How to Finish A Semester Strong

Zachary Livernash

Tips to finish semester off strong

The end of the semester is usually the most stressful part of the whole school year for both teachers and students alike have final exams, way more homework than usual, and bigger projects all combined into around a final 3-4 week sprint to the end of the semester that students have to study for and teachers have to prepare and grade all these things. These are several reasons that a student and or even a teacher usually can fall behind at the end of the semester as it’s just so much work piled into a short 3 week timeframe. At this point the end of the semester, while chaotic and at times nearly unbearable, can be finished if students and administrators attempt to stay on top of things early and  consistently.

At Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH), you need to always be on top of homework, tests and projects because if you miss just a single assignment it could snowball into causing you to spend time on catching up on past assignments rather than focusing on the end of the semester with exams. When asked about how to do the overwhelming work of the end of the semester itself, Wesley Calawerts, a student from SPASH said “I try to wake up early so I can do more of it earlier in the day.” And this is coming from a student with a higher GPA than most, so it’s a good idea to try to wake up early so you can do as much as possible in the day so you’re always staying on top of your work so you never have to fall behind.

While teachers and administrators may have a slightly different experience for an end of a semester, the general stress and amount of work as described by an administrator is “…hard to describe the workload of the end of a semester,” said Brigitta Altmann-Austin, an administrator at SPASH. “Teachers are scurrying to get everything graded, counselors are checking transcripts to make sure seniors especially are on track for graduating, and students are trying to turn late work in.” Altmann describes how the end of the semester can get a bit chaotic for teachers, administrators and students as everyone is attempting to do all the same things at once. And when you include COVID effect, “COVID has changed things drastically this year, so the work of problem solving has changed – as the problems are very different.” Which means that COVID adds a whole other layer of chaos on top of everything.

With all of this in mind, there are several tips that students and administrators can do to attempt to deal with all of this chaos at the end of the semester. The first thing anyone can do to have the energy to survive these turbulent times is to get sleep, according to the sleep foundation. “…has been linked to an imbalance increase in energy intake over expenditure” Meaning that a person who doesn’t get the necessary amount of sleep, has a reduced amount of energy throughout the day which has been linked to getting lower test scores which would hinder a students ability to perform the best they can at the end of the semester. While sleep may seemingly only have an effect on energy and students well being, the same sleep data according to the sleep foundation also applies to teachers, in particular older teachers well being as more sleep has been linked to have a lower chance of having heart conditions and other health conditions. From this evidence, students and teachers should always get a good amount of sleep each night so they can strive for higher grades and in general a healthier life.

Another tip that is extremely important to students and teachers alike, is eating the most important meal of the day which is breakfast. Students and teachers alike may forget to eat breakfast or not eat enough breakfast each day, but eating breakfast has been linked to students performing better academically according to the Cleveland Clinic. While teachers may not be affected by grades from lack of breakfast, a lack of breakfast has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, metabolism slowing down, blood sugar dropping and higher blood pressure according to a study out of the United Kingdom.

Ultimately, these tips are not a requirement to get good grades or to end a semester whatsoever. However, these tips are a good starting point for students and teachers alike to finish the semester using their own plans with these tips in that plan. Each student and teacher is different and should have different and unique ways of doing things, however they should also be smart with ending a semester so they don’t have a collapse in grades or amount of work because they got lazy.