By Brittnie-lee Duffus, Graduate Student, IU School of Medicine
Can you believe it? We’re on the brink of yet another semester’s end! Congratulations on making it this far. You have pushed through lectures, assignments, and research in the lab while balancing your personal responsibilities. As the semester marches on, you may find yourself facing the familiar blend of excitement and stress. But fear not, because I’ve compiled a set of tips to help you not only survive but thrive during this critical period.
- Define your academic goal for the rest of the semester. It is easy to get lost during this time and feel like time is running out. Perhaps you didn’t accomplish all the goals you set for the first half of the semester. Not to worry! Choose one big thing that you want to finish this semester, and then break it down into smaller goals. Using the SMART method for goal setting can be really helpful here. Keep a printed or virtual copy of your goals in a visible area so you can keep focused. Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, take a look at it and focus on one item.
- Prioritize and organize your set goals. In addition to your academic goals, you may also have personal goals for the semester. This is an amazing way to develop balance in your life and grow into a well-rounded individual. Organize your goals according to the level of importance and urgency by using a tool such as the Eisenhower Matrix. Do this with daily, weekly or monthly goals to keep you oriented.
- Seek out an accountability partner. It is easy to set your goals, but it is much easier to work towards them when someone keeps you accountable. This can be peers, a mentor, or even a family member. Tell them about your goals and ask them to check-in with you periodically. If working in a group setting works for you, check out Writing In Community, where graduate students from all disciplines come together and work on their individual projects. Also, check out writing assistance provided by the University Writing Center. Feel free to explore other communities and resources across campus that can provide the accountability you need to achieve your goals!
- Finally, take care of you. You have the best chance of succeeding if you take care of yourself. This looks different for everyone. Some people like to watch tv after a long week, while others choose to go out with friends. Some go to the gym or do some sort of physical activity, while others choose to catch up on well needed sleep. Try to make time for whatever your self-care activity is. If you aren’t sure what this looks like, or you need help navigating the harder times, you can ask for help. IUPUI Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) IUSM Mental Health Services and TimelyCare are examples of services available to you.
As we push through the next few weeks, remember that you’ve made it this far and that means you are capable of making it further. I do hope these tips were helpful and you can incorporate some of them in your daily lives. You are almost there, and I am cheering you on!