Avoiding End of the Semester Chaos

1349964343947It seems that there is always a point in the school terms where everything feels like it’s piling up at once. Deadline after deadline approaches at lightning speeds and honestly all you want to do is catch your breath. I feel that 90% of the student population goes through this. Trust me. I’m going through this at this very second (and yet here I am writing a blog post, but I digress). Anyway, though this may be a little too late for those reaching the end of their quarters right now, I present to you my hard-earned advice that I wish I listened to on how to prevent that end of the semester chaos that brings stress levels to an all time high.

Have a schedule of all upcoming deadlines

As soon as you have your syllabuses for each class, look for any key test dates or project deadlines and make sure to have them in your planner/phone/bullet journal/whatever. This will allow you a nice way to prioritize your semester’s to do list and better organize your time.

In the last few weeks, be sure to have a master to do list at the ready

The last few weeks, no matter how well you manage to plan, can still get a little chaotic. Therefore, having a master list of things you need to get done before the end of term is a nice way of keeping yourself in check and on schedule. It also doubles as a nice way to make sure you don’t forget something important!

For big projects/papers, break them up into weekly chunks

When you have big projects or term papers, try and organize the workload into small chunks (For instance, perhaps during the first week you look up any necessary references or literature that is needed, then the following week you can create an outline, etc). This way, you can make sure that a the paper or project gets done a little bit each week, allowing the time near the deadline to be used for last minute finishing touches rather than desperately finishing everything on time.

Review your class notes regularly to prepare early for exams

To avoid cramming for several tests at the last minute, I recommend taking at least 10 minutes every day looking through your notes from your classes and at least 30 minutes each week to look over past material. This will allow you to store information about the subject in your head a little bit over time, instead of having to shove a bunch of information last minute. And, even if you do decide to do a last minute cramming session, at the very least you’ll already have a foundation of knowledge accumulated from the previous weeks, rather than trying to remember something that was said in class 10+ weeks ago.

Set aside recovery days

Honestly, almost no one can be a diligent student for the entire semester. I tried to once and failed miserably. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out by all the work you have to do, take a day to relax and recover because, personally, I’m exponentially less productive when I’m overwhelmed and overworked. Just be sure that these recovery days aren’t used for procrastination purposes.

Be flexible

I find, especially as I get older, that life just likes to find the most inconvenient way to mess up your nicely ironed out schedule. Therefore, be flexible on how you organize your time. There is bound to be something that comes up suddenly, or even a last minute assignment assigned by a teacher. There’s also a chance you forgot to account for something when you planned out your weeks. Don’t panic! Just take a deep breath, regroup and do what you can to plan around that kink in your schedule.

Well, that’s all I have. Don’t forget that if you have your own personal tips, to leave them in the comments below and help some students out. 🙂


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