The Home Stretch!

by Nicole Crashell on May 21, 2017

I just counted, and there are eighteen days left in spring term—only thirteen until classes are over. That’s not even two weeks! Every term I have a moment like this, when I realize that it really is crunch time, but it always feels the most urgent in the spring, maybe because it’s so nice outside that it feels weird to not be as easygoing as the weather.

Taking that tally of the days, though, puts it all into perspective. We’re less than a fortnight away from summer and I’m still looking at three presentations (one for each class) as well as two essays, a project description, and one or two readings. When I first realized that, I’ll admit, I got a little worried. I still have to attend classes—I have to physically show up—and I have to eat, sleep, and do things other than sequester myself in the library. It’s a point that many Lawrentians reach at one point or another. How are we to cope?

Well, first step: deep breath. One thing that Lawrence teaches its students is that you’re not alone in dealing with heavy loads of coursework. I’ve written a post about the CAS before, and I honestly do believe that seeing tutors and academic counselors is a great way to gain a little composure before getting started on the end-of-term challenges. This term, when things get to be a little much, I’ve personally opted to go to the library (another place I’ve already written about) in order to do some research and remind myself that things are manageable after all.

That’s another one—cut your work into chunks. A great thing about Lawrence’s trimester schedule is that most students are only taking three classes every term, making it a lot easier to break down what can seem like a scary amount of work into smaller, very doable pieces. With a little thought, those three presentations became just a matter of making an outline, some slides, and practicing, and the essays are based off of the presentations anyways—all I really have to do is write out some coherent sentences, but I’ll already have done most of the work. The project description is just that. And the readings—well, I’ve been reading for weeks already, how hard can it be?

One of the best resources, though, is the community at Lawrence. Taking a break feels like the last thing I want to do when I have so much going on, but everyone’s telling the truth when they say that friends can help you get through tough times (it’s crazy how easy it can be to forget that). Luckily, on a small campus, you can’t really avoid your friends! Some of my best memories from these past few weeks have been going to plays, getting an after-class snack, and playing games with my friends. Sure, I still have lots to do, but it’s amazing to just take a few hours off and breathe. You don’t get anything done if you never take your foot off the gas pedal!

Don’t get me wrong—I still have a lot of work left to finish! But I don’t want to scare anyone, and I’d be lying if I said I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish it all. I know I can! And this post isn’t applicable to just my schedule and school life, either—it’s something we all tell each other a lot at Lawrence: keep your chin up, you can do it. This year, I’ve already completed the term (all ten weeks) two times, so I know I can do it again. It’s awesome to think how much I’ve learned since September, and how all this hard work will pay off in the future.

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