrealistically high goals and have trouble meeting them which can also hinder our progress. This is the time to check in with yourself again as you’re more familiar with the course load and have a good judgment of how long to spend on each course. If needed meet up during office hours with your TAs or professors to discuss the course and your performance in depth. Look at your progress and lay out a new set of expectations for yourself by checking your accomplishments on the grades tab and taking another look at the syllabus to help remind you that there is still a chance to do well and to not give up!
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