10 Simple things you can do to finish the semester strong
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10 Simple things you can do to finish the semester strong

Here are 10 simple things you can do to make sure you finish your semester strong as a college student. I witnessed this so many times during my undergrad.

I noticed I would be running with the top dogs and we would all be at top speed leading up to the midterms, the midterm results come out and sure enough they were giving me a real run for my money only to see the cumulative class results and be disappointed.

If you don’t want to be like them then this is the blog post for you.

I will say for the record that this has happened to me too, I talked all about it in my post about how to make a study guide.

The thing is if you have been working hard from the start of the semester then don’t let that effort be for anything. If you were running at top speed then the second half of the semester is not the time to slow down, you can slow down after your finals. Now, onto how to finish your semester strong.

1.   Attendance

One of the things that I noticed was that after midterms week people slowly stop showing up for their classes. I have said this before and I will repeat it here, attendance is crucial for so many reasons. I have talked about this until I am blue in the face I shall link that post here.

Attendance gives you free points but only if you bother to show your face. It is crucial and those free points could be the difference between a good grade and a great one.

2.   Assignments

If you were taking your assignments seriously before then stay on it. Do them well. Complete them preferably before the deadline and get your instructor’s take on it.

You would be surprised how that simple thing could be the one to save you. Perhaps you answered the wrong question, perhaps you missed something.

If you want to finish your semester strong then show those assignments whose boss!

3.   Consultation

This could be for anything. If there is something you don’t get then go and consult. If you don’t have any questions for your instructor then you could ask them where your grades are so far.

A good instructor is able to tell you what your total is at any point in time. You find out where you are and you will be in a position to make better choices.

You will know whether you need a make-up exam or whether you can still make your goal grade without it.

4.   Extra credit

Consultation leads us neatly to the next thing you could do to finish your semester strong, extra credit. This will depend on your instructor.

Instructors are very different in how they treat extra credit. There are those who use extra credit to even out scores for a test that everyone tanks but here is the thing, if you never did the extra credit assignment, then when everyone is getting those mercy points you will be out of grace.

5.   Group work

Here is another ditch to avoid. You need to lean into your group assignment. Your group members may be annoying but y’all are still playing for the same team.

Find a way to make it work. Find a way to get along and if there is someone who is weighing the group down, whistleblow on their ass.

GPAs are not shared. When you miss your chance at graduating with honors you won’t be up there saying it was XYZ who was to blame.

Nope, it will be too late then and no one will care. Your GPA is your responsibility. If you let someone pull it down it’s not on them, it’s squarely on you!

6.   Participation

This will save you from droning out in class. This will help build a great rapport with your instructor.

Participate, be part of the conversation, give your input and provide controversial opinions. Don’t forget you pay for your seat, make it worth every penny!

7.   Presentations

What happens once you’ve finished putting your group assignment together? Presentations, that’s right. I’m not sure how your school works but the points were divided evenly.

You get half for putting the work together and a half for the presentation. This is the time to bring you’re A-game.

As your instructor if there is a dress code for the day, why do I say this? Because some instructors have those and they might disclose this or just lay in wait like a predictor then cut y’all points for it. Be prepared. Be bothered enough to ask.

In terms of the actual presentation itself, practice a little or a lot [depending on your presentation skills] before the day so the ideas flow freely, and speak loudly and clearly so that your audience understands your presentation.


8.   Study & write

I have also discussed this in the post about creating an awesome study guide. When you are revising you need to study and write summary notes also known as a study guide or as mwakenyas as we locally call them here in the homeland.

Your mind is incapable of remembering everything you review unless you’re a Sheldon [reference from the big bang theory].

The brain absorbs information like a sponge when we write it down so be sure to write down summary notes while you’re studying.

9.   Term paper

Some classes have this, some don’t. A term paper is also known as a research paper weighing a quarter of the total points.

Guys, you have to take this seriously. The funny thing about this is that most people lose points for the format not the material per se, so do yourself a favor and ask the instructor how they like their work done.

You can play a guessing game or you can know for sure by getting it straight from the horse’s mouth.

10.        Sleep

Last but simply not least, get enough sleep towards the end. Your brain will betray you if you don’t give it ample time to rest. This is all from experience.

What I love about all these things I’m sharing is that I have already made all these mistakes and more but here is the thing, don’t be like me. If I can save you from some of the then let me, okay?

Get enough sleep, and don’t pull more than one all-nighter a week if you can help it. I mean for majors where this is completely unavoidable then don’t mind me but if you can avoid it, then do.

In conclusion, don’t betray yourself towards the end. In the words that pushed me to the end of my undergraduate, don’t get tired. It is exhausting work but you can handle it. You can, I did it and so can you, I believe in you. Here is to hoping you finish your semester strong.

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