Tips for finishing the semester right


Audrey GryakSpecial to the Southern News

Many college students know that it is easy to lose focus as the fall semester draws to a close. Expectations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’ are usually prioritized over tests and final dates. Getting back on track does not have to be difficult with some tips from fellow students that will make finishing the semester that much easier.

“In order to finish the semester right, my main tip is to stay focused and not become lazy. As the semester ends, it is the time to finish strong. Grades are important, but are not the sole factor to success. If someone was not doing well in a class and improved their grades, it shows that they bounced back and were determined to stay focused,” said Aaron White, a freshman majoring in Management Information Systems.

White said that removing outside distractions can allow someone to focus better.

“Make sure to reward yourself for studying. When working on a paper, write a paragraph or two and take a break and come back to it,” said White. “Make sure not to get sidetracked and put all of your focus into what you can do.”

White added that it is very easy to get bored of a routine, so sometimes you have to do something differently so that your mind stays in the game, and that you can stay focused.

“My main motivation is that I want to defeat stereotypes that plague African-Americans. I want to prove that not all African-Americans are lazy, and want to be an example of what a model African-American would look like,” said White.

Katherine Rodriguez, a freshman majoring in social work, also had some tips to share; “Try not to slack off because it’s the end of the semester. Keep trying to finish the semester strong and keep your grades up. Also, don’t get lazy over Thanksgiving break and stay on track,” Rodriguez said that she likes to use note cards because they can be used to study at any time. “You can study from them when you’re walking to class or when you’re waiting for class to start, and notecards are really helpful for remembering vocab terms as well.”

Rodriguez said that she wants to get her degree and keep her GPA up so that she can get into the social work program; “I want to make my parents proud, specifically my mom, as she is a clinical social worker and inspires me.”

Lizzie Cerino and Michael Lauer, who are front office managers at the Academic Success Center, had some advice for finishing the semester and listed resources to help students who may be struggling.

“Try to persevere and stay motivated so that you can finish the semester strong. Stay positive and keep pushing through it. Trust the learning process and when you feel like giving up, remember that resources are there to help,” said Lizzie Cerino, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies. “The Academic Success Center has success workshops and writing centers that deal with both academic and student concerns.”

Michael Lauer, a junior majoring in secondary education, said that students can come to the Academic Success Center with any questions that they might have.

“If a person doesn’t know how to read schedules or grids for the next semester, they can come to us and get help,” said Lauer. “They can know where to find answers about most school related problems.”

Lauer also said not to lose focus as it is so close to the end of the semester.

“The holidays can cause people to get sidetracked and lose track of what’s important. So try to stay focused and prepare for next semester,” said Lauer.

Cerino and Lauer also had some organization tips for people who like to procrastinate.

“Create a time management or budgeting schedule. Do a bit of work at a time so that it won’t pile up at the end of the semester. As the semester draws to a close, use time wisely and take breaks efficiently. If you hit a writer’s block, rest your brain to regain time for more productive work,” said Cerino.

Lauer agreed with this and advised students to study in a space where you won’t be distracted, such as a library or study hall.

“Try to remove distractions and get your work done in one sitting or take short breaks if you need to,” said Lauer, “depending on how you study.”

Photo Credit: Audrey Gryak

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