Insights from BCC Research

12 Ways to Finish your Semester Strong

how-to-prepare-for-your-semesterIt’s getting to be that tough time in the semester, around Thanksgiving and Christmas break when you’re starting to mentally check out.

It’s understandable if you’re getting tired because you have been working hard all semester. But it’s just as important to finish your semester strong as it is to have a good start.

Today’s blog will provide other students with concrete advice and tips on how to wrap up your semester successfully, in terms of your grades and mental state, by utilizing the library and other campus resources effectively.

Make a Schedule
Create a study schedule, whether written in your planner or on your phone, and try your best to stick to it in order to stay focused and prevent procrastination. Ensure that your schedule is balanced to leave time for yourself to relax.

Here’s what your schedule might look like:

You could plan to study for class A for a few hours on Monday and Wednesday, and then study for class B Tuesday and Thursday for a few hours as well. You can reserve Friday as a day to schedule group study sessions or office hours with a professor.

While creating your schedule during your reading period, keep in mind that it’s realistic that you’ll study for each class for about an hour to an hour and a half each day.

Review Due Dates
It’s time to double-check your syllabus! Check all the latest due dates, announcements or the class discussion board to ensure that you’re updated.

Write these deadlines in your schedule so you’re reminded of what you have to do.

Know where you Stand
Check in with your professors to ensure that you’re on top of all your assignments and that you know where you stand academically. Knowing your current markings will help you know what you need to focus on for the rest of the semester.

Ask for Help
Visit your professors’ office hours or another academic advisor on campus if you need advice on how to finish the semester successfully.

Click here if you need some guidance on how to approach a professor for help.

Work with a Study Group
If you find that you’re struggling to focus and get work done on your own, seek out other students from your classes as motivation. You can all collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.

Be sure to work with people who will not be a distraction!

Use Positive Reinforcements
For extra motivation, reward yourself after finishing big tasks. Maybe that means going out for a meal with friends or shopping around your college town!

Giving yourself something to look forward to can help you stay focused, boost productivity and motivate you to complete your work on time.

Review What you Want to Study
Figuring out exactly what you want to study before a study session will help you be more productive and focused.

Make a to-do list of what you want to review so you don’t waste time. Make your to-do items concrete. For example, instead of saying you’ll study for class, plan to study a specific chapter of your textbook.

Prioritize your Work
Many students fall into a mid-semester slump because they are burned out from multi-tasking with all their schoolwork and other commitments. When you’re in this state, try to complete deadlines one at a time so you can really focus and finish each task to the best of your ability.

Again, try to create a to-do list or a schedule to help you organize.

How Can the Library You?

Visit your Reference Librarian

If you have a big research paper coming up, seek out your reference librarian. Many librarians specialized in certain disciplines—so that you can receive personalized guidance.

Reference librarians can also help guide and narrow down your research. Some students tend to consider themselves “digital natives,” but they often lost in the digital platforms, such as Jstor, PubMed or Academic Search Complete. It’s therefore important to visit your librarian to have them help you break material down.

If you’re struggling to think of a topic for a final paper or project, a reference librarian can help strike ideas and gather your thoughts.

Click here for advice on how to approach your Reference Librarian.

Find your Study Space

It’s typically harder to focus on the first floor of the library because it’s often loud and distracting. Usually the top floors of the library are quieter and more productive for studying because there are not as many disturbances.

Look for an open study room. Study rooms are great for group study sessions because you can all talk aloud without distracting others.

Refine your Research with Databases

Most college libraries have an InterLibrary Loan or a LibrarySearch+, which provides you with wide access to various journals and databases.

These sources are helpful to use for a final paper or another assignment because they will help broaden your research by including more perspectives on your topic.

Make an Appointment with a Student Tutor

Most college libraries have student academic resource centers to help with writing and studying. Schedule an appointment with a student tutor if you need someone to review a paper or if you are seeking study tips.

Written by Daniella Pascucci on Nov 25, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Daniella is our Academic Insights Strategist and a current senior at Bates College. She writes about challenges facing college students and tangible ways students can thrive in their academic and professional lives.

Topics: Academic Institutions