For the next two weeks the majority of us will be bogged down by endless assignments, finals and lengthy papers. While it’s easy to lose your motivation and throw up your hands, I hope you have the strength to finish strong.
Right about now I’m looking at my Canvas calendar and feeling an inexplicable sort of anxiety that only comes around this time of the year. I know I’m not the only one. Most of us feel this, and it’s so much easier just to give up and hope for the best.
Dear reader, I hope you have it in you to keep trudging along, even if it takes more out of you than it should. You’ve worked hard this entire semester and you owe it to yourself to be able to sit at your family’s dining room table on Christmas and say you put all the effort you could into this semester.
Each semester, at least for me and a lot of the people I know, starts strong. Nonetheless, it ends rough. In the beginning we’re well-rested, eager to learn and convinced we’ll make good grades. By the end, we’re beaten down, exhausted and either binge-eating or living off of ramen noodles. It’s easy to just let finals pass by without putting in much effort. Couple everything piling on at once with the lack of sleep, and it’s the perfect recipe for losing your will to make it to your 8:00 a.m. final or binge-watching “The Office” for the seventh time instead of studying for that macroeconomics exam you have coming up.
Instead of participating in this crash and burn behavior, be proactive now. Stockpile your fridge with food that’ll give you energy, start outlining for that final now, actually step foot into office hours instead of assuming your educated guess is right.
Do something now to prevent yourself from becoming overworked during finals week.
While you might think the above advice isn’t possible now because you’ve already got a jam-packed schedule, I’m here to tell you it’ll only get worse if you don’t start now. Take the five to ten minutes each day and start cracking open those dusty books that have been sitting on your coffee table as decoration all semester. Skip the Netflix shows for a bit. Get off of Snapchat, and try to keep your load as manageable as possible by making it work now, not the night before you have three finals back-to-back.
I say all of this not to nag you fellow gators but to make you realize with a little extra work now, you can easily make it through the next two to three weeks without having a mental breakdown. It will take planning, and it will take some extra work. You will probably have to sacrifice some nights out.
But when the semester is over, your hard work will be worth it.
To those of you who are in the same boat as I am and are struggling to make it through your last semester because life and getting a job are both looming over your head, I want you to know it’s OK to feel frustrated and done with college. It’s not OK to let that be the reason you don’t pass. We’ve all made it this far, so don’t let graduation slip through your fingertips because of senioritis.
Above all else, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors or to UF if you’re struggling. There isn’t any shame in admitting you need help or you don’t understand something. Though we might often see professors as big, bad wolves who enjoy watching us do poorly on an assignment, they went into teaching to help, so make the effort to show them you’re interested and you’ll meet them halfway.
Sara Marino is a UF Journalism senior. Her column appears on Wednesdays.