Lifestyle · Tips/Advice

Surviving Senioritis: 7 Tips to Getting Through Your Last Semester in College

Thinking about how much I've accomplished in my last semester.  JK, I'm thinking about pizza...
Thinking about how much I’ve accomplished. JK, I’m thinking about pizza…

So you’ve started the semester and thought, “I can do this.  It’s my last semester.  Senioririts won’t get the best of me getting into the real world and making a 6-figure salary right away.”  But let’s be real…senioritis can’t really be avoided.  OK, maybe you won’t make that 6-figure salary right after graduation (sorry to burst your bubble), but you can make it through senioritis…even if the semester has already started and you were super ambitious and thought it wouldn’t.  Only to realize that you’re already in I-want-this-to-be-over-now mode.  No, I don’t have any personal experience with this.  And by no personal experience I meant…meow. 😉

OK, fine.  I had major senioritis.  Even thinking about it makes me go into an endless daydream of the beach and margaritas…mmmmm.  I’ll take mine with sugar on the rim, please.  No salt.  Screw it, just bring me one of each.

Alright, back on track.  Survival mode.  You can do this.  Trust me, if I can, you can.  And here’s how you’re going to do it.

Tip 1:  Start strong!

We all know that at the beginning of the semester we’re all pumped and ready for action.  Don’t worry, the laziness doesn’t come right away.  You might feel it now, but it only gets worse (sorry!).  That’s why it’s great to start strong.  Ace all of the first assignments and then you will be able to be a little more relaxed at the end and worry about all the fun graduation stuff instead of worrying about barely passing the classes because you procrastinated too much.

Tip 2:  Worry About What Matters

In terms of courseload, figure out what matters most.  Which assignments are weighted the highest?  Which assignments can you worry less about?  If you’re pressed for time, don’t sweat the little things and worry about the big ones.  Sometimes, you can earn a not-so-impressive F in the little stuff, but if you ace the big pieces, you may still be able to get an A (or something else equally acceptable) in the class – it all depends on how much the weight of that grade is!  Of course, don’t forget that the little things can really boost your grade from one letter grade to another, higher one.  But, when you’re stressed, this is a good thing to keep in mind.

Click here to use the calculator I used to help me with calculating the grades.  You can ask it what grades you need to make the grade you want – a HUGE stress reliever!

Keep in mind that worrying about what matters most can also apply to classes.  A 4-hour credit class grade will have a bigger effect on your overall GPA than a 1-hour credit class would.

Tip 3:  Have Some Mindless Time

Most people will tell you to work out and meditate or to do yoga – and if that’s what will get your mind off things, great!  If you’re like me, who stresses out about working out, do something else.  I’m not saying be completely inactive, after all working out does help alleviate some of that stress, but don’t make it another chore for yourself.

Watching TV a la Dance Moms really worked for me.  It gave my mind a break from the constant reading.  And when it was time to go back to the school grind, I was refreshed.  Whether this is working out, taking a nap, or crafting, make time to relieve your brain from the constant studying.  Being in a continuous study mode is not really studying – you turn into a reading robot without actually retaining any information.  Give your brain a break! 🙂

Tip 4:  Get Organized Immediately

Enter all your dates in your calendar NOW!  Add time to write your papers and time to read the assigned chapters in there as well.  Doing this as soon as possible will help you remember what you need to do and by when.  If you don’t have a planner and put everything in your phone’s calendar like I do, add reminders, too.  That really helps with not dropping the ball as the semester rolls on through.

I would put events in my calendar to complete all parts of my research paper that was due at the end of the semester.  I added a deadline for myself to finish the intro, the second/third/fourth paragraph, the conclusion, etc..  By the time the semester was coming to an end, it was much easier to complete without being rushed.

Tip 5:  Make Time for Chores

Nothing will suck the ambition out of you like procrastination.  And nothing will feed procrastination like those chores.  Don’t fight it, incorporate it into your schedule.  Spend every Sunday cleaning your entire house, doing laundry, washing the car, etc.  Whatever chore(s) you know will make you put off school work, make time for them.  If the house is clean every week, then you won’t be prone to procrastinate.  Yes, you might stop to clean here and there, but a nice, long day of cleaning will minimize that risk.

Tip 6:  Plan a Trip!

Plan a nice, long vacation to celebrate graduation.  This will be a nice way to reward yourself for working hard and give you something to look forward to.

Tip 7:  Stay busy

Don’t have too much free time!!  That will just hold you up by making you lazy and giving you the perception that you have “plenty of time to finish school work.”  Have as much time as realistically possible planned.  Having too much free time can, and will, backfire.  Unless you’re that small percentage that is super disciplined (and let’s face it, we’re not…otherwise, why are we reading these tips ;)) who can proactively study, you need to be forced to study.  And what better way to force yourself than by making sure that you don’t have any other time but now to review your notes and prepare for the next class??

In the end, you’ll survive.  And a month after graduation you’ll realize how easy it really was and that you were unnecessarily stressed.  Do you have any other tips to share?  Sound off in the comments.

Happy Last Semester…there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Wear the hat, be the hat, you are the hat…thanks, Miss Congeniality, for your life lessons.

lizLAUERS signature

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