The end of another academic year is upon us. Here at Syracuse, we have a little more than two weeks left in the semester, and, as usual, that means that things are coming together in a perfect storm of final projects, presentations, and other end-of-semester tasks. I’ve been running around like a crazy person, trying to finish projects, schedule webinars, attend campus events, and see classmates who will soon be graduating or leaving for the summer.
All of this end-of-semester craziness has sent me into a serious slump. I find myself lacking the motivation to work on projects, putting off routine schoolwork until the last minute, and avoiding anything that requires making a decision. Recently I’ve had to resist the urge to curl into a ball and cry because of the pressure to just do all the things.
Despite all of my wishful thinking, though, these things aren’t going to disappear. Projects need to be finished, classes require participation, and I still want to do what I can to become a great librarian, even in the midst of my slump. So how can we make it to the end of the semester without suffering a nervous breakdown? Here are some thoughts:
Make a schedule, and stick to it. Sometimes I think professors get together and agree on one or two days to be the due dates for all final assignments. Regardless, we all know that the last few weeks of the semester are going to be a whirlwind of papers, projects, poster presentations, and other finals. Before you’re in the midst of this whirlwind, block out specific chunks of time to work on each assignment, and stick to the schedule. This is helpful both in budgeting your time to get everything done, and forcing you to stop, take a break, or work on something else before you get to the point of pulling out your hair.
Pick and choose the things you go to. There are lots of great things going on, but you don’t have to go to every single club meeting, academic talk, or social event. Choose the events that you feel are most relevant or important to you, and pass on the others. There will be other opportunities for learning and growing as a professional and socializing with your classmates, so you don’t have to fit everything into this one insane two-week period.
Sleep. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. We’re all happier, more productive people when we get enough sleep.
Make time for yourself. I think this is particularly important for those of us who are introverts. Many end-of-semester activities involve being around a lot of people, and this can be draining. It’s important, even when you have a lot of items to check off your to-do list, to take some time to relax. Do yoga, read a book for fun, watch an episode or two of your favorite tv show-whatever helps you to maintain your sanity.
Celebrate your accomplishments. You may not realize it when you’re right in the thick of finals chaos, but you’re learning, creating, and doing great things, and you should be proud of them. Don’t forget to include them in your portfolio, share your new-found knowledge with others, and give yourself a pat on the back for making it through another semester.
The end of the semester can be hectic and draining, and can send even the most enthusiastic library school students into a slump. But with a little help, we can make it through the end-of-semester slump, and live to see another semester. These are some things that work for me; what are some tips that help you survive the slump? Let me know in the comments, or find me on Twitter @alisonjane0306.