CHANCES ARE YOU’RE WRAPPING UP the most challenging
semester of your academic career. The many adjustments that schools have
made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have closed campuses,
displaced residential students, and moved face-to-face classes online.
Courses are continuing for most students, but all the disruption and
uncertainty are only adding to normal anxieties that come with finishing
the academic year.
You can lower your stress levels when you know exactly what you have
to get done and have a plan for accomplishing it. Here, we have some
tips to help you finish strong.
Inventory the must-dos. Your first step is taking
inventory of the work you have to do. Start by carefully checking each
syllabus and your planner or assignment notebook (or app if that’s your
schedule go-to). You want to be sure nothing falls through the cracks.
It might also be a good idea to email your professor if you’re worried
about missing any work or wondering if you could be doing something
extra to shore up your grade.
Prioritize. Once you have a handle on the work that
needs to be done, start building your plan for accomplishing it by
prioritizing the tasks. What will take longest? What is most important?
What should you start with? Rank the small goals as well as the big
Strategize. Take that prioritized list and come up
with a plan for accomplishing each task on it. Do you need to create
your own study guide for a course or two? Do you need to schedule a
virtual meeting with a professor, classmate, or study group? Note those
action plans with the relevant task.
Make a timeline. Sit down with a calendar and enter
each assignment, marking how many days it will reasonably take to finish
it, and accounting for your completion plans. A paper calendar will
probably work best here.
Create a schedule. This should be easy — just
convert your timeline to a schedule. So if it will take from Sunday
through Thursday to write your history term paper, your entry for Sunday
says “start history paper,” and so on. Having a schedule means every
time you sit down to work, you won’t waste time wondering what to do
Stick to your schedule. This could be the most
challenging part of working toward your strong finish. There will be
inevitable setbacks, and worries about COVID-19 will create serious
distractions, but don’t let them throw you off track. Get help when you
need it and be sure to stay on top of your game by staying healthy,
getting enough rest, and taking breaks to meet up virtually with