Tips to avoid the End-of-Semester Slump

studying

As finals and the end of the semester creep closer each day, students sometimes experience an end-of-semester slump. To keep your student focused and motivated through the end of the year, encourage your son or daughter to try these 10 easy tips to stay refreshed and excited about their studies: 

  1. Take a break. Encourage your student to schedule a 15-minute break after 45-90 minutes of study, research or focused work. A break will help students refresh their thoughts by stimulating their brain with oxygen and blood from exercise or meditation. Even a break to chat with friends or grab a cup of coffee will help students return to their work with fresh eyes and new ideas.
  2. Make lists and stay organized. Is your student using a daily planner or calendar? Does he or she take notes during class and file them in a binder or accordion folder? If your student is tech savvy, he or she can use Google Calendar and Google Docs to keep track of end of year assignments. Good organizational skills reduce the stress of searching for lost notes and forgotten assignments. Daily calendars not only remind students of upcoming exams and projects but also give them the satisfaction of checking off completed tasks.
  3. Cut out distractions. Productive multitasking is a myth. A recent LifeHack article found that students who text, study and watch TV simultaneously actually accomplish less than students who focus on one task at a time. Encourage your student to focus on one subject, paper or project at a time and only utilize social media or email during scheduled breaks. Distractions interrupt important study time and make it more difficult to focus. Tech-savvy students can use the Self-Control app to limit tech-driven distractions on their computers, tablets and smartphones. Users set a timer for when they should be working and the app disables distracting websites like Facebook and Twitter until the timer runs out.
  4. Stop procrastinating. It actually takes more time to procrastinate on a project or paper than it does to complete it. Remind your students that proper time management creates less stress as the semester draws to a close.
  5. Go to class and think of your long-term goals. Woody Allen once said, “80 percent of success is showing up.” If your students want to be successful at NCSU, they must go to class, especially at the end of the semester. Ask your student to think about his or her long-term goals after this semester and after graduation. How will their success now help them achieve their long-term goals? Keep those answers in mind to overcome the end-of-semester slump.
  6. Get in touch with your circadian rhythm. Each person has a natural time during the day when he or she is most productive. Listen to your body. If your student is a morning person, suggest he or she tackle the most challenging tasks of the day during that time and save easier projects for later. A few hours of challenging productivity will help your student push through the end of the semester.
  7. Make studying fun. Nobody likes to study for finals. Encourage your student to find a creative way to make studying fun. Students can form study groups, make flashcards or use pneumonic devices to make studying for finals less boring.
  8. Think positive. A positive attitude is sometimes difficult to muster during a time of high stress. However, keeping a positive attitude will help students overcome the end-of-semester slump. The power of positive thinking makes daunting tasks less overwhelming and boring study time less tedious.   
  9. Take care of yourself. Encourage your student to eat healthy and sleep. Proper brain food will help students sustain a difficult study schedule at the end of the semester. Brains also need time to recharge and refresh after studying. Students should try to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night, but 8 hours is preferred to perform at peak capacity.
  10. Reward yourself. Once your students achieve their goals or complete difficult study tasks, remind them to reward themselves. They’ve earned it! Students should even reward themselves for completing their daily tasks. Incentives help keep students motivated through the end of the year.

How do your students overcome the end-of-semester slumps? Share your thoughts with University Housing on Facebook or email!