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10 Tips to Make The Rest of the Semester Work

10 Tips to Make The Rest of the Semester WorkMidterms are over and you are now confronted with the state of your grades. Maybe you did okay or even more than okay but it was high stress all the way. Or maybe you didn’t do as well as you could or as well as you need to if you are to be competitive for grad school or the job you want after graduation.

Either way, it may be time to rethink the way you are doing college. It doesn’t have to be so high stress. If you were bright enough to be admitted, you’re bright enough to earn decent grades. But it may require a major shift in your schedule, your attitude, and your work ethic to get there.

Here are some tips to make the second half of the semester go smoothly for you…

1. Recommit.

If you got a string of C-minuses or lower, resist the tendency to give up. However discouraged you may be, letting yourself get overwhelmed will ensure a GPA-busting semester. A new commitment to your studies could bail you out, or at least bail you out enough so that you have something to build on next semester.

If, on the other hand, you did fine but were so stressed you’re still recovering, you have a different challenge: Resist the tendency to collapse in a grateful heap and coast for a few weeks. You’ll be setting yourself up for another anxiety attack when finals roll around.

2. Understand that school is your job right now.

If you aren’t putting in a solid eight hours a day Monday through Friday for classes and study, you simply aren’t doing it. That eight hours does not include meals, hanging out with friends, cruising Facebook, or watching Grey’s Anatomy. A workday is just that – a day of working. The upside is that if you really do schedule a respectable eight hours a day, you’ll probably have most of your evenings and your weekends free to do what you want without feeling guilty.

3. Schedule your time well.

Plan out each of your weekdays as seriously as you would an assignment for the most important job of your life. Get out a calendar or planner. Write in blocks of time each week for study for each course. Make sure you schedule time for your toughest class and most demanding papers when you are the freshest.

4. Meet with professors.

The time to get clarification for things you don’t understand is now, not in the last week before finals when you (and all the other procrastinators) are in a panic. You will get more attention and respect if you’ve done required reading and formulated your questions before you meet. Most professors really do want to help students who are serious.

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10 Tips to Make The Rest of the Semester Work

Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. She writes regularly for Psych Central as well as Psych Central's Ask the Therapist feature. She is author of the insightful parenting e-book, Tending the Family Heart. Check out her book, Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem.

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APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, M. (2018). 10 Tips to Make The Rest of the Semester Work. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 8 Nov 2010)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.