How to survive the last weeks of school

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by ELLEN BECKER, Managing Editor—
As the end of the semester draws near, students are busy writing papers, studying for finals and panicking over assignments they should have done months ago.
And the closer it gets to Christmas break, the harder it’s becoming to find motivation.
It gets dark early and the cold weather makes me want to stay inside, drink hot tea and watch movies while snuggled up in a big, warm blanket.
Unfortunately, with my job, two research papers, a big project and three finals coming up, that’s not a possibility.
I also have a few friends that are suffering with senioritis, which can be quite debilitating. I know from experience.
It’s a tough battle fighting the constant laziness and lack of focus that comes with being so close to graduation.
So to combat the cruel grasp of procrastination and lack of motivation, I’ve decided to share some helpful tips I’ve gathered over the years.
1) Don’t try to do everything at once.
If you have a big project or paper, spread out your work load.
This will help the assignment seem less monumental and daunting. If you work on it a little at a time, maybe for an hour a day, it will be much less stressful.
2) Don’t procrastinate.
I know this is easier said than done, and we all do it. But there’s nothing worse than realizing that paper you thought you had weeks to work on is due in two days.
3) Minimize distractions.
When I try to do an assignment at home, everything in my room becomes 10 times more interesting than normal. I get distracted by TV, music, my pets, etc.
Going to the library helps tremendously. I find it even more beneficial to get a study room. That way, I won’t be distracted by people who refuse to be quiet, even though I give them the death glare.
4) Avoid social media.
I know it’s tempting to check Facebook and Twitter, and I often find myself doing it.
I used to reward myself by checking Facebook after every new paragraph I wrote on a paper, but that method never ended well.
Eventually, I would look at the clock and realize I’d been surfing the news feed for almost an hour, and now had even less time to do my assignment.
You can even temporarily deactivate your Facebook account, and reactivate it after finals are over.
5) Take study breaks.
Staring at a textbook or computer screen for hours on end not only makes your brain tired, but your eyes as well.
I find it helpful to take a break every two hours or so. Stepping away from your work for a bit can also give you fresh perspective when you come back.
6) Get plenty of sleep.
Even if pulling an all-nighter sounds like a good idea, it’s typically not.
You’ll be able to focus and function much better if you get an adequate night’s rest.
Overall, try not to stress yourself out.
Just remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t score perfectly on an exam, or if your paper ends up being seven pages long instead of eight.
It’s not worth panicking over something that you won’t even remember in a couple months.
During these last weeks of school, just keep reminding yourself that it’ll all be over soon.
So take a deep breath, try to relax, and get that paper started.