Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

A guide to surviving the end of the semester

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Lucia Ruzicka
The entire experience could quite possibly be considered the hardest four years in one’s life.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s no easy part of high school. The entire experience could quite possibly be considered the hardest four years in one’s life. While none of high school can be classified as easy, there are a few times during the year when things can feel overwhelming. The busiest and most stressful parts of the school year start after Thanksgiving and Easter, when the preparation for finals officially begins. Here are a few tips for the end of the semester that’ll help you stay on top of things, keep you from drowning in missing assignments, failing grades and those “we need to talk” texts from your parents. 

  1. Incorporate things into your schedule that you can look forward to. This could include a nail appointment, finding time to hop on a game with your friends, planning an exciting night out, or ordering a fun package that’ll come in the mail. Having something to look forward to can help you split up your time, and it’s extremely discouraging when the brightest thing on the horizon is your after-school two hour nap that only makes you more tired and less motivated. It can be hard to plan out things to do when you’re not in the most cheerful mood, but just remember that a balanced schedule is the key to (slight) happiness during the end of the semester, and it will give you a much more positive mindset. 
  2. Turn off your phone. I know this seems like the most generic answer, but quite frankly, it’s the most effective way to stay on task. I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say I spend more time on my phone worried about all of the studying I have to do, compared to the time I actually spend studying. Some options are silencing your phone, setting it somewhere you can’t reach, enforcing a screen time limit (not one where you can just click ignore like we all do), or temporarily deleting your social media apps. Setting down your phone is such a simple task, and it eliminates your biggest distraction. The best thing you can do is to give your full attention to your work.
  3. Set realistic goals. As the grade deadline creeps closer every day, it can be hard not to over book yourself with retakes and revisions in hopes to raise that borderline grade. To all of the perfectionists out there, I understand that it’s hard to accept being “average” in any form, however, sometimes it’s ok to take a realistic approach to things. While having good grades is important, it’s also crucial to keep your own sanity in mind. If you set goals for yourself that are completely unattainable, you will feel like you’re underachieving when you’re really just overreaching. Balancing school with your own mental well-being is essential for long term success. To do this, try focusing mainly on specific areas where you need improvement and address them one at a time. Establishing achievable goals makes the task more manageable, and it’ll give you a sense of accomplishment as you make progress.
  4. Don’t forget to celebrate small victories. If you study for hours on end and forget to make time for yourself to relax and regroup, it’s easy to get stuck in a bad state of mind. If you have a productive study session, give yourself a few minutes to get food, scroll through your feeds or even take a nap. This will help your mind reset,  and when you come back you’ll be feeling a lot more productive. Another way to reward yourself is to change up your setting and meet some friends at Bread Co. or Dierbergs to get work done together. This can make studying seem less like a task and more like an activity, mostly because you know you will talk the whole time and get a little work done on the side. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If things start to get difficult to manage and you feel like you’re spiraling, don’t forget to use your resources at school. There’s nothing teachers love more than when students have good communication and ask for help. And who knows, with some “good” reasoning and a little hope, you might be able to get that 89% rounded to an 89.5% overnight. 

 

Hopefully after checking out this guide you feel a little less overwhelmed about the end of the semester. Keep in mind that things are only as easy, hard, overwhelming or stress-free as you make them, so it’s up to you to keep yourself in check. Stay positive and just think about how good you’ll feel when teachers no longer have access to the grade book for the semester in Infinite Campus. Happy Studying!

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Lucia Ruzicka, artist
She/Her Hobbies and Interests: painting & hanging out with my friends Favorite movie: Project X Favorite Quote: "Treat everybody how you want to be treated."
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