How to Finish Strong in Your Last Semester of College

By Shakeitha Graham on August 26, 2017

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The last semester of college can be very hectic and stressful. We all want to do well and may overcompensate because we want to make a great last impression. It is the last semester before we complete our degree program and graduate so there is a lot of pressure to finish strong.

We often get anxious about the last semester because it is the last few weeks of our college experience before we have to go out into the world of adulthood. Transitioning from a college student to adulthood can be scary. We may wonder if we are prepared to take that next big step. There are also those of us that get “senioritis” and just coast through the last few weeks of college as if it means nothing to us.

Either way, it can be difficult to get through those final weeks of school. You may have a huge presentation you have to do for your finals and it can be nerve-racking. Here are some tips that can help you to finish strong in your last semester/term of school.

Get an early start

I am all about getting a head start on my class assignments. It is important to take advantage of every extra minute of time you get. If it is possible, while you are on break or if you finish early in a previous class, get access to your assignments for your final classes so you can get a head start on those assignments.

Try to do all you can in the amount of early time you have. However, do not rush for the sake of finishing faster. Take your time so that you will be less likely to make mistakes. If you are confused about some directions, do not hesitate to ask for help. Do not forget to utilize all the resources you have. Since you started early, you have more time to perfect your assignments before turning them in.

Choose the topic of your final project in the first week of the semester

For some degree programs, there are major projects that you may have to do before graduating. You may have to create and give an oral presentation in front of an audience of your peers, instructors, administrators, and advisors as a final step in earning your chosen degree. It would be wise for you to choose the topic you are going to present in the first week of your final classes.

This will allow you to start brainstorming ideas for your project so you will be better prepared to give the presentation during your finals. Getting a head start on this big project will cut down on stress and anxiety. Then, you will be in the right headspace when it is time to present this project.

Do your best

Most of the time, we are our own worst critics. We are hard on ourselves because we want to do well in everything we do. However, all we can do is our best. I read a quote in a book once that said: “Your best will not always be the same.”

Sometimes our best will not be great, but if we put forth our best effort each time, no matter how good or bad it may be, we will less likely feel the pressure and anxiety of wanting to do well or be perfect at what we are doing. You will be at peace knowing that you are doing the best you can in your circumstances. So, no matter how good or bad the quality of your best may be, always do your best.

Stay positive

It is easy to let the little voice in our heads fill us with doubt and negativity. That little voice is our insecurities trying to place the seed of fear in us to see how we are going to respond to it. We can either give into it or fight against it. The choice is ours. However, I believe that it is more fulfilling to try to stay positive. Keeping a positive mindset is what will keep you in the game.

If it is a bit more difficult for you to ignore the little voice in your head, try to use positive affirmations or mantras to fight against it. Whenever that little voice appears to plant those seeds of doubt within you, repeat the words “I can do this” until that little voice disappears. Make positive affirmations and mantras a part of your daily thinking so that little voice can be gone for good. Choose to be positive when the last few weeks of school starts to get the best of you. 

Enjoy yourself!

This piece of advice may seem a bit unorthodox since you may need to really buckle down to finish strong in your last few weeks of college. However, too much hard work can be a bad thing. You will definitely need to work hard in order to finish strong in your final classes, but it is okay to play a little as well. Try to enjoy yourself as much as you can in these last few weeks. You deserve some fun every now and then after working so hard to finish strong.

Go out with your friends sometimes, since it may be your last time getting to spend time with them for a while. Do something you have always wanted to do, but never got the chance to do. Create a small bucket list of things to do before leaving college. Enjoy working on your final assignments! Show your passion through your final project! There is nothing wrong with having fun in moderation. We all need a good balance of hard work and hard play.

The last semester/term in college does not have to be stressful and difficult. You can do all of the above things to help you finish strong. Taking this advice can help you to get relief from the pressures that come with wanting to do well in your last semester of college. Graduating college is a huge milestone. You should be very proud of yourself for making it this far. The finish line is right there waiting for you. All you have to do is take the steps to cross it.

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