Academic Success, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Productivity, Student Engagement, Time Management

Preparing for the end of the semester and beyond

The semester is almost over. If you’ve had a tough and difficult semester, you should take a moment to congratulate yourself for getting this far. School isn’t easy.

But, unless you are ready to graduate this semester and have already completed all your coursework, there is still more to do. I’ve decided to recap a few things that might be relevant.

1. Check (or double-check) your exam schedule.

I am sure almost everyone has done this by now. Still, it doesn’t hurt to check again. If you deferred your exam, you can find the new date and time here. If you have registered to write your exam with accommodations, you will receive an email the day before your exam is scheduled informing you when and where to report for your exam. If you have both deferred your exam and are writing it with accommodations, consult with Accessibility Services.

If you have not deferred your exam or have not registered to write your exam with accommodations but you would like to, the deadline for applying for these considerations has long passed. But, if you have a good reason for having missed the deadline or you have a truly pressing need for a deferral or accommodation, you can petition for late consideration, so you should go speak with your registrar right away.

2. Finish (or get an extension for) any outstanding work.

If you were unable to finish your any coursework or you simply enjoy the whooshing sound deadlines make as they go by, then this is the time to go speak with your prof about what you can do to make up that course work. Assignments may be accepted late or be re-weighted for you at your prof’s discretion. If you are registered with accessibility services, you can contact your disability counsellor, who can communicate with your prof regarding why you might need extensions or re-weighting. Otherwise, you should go speak to your registrar, who certainly would know more than I do about what you can do in the case that you need an extension or re-weighting.

Some profs will outline their policy for extensions on the syllabus for the course. If you are lucky enough to be explained the policy, you should try to follow it if you can.

3. Plan out your studying.

Ideally, studying is a semester-long process of deep understanding and thorough competence of the material you are learning. In practice, studying is much more mundane. Depending on how well you have prepared beforehand, the study period between the end of classes and your exams will range anywhere from a desperate last-ditch attempt to stuff relevant facts in your brain, in the place where phone numbers used to be, to a final refresher on key concepts. Either way, you should look at your schedule and try to divide up your time in a way that will allow you to study well over the next couple of weeks. Here’s a helpful tool to create a five-day study plan.

4. Take a break.

I don’t even want to justify this: Too much school can burn you out. Use the time you have to reconnect with friends and loved ones.

5. Prepare for next semester.

Classes start again on the 5th of January, and they don’t relent until Reading Week in February. Go over your Winter Timetable again. Make sure you want to be in the classes you are in. If you find yourself still on a long waitlist, now may be the time to consider what course you will take instead. Research the texts you will need for your courses. If they are available at a U of T library, go check them out and see what they are like. You may also be able to find them at a great price through a third-party. Knowing is half the battle, so don’t wait until January the 5th to stumble through the first few days of classes.

That’s all I have to say on that. Hopefully your next semester goes as well or better than ever before!

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