Caudill: End-of-semester survival guide


Brian Hayes

It’s time to break out the books for the last stretch of the semester.

The end of the semester can be a looming catastrophe or a shining success, and it all depends on how you handle it.

I should be writing my final speech, working on my final project, or studying for one of my final exams — but I’m not.

Instead, I’m writing a column about a few of the things I’ve learned in my first semester as a Shocker freshman, in the hopes that I can help some of you survive the last two weeks of the fall semester.


Tip No. 1 – Prioritize


In the final two weeks of the semester, you might begin to feel overwhelmed by an excessive amount of deadlines and due dates, but, by keeping your priorities straight, you can prepare yourself to meet your end-of-semester goals.

Everyone has his or her own set of priorities. The important thing is to analyze them and keep them in-check. I often ask myself, “Is there something more productive I could be doing right now?”

That’s not to say that you should feel guilty for having free time, but make sure your duties take priority over rest and relaxation. In reality, by doing the things you have to with a sense of urgency, you end up with better, more relaxing free time.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s much less fulfilling to waste two hours worrying about the work you need to do than to finish it and have some truly free time to yourself. As the semester comes to a close, let the prospect of blissful free time be your motivation to power through and get stuff done.


Tip No. 2 – Use a Calendar


This isn’t my most important tip, but using a calendar has been essential to my success this semester. It sounds basic, but maintaining an organized and updated calendar could help you get your ducks in a row at the end of the semester.

Whenever your week resets — Sunday for me — take some time to enter upcoming events, important dates and deadlines, and weekly responsibilities you may have.

For the final two weeks of the semester, these can be dates and locations of your final exams, important deadlines for final projects, or that one last for-credit event you have to attend for your seminar class.

Your calendar doesn’t have to be in the form of a physical planner, either. I personally use a calendar app on my laptop. A desktop calendar, a journal, or a calendar app on your phone could be just what you need.

Live and die by the calendar.


Tip No. 3 – Ask for Help


Whether you’re a wide-eyed freshman or a hardened senior, there may come a point this semester when you’re at your wit’s end.

Does a final essay prompt seem off? Are you forgetting something from your final review? Did you get lost on the way to a study group? Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

From fellow students to professors and counselors, there’s any number of people who are looking out for you and are invested in your success as the winter semester comes to a close. The biggest mistake you can make is to avoid these resources when it matters the most.