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The Break is Over. Let's Finish What We Started.

It’s hard to believe we’re past the halfway mark in the semester! It seems like you just got back from the winter break. You really did just get back from Spring Break and now there are 8 weeks (or less) left in the semester. With basketball tournaments in full swing and the weather beginning to turn, it’s so easy to get caught up in that and just wanting May to arrive.

Before you tune out and look past the next 8 weeks and into your summer plans, let’s talk about how you can make the most of the time that’s left in the semester to finish strong. No matter what your academic status, you can end on a positive note. Just like everything in life, when you identify what works and what doesn’t, then commit to changing what doesn’t – a little bit every day – then things usually go well. The key is knowing yourself . . . your goals . . . your talents . . . you strengths . . . your limitations.

You may have seen the recent scandal about parents who paid large sums of money to get their students into certain schools. While this is the reality of many people of means, it’s not the case for most of us. (It was DEFINITELY not the case for me.) Some of these parents were pushing their students to have experiences the parents didn’t have and/or attempting to live vicariously through their students. Maybe they just wanted their child to have the best opportunity possible to succeed. Regardless of what it was, many of those students will be just fine after the dust settles.

You and I, as regular folks, don’t have that luxury. We have to stay on top of our game. We must do everything we possibly can to be successful because there is no bail out for us. However, realistically, lift happens. We do have issues and/or we have to figure out a lot of this ourselves without being able to lean on a financial safety net created by our parents. So what do we do to make sure these next few weeks are AWESOME?

Well, there are a few things. They are all about being real . . . with yourself and about what is possible. The first thing you can do is look back at your semester goals and assess whether or not you are on track to achieve them. If you are, keep it up. Don’t lose that momentum by deciding to coast through the last few weeks. Once you do that, review all assessments where you received less than your goal grade and take them to your professor or TA. Use your syllabus, or classroom management system (Blackboard, Canvas, etc.) to calculate the scores you need on remaining assignments to reach your goal grade.

If you haven’t already, record the due dates for your remaining assignments and tests – including the time and date of your final – in your planner. Work backwards to determine when you have to begin finals prep. Build in time to retake old tests and quizzes, see your instructor, and participate in study groups. If you need to kick it in gear, now is the time.

These things are just a start, but they are part of the process. College is a journey. Life is a journey. There are so many things we can’t control. But with intention and discipline, there are events we can set into motion that will make all the difference. You CAN finish strong . . . if you choose to.

“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” ~Invictus, William Ernest Henley



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