It’s The Final Countdown: A Topper’s guide to conquering fall semester


Juan Diaz / Hilltop Views

The Munday Library will have extended hours during finals week.

It’s that time of the year again. Professors have decided to assign two group projects, three papers and a presentation all due in the same week. Not only that, but your mom called telling you she’s coming to visit and she’s bringing your aunts with her for a girls’ weekend. Everything’s pretty hectic. You might be feeling overwhelmed, and that’s totally valid. To make this end-of-semester rush a bit more manageable, I’ve compiled a list of ways to only keep yourself motivated and how to take care of yourself during this stressful time.


Keep a positive attitude

Work on not letting doubt and fear consume you. When faced with challenges, maintain a positive attitude and focus on your goals. Tell yourself you can do it, and you’ll be able to take the steps needed to reach your goal(s). Do things that make you feel confident instead of increasing your fear of failure.


Acknowledge your progress

It’s easy to forget where you once were compared to where you are now. Give yourself some credit. You’ve come a long way. Make a list of your recent accomplishments to remind yourself of how capable you are.


Stay organized

Staying motivated is hard to do when you’re not organized. Being organized can mean making your bed every morning or keeping a bullet journal. It doesn’t matter how you do it– what matters is that it gets done. Cleaning up your workspace and utilizing your Google Calendar is a good start.


Make sure to get enough sleep

Who gets the least amount of sleep is rapidly becoming a competition. While pulling all-nighters might seem like a good idea at the time, it does more harm than good. You won’t be able to retain as much information and you’ll become a lot more irritable– not to mention the physical strain it puts on your body. Aim for eight to 10 hours of sleep. If you manage your time well and stay organized, you won’t need to sacrifice your sleep.


Learn to forgive yourself

Things happen and it’s sometimes easy to fall behind. That’s okay. What matters is that you pick yourself up and keep going. Avoid being self-critical and practice being compassionate towards yourself, in the same ways you are towards your peers. Calm your nerves once in a while by using the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breathe in for four seconds, hold it for seven, and let it go for eight. Repeat this three to four times. This cleansing and energizing exercise saturates your bloodstream with oxygen.


Remember to take breaks

It’s easy to become overwhelmed at this time of the year. Take time out of tedious tasks to do something you enjoy. You’ll feel rejuvenated and look at things from a fresh perspective afterward. Do this in moderation.


There are many ways to keep yourself motivated, and there are definitely no wrong ones.

As Van Gogh once said, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” You got this.