It’s that time of year again. Semester-long courses are coming to a close and your knowledge is about to be put to the test. As you try to fit in time to study for exams while dealing with work and family/personal commitments, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
Here are five ways to help manage your stress and your schedule as you approach the final weeks of class:
Stay focused on the future
Your motivation can suffer when you’re stressed. Rather than dwelling on how much you have to do, think about why you enrolled in school in the first place and what you hope to achieve by earning your degree. Make a list of your motivators and remind yourself of your goals when times get tough. Whether it’s advancing your career or securing a better financial future for your family, consider every assignment you complete and exam you pass as a step in the right direction.
Make a plan and stick to it
If you’ve procrastinated on your studying throughout the semester, it’s time to break that habit for good. Write down all of your deadlines, meetings and exam dates in your planner so that you can give yourself ample time to complete each assignment. Then, plan out which tasks you want to tackle each day. It might look like a lot, but breaking up your work into manageable sections will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Lean on your support network
Remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Your professors and advisors are there to help you succeed, so don’t hesitate to ask for extra help if you need it. Forming study groups with your classmates is also a great way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable to your academic commitments. Finally, your family and friends can lend a hand when you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed by helping you study or giving you encouragement and support.
Don’t forget to make time for yourself
Studying and working hard is important, but everyone needs a break. It is essential to dedicate some time to yourself to relax and recharge for the next day. Whether you spend time with family, go for a walk or go get dinner, you deserve time to relax. Anything that can take your mind off of everyday stressors will benefit you both academically and emotionally.
Celebrate your accomplishments
Most importantly, give yourself credit for everything you have accomplished thus far. As you prepare for final exams, reflect on all that you have learned over the course of your academic career, and be confident in your ability to finish strong. Staying motivated at the end of a busy semester isn’t easy, but your endless hours of studying and preparation will all pay off in the end when you walk across that stage at commencement.