How to Finish the Semester Strong

Struggling to get through the end of the semester? Click through to find how to finish the semester strong!

Midterms are over. We’re already heading into finals. Suddenly, it all seems like it’s too much and we won’t be able to handle it. Oftentimes, the second half of the semester is the hardest. Why? Because we don’t have any motivation left. We gave all we got to midterms, and now we feel like we have no energy whatsoever to get through the end of the semester. I know what it’s like. Summer or winter break seems like lifetimes away, and we already dread the pile of work we have to do before it’s all over. It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when there are a million things to stress over. But it’s important to keep your head above the water and finishing it all with a bang. Here’s how you can finish the semester strong!

It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when there are a million things to stress over. But it’s important to keep your head above the water and finishing it all with a bang. Here’s how you can finish the semester strong! 

Write a list of remaining tests and assignment

One of the first things you should do after midterms is going through your planner and/or syllabi and write down all remaining tests and assignments, as well as their due dates.  This will give you a pretty good idea of what is left to come, allowing you to prepare in advance. If you had forgotten that you had this big paper due at the end of the semester, now is the time to start working on it!

I suggest writing your list in an Excel document or create a table in Word or something like that. Print it, and put it somewhere you can see. I also suggest saving it on your phone so you always have access to it. Make sure to cross out assignments and tests as they go! That’s a great way to motivate yourself. The end of the semester is near, don’t give up! Seeing your list go down means your break is close. So study for those tests and finish those assignments! The sooner you do it, the earlier you’ll be free.

Set goals

After midterms sometimes we lack a little bit of motivation. A great way to get back on track and finish the semester with a bang is to set goals for yourself. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like setting up goals to get me back to my motivated mood. Sometimes, the only reason why you don’t feel like doing anything is because you don’t know where you’re going. Setting up goals will help give you a sense of purpose. So sit down, think about what you want to accomplish and write it all down. For your goals to be attainable, they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Now that you’ve set your goals, make sure you reach them! This will keep you motivated to push through and finish the semester strong.

Create a plan

Now that you have a list of every assignment and test that you have left and that you have set realistic goals for yourself, it’s time to put all of those things into action. If you’re a type-A person like me, planning always makes things easier. Planning things you are dreading to do will help you do them. Create a schedule where you include time for studying and working on assignments, but also make sure you keep some free time to yourself! If you have some bigger tasks to accomplish, break them down into smaller ones. Dismantling them will make them seem less scary and you will be less likely to procrastinate.

Once it’s written down, commit to your schedule and just do it! Getting started is normally the hardest part. Once you’ll be invested in your task, it definitely won’t feel as bad as it seemed – I promise!

Go to class

I know after midterms it might be tempting to skip a class or two (especially if you did well on your midterms), but trust me when I say the second half of the semester is just as (or even more) important than the first one! Class is the best opportunity to ask questions on topics that you are struggling with, and it’s also a great time to ask for help if you need it! And, some finals are not recapitulative, meaning that only the material seen after midterms will be on the exam. In that case, it’s even more important that you show up for class!


In the midst of everything, we tend to forget about ourselves. But it’s so important to keep some free time to ourselves so we can unwind and relax! Make sure you block some time in your schedule for yourself. Indulge on some self-care, often. Put on a facemask, get that mani-pedi, watch an episode of your current obsession on Netflix, get lost in a book… The choice is yours!

Also, do not forget to eat and get some sleep! That might seem basic and like something you wouldn’t forget, but more often than not, college students put assignments and studying over sleep. How many of you have stayed up late or didn’t sleep at all the night before an assignment was due or an exam? I think we’ve all been there. Planning ahead will help you avoid that, meaning you can get some much deserved and needed zzz time before finals!

Have fun

Do not forget to have fun! It might be the last time you’ll see your friends before you have to part for the break. Make sure you block some time to catch up with them and have fun some fun before it’s too late. Go out, talk until dawn, and create some memories! College is a lot more fun when you’re surrounded with people who make you happy, so do not forget to give them some of your time! Trust me, in the end, your friends will matter a lot more than your grades.

What are your tips to finish the semester strong? Do you have anything that motivates you to keep going forward?


  • Lyndsey Camille

    Create a plan, self-care and, most importantly, go to class are the tips I follow the most! It’s definitely hard to stay motivated after spring break and being sooo close to summer. Great tips 🙂

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Lyndsey! Do you have any plans to look forward to this summer?

  • Megan

    So down in NZ we are only 4 weeks into our semester and I feel like I already need your tips! My desk is an absolute mess right now…it’s full of post-its, notes and used coffee mugs. I’m working on scheduling self care and fun into my calendar so I don’t get burnt out because that’s no fun at all!

    • You should definitely start by cleaning up your desk! You’ll feel much better afterwards, trust me. 😉 And I think those tips can apply throughout the entire semester! You should always make sure to take some time for yourself and have some fun so college doesn’t seem too much like a burden!

  • You’ve got the end of this year!!