Staying Sane and Finishing the Semester Strong


Photo Courtesy of Amanda Wampler.

Amanda Wampler '24, Associate Co-Managing Editor

In just a few short weeks, the semester will be coming to a close. With winter break not too far out of reach, it is important to stay focused on classes to finish out the semester strong. While these past weeks have been crazy and it may seem hard to focus, following a schedule and taking on a few new habits might increase your productivity. These are a few tips that you can adopt to help make it through the end of the semester.

Use the Pomodoro study technique 

This technique uses chunks of active study time and breaks to maximize productivity during a study session. Generally, it is best to use a 25-minute study session with a 5-minute break and then repeat that 4 times. After that, take a 30-minute break and repeat for as long as you need to study. The app, Forest, (available on IOS and Google Play) is one of my favorites to use; during your Pomodoro session, a tree will grow as long as you don’t leave the app and break your study session. It is a great way to not only incentivize your study habits and study for a long time, but also limit distractions. 

Have snacks on hand for long study sessions

Having nutritional snacks with you when you study can help increase your energy levels, so you don’t have to resort to energy drinks and coffee right away (though, who doesn’t love caffeine when studying). Fruits, vegetables, pretzels and hummus, and even dark chocolate are great to have available. That being said, don’t feel guilty for grabbing your favorite bag of chips or sweets. Most importantly, always keep water on hand.

Spend time with people, face-to-face

As great as technology can be for connecting people, it is important to maintain some in-person interactions during this time. Whether it’s a game night with your family or a COVID-friendly hangout with a friend, talking and interacting with people face-to-face is incredibly beneficial to your mental health. 

Treat yourself!

After a long day or week, be sure to set some time aside for yourself. Take time to watch a comfort show, cook your favorite meal, read a new book, try a new workout, vent in a journal, or write a letter to a friend. It is easy to feel guilty for taking a break during this time of constant productivity, but we all deserve a fulfilling break.

Making it through the rest of the semester requires balancing  hard work and studying with relaxing free time. The best way to focus on both is making to-do lists and daily schedules to maximize your time. Winter break might feel like a lifetime away, but you can do this!