The end is near

We are nearing the middle of November, and fortunately, the semester is coming to a close. Unfortunately, it is also the conflicting point in time where it is easy to get excited about the end of school, but it’s not yet time to kick back and relax completely.

Here are some tips that I have learned over the past three years to stick it out until the end, while continuing to manage time efficiently.

1. It’s okay to say “no” to your friends.
This situation usually arises at least once: You have a paper due in two days that you know you should have started a week ago, but you don’t want to miss out on the double kegger that all your friends are going to. Chances are, working on your paper will be a better option in the long haul. You probably won’t be missing much, and you will be relieved when you return to your work the next day and realize you are halfway done. Besides, there will always be another double kegger.

2. It’s okay to say “yes” to your friends.
At this point, it may seem like you need to focus all of your precious energy on just making it out of the semester alive, but spending too much time on schoolwork can be draining. Going out to forget your troubles can give you just enough time away to come back with unforgettable memories and a better disposition towards the pile of work. Watching your social life spiral down the drain can be depressing, and it adds more stress. Go out and enjoy your youth.

3. Sometimes, taking time to recharge alone is the best way to clear your head.
Deciding to squeeze in a party and then spending the rest of the weekend recovering from a hangover while wondering how you’re going to finish your homework, study for your test, grocery shop and clean your apartment is enough to freak anyone out. At least a couple of days a week, spend the night alone, watching a movie in your sweats and eating Hot Pockets to get away from the overload of outside stimulus.

4. Organizing and cleaning really does help.
It seems like one more thing on the to do list, but losing essential items like keys and notebooks in your décor of empty chip bags and dirty clothes is just plain stressful. This is especially true when your class starts in ten minutes, and you’re running around in a frenzy searching for clean pants. Taking ten minutes to straighten up your room and make sure you know where things are can take off some of the extra stress. Throw a load of laundry in the washer while you are working on your homework so you aren’t forced to show up to class in a grungy t-shirt that you forgot you spilled nacho cheese on last week.

5. Don’t stress about being stressed.
This is a big one. When you’ve got so much to do, it can create excess noise in your head that makes you feel like you’re unable to do any of it. It’s the classic “deer in the headlights” feeling of college. Acknowledge that you have a few more assignments that usual that you need to complete, but don’t allow your mind to get stuck on the thought. Write a schedule of tasks and assignments to do each day that will guarantee you make it through the week without having to make sacrifices.