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You Can Do It! Encouragement for Getting Through the Rest of the Semester

There are only about five more weeks remaining in this crazy semester and I think we all deserve a pat on the back for persevering through changing guidelines, online classes, and not being able to be in Lane Stadium for football games. Here are some things to remember in this next month:

Enjoy right now (even if it’s hard)

The difficulty of this semester has varied for everyone. Some have loved the freedom of online classes and others have hated the self-discipline asynchronous classes have required. Despite the unsure circumstances, we still get to be in college. Even if it was just getting to know your family or roommates a little better, there have been bright spots in the last few months. I encourage you to name a few! I personally have been extra thankful for the beauty in and around Blacksburg, especially the easy access to hikes, trails, and mountain views.

Be realistic about your time

As motivation declines with the sun setting so early and holidays approaching, the semester’s end can feel impossibly far away. Recently, I have found it really beneficial to my productivity to make a daily to-do list of the things I know I have time for. My tendency, and maybe yours, is to overload myself and plan to work for way more hours than I am capable of. Usually, I’m left disappointed at the end of the day, feeling like I did not do enough. When I switched to starting with a shorter to-do list, adding items as I finished them and assessing how much energy I still had, I started feeling so much more accomplished and productive.

Factor in some fun

Just as important as setting aside time for work, it’s important to have designated breaks and time for fun. If possible, try to plan half a day for anything but schoolwork. Having time planned to relax or be social can motivate you to get work done earlier and help relieve stress.

Get outside before it’s frigid

As fall turns to winter, it’s quickly getting more difficult to find activities to do outside. Especially because of Covid, this new season can be discouraging, not knowing if we will go back to being hermits the next three months. Before it gets too cold, have a bonfire, go on a walk with a friend, hike a trail. Try to make the most of the weather not being impossible just yet.

Get outside when it’s frigid

If you have spent any time in Virginia, you know the weather likes to change on a whim and without warning. Before we know it, it’ll be snow and ice season. As much fun as is it is to get cozy when winter hits, I encourage you to brave the cold in some way. Doing something outside, like going for a run or doing something holiday related, can be a great break from being inside studying. If you really hate being cold, break your routine by going for a drive or appreciating the outdoors another, warmer way.

Reflect on how far you have come

We have overcome a lot this year, and 2020 has affected everyone in different ways. Think about the challenges you have faced in the last six months. Congratulate yourself on getting through them and continuing to persevere.

Whatever hurdles you have in front of you the next five weeks, I hope you are able to make some time for yourself, have some fun, and finish this unusual semester strong!

By: Grace Farmelo

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