If you’re a high school or college student, it’s time to make a plan for final exams and end of semester projects. Your exact plan will depend on your final exam and project schedule (which will differ from school to school) and on your commitments outside of school. Some students will benefit from using Thanksgiving break to get ahead. For others, the break might be better used as a chance to rest up to ensure that you are feeling rejuvenated for the end of the semester.
The important thing is to be intentional about your end-of-semester plan. It can be easy to go into Thanksgiving feeling like it is still mid-November and that there is plenty of time, and then come back to realize that it is very suddenly December.
A good way to start thinking about your end of semester plan is to compile a list of everything you will need to prepare for in December, both for school and out of school — tests, final projects, performances and their extra rehearsals, religious and/or family commitments, etc.
Enter all of your commitments into a calendar and then estimate how much time each commitment will require. Also, estimate how much time you will need to spend studying for each test, working on each project, practicing outside of rehearsals, etc. Working backwards from your due dates, block out time in your schedule to accomplish what you need to. Do not worry if you stray a little bit from your detailed plan. The goal is to get a sense of when you need to start working on things to minimize feeling overwhelmed during your busiest times.
If you struggle with procrastination (which is not uncommon), consider some kind of accountability system. This could include making study plans with a friend so that you keep each other on track. It could be breaking down each project or study plan into bite sized tasks and then making a list where you can check things off as you complete them. It could involve scheduling check-ins with a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult who you share your plan with. Making and sticking to plans is a life-long skill and it can take experimentation and practice to find systems that work for you. If this is something you struggle with, Summit has Academic Managers who can help you stay on track and reduce stress.
Get Support Where You Need It
If there are any classes you have been especially struggling with this fall, it’s good to start preparing for those finals or projects as soon as possible. Summit also has Academic Tutors that can help you get back on track with almost any high school subject. You’ll find your efforts are far more effective (whether you go it alone or work with a tutor) if you pace them over a few weeks rather than trying to cram relearning an entire semester’s worth of material into an hour or two right before the test.
If there’s one key takeaway that we can offer, it is this: set aside an hour during your break this week to follow the process we’ve outlined above to plan out your work in December. That hour will pay you back in time saved, stress relieved, and higher grades.And, remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you need help planning your work or catching up on the material, we have you covered. Schedule a time to talk with a Summit Program Director about our one-on-one tutoring programs to map out a program that will work for you. We’ll have you on the way to finals success in no time!