We’re moving towards the end of the semester and it can be extremely stressful.  Between barely making it past midterms and finals and move out day approaching on the horizon, the end of any semester is notoriously rough.  Here are some suggestions to survive end of semester blues.

First things first: Get organized and keep a written record.  I know this seems basic, but making sure you have all of your due dates and exam dates (especially final exam dates) written down can be extremely helpful.  It’s one thing to know in your head you have something due and another to keep a record.  Just having a mental schedule can lead to mix-ups and added weight and stress on the mind that you don’t need.  If you don’t already have a planner or calendar, I would suggest finding one or trying to create some sort of recording system.  Even if it’s just listing all your upcoming and important due dates on a sheet of paper, it will still be a great way to have an easy and quick reference of what to expect in your upcoming weeks.

If after you’ve written everything that needs to be accomplished in the next weeks and you’re feeling completely overwhelmed by what you have to do, the next thing to do is prioritize.  Make an assessment of your classes and start thinking about what needs the most of your time.  Say for instance there’s a class that you’ve been performing well in all semester and you’re not so worried about you ability to do well on your final paper or project, you might want to spend less time on that class and more time working on the class that has been challenging for you all semester.

But knowing where most of your time should go to is not the only thing you should try to do.  You also want to be able to manage your time.  I’m sure the last thing you want to do is spend five hours on just your American history class. So for this, I would say break up your work in to manageable chunks that are easy to work with.  For example, two hours for history, then a short break, then an hour doing that chemistry homework.

One thing to not be afraid of is taking breaks.  Build breaks into your schedule, especially breaks that involve something active, whether that’s a gym workout or a walk around campus. Include some time for fun, but don’t let hanging out with friends or other activities take away from the time you need for studying and other work. Sometimes, the best thing to do if you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed is to walk away for a little bit. Take a walk, get a coffee with a friend, go to the gym – do something that isn’t working for an hour or so and come back. You might be surprised by how re-energized you feel.

If all else fails, see Counseling Services. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed or very anxious about your work at the end of the semester, you can see a counselor who can help you with managing anxiety and will keep whatever you say in the strictest confidence.

Putting at least of few of these suggestions into practice now can really help reduce your stress level as you head into the end of the semester and final exams.