Published: Nov. 11, 2021

JB BanksThere are a few weeks left of the fall semester and the finish line is in sight! I hope you are able to relax and enjoy a well-deserved break next week. With finals just around the corner, here are three pieces of advice to help you stay motivated and finish out the semester strong.

Make time to relax, reflect and take breaks

With fall break coming up, I encourage you to make time specifically for reflection and recharging. Get outside for a long scenic walk or bike ride. Express gratitude and make a list of things you’re thankful for right now. Find a fun activity to do with someone that you value and appreciate. Use technology as a resource that may contribute to new ideas and innovations. Take a break from social media and things that distract you from achieving your academic and co-curricular goals.

After fall break, find balance between your studies and time for things that you enjoy. Avoid long study sessions and all-nighters if you can, and take short breaks when you are studying. Try focusing on one topic for 20–25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. Use your short breaks to stretch, take a quick walk outside or call to check in on a friend that you may have not spoken with for a while, and then repeat the cycle. 

Stay connected

If you’re feeling stressed in the lead up to finals, it’s helpful to stay connected with your friends, family and fellow Buffs. This may seem like a busy time, but keep hanging out with your group and checking in with each other. Make time to take breaks and eat or study together. Partner up with a friend or classmate to help keep each other motivated with studying and completing final projects or papers.

There are many student events happening through the end of the semester. I encourage you to attend a few events to take a break, de-stress before finals and connect with fellow Buffs before winter break.

Ask for help

If you’re struggling with something—maybe it’s a concept discussed in class or getting started on a final paper—I strongly encourage you to ask for help. Visit your instructors’ office hours or help labs associated with your courses to ask questions and get support. Or use free academic resources like the Writing Center, University Libraries or Academic Success and Achievement Program (ASAP)

Asking for help can lead to the outcomes that you want to see. Taking that first step in finding support can make a difference and help you feel more confident leading up to finals. If you’re not sure where to start, please stop by my office hours this week on Nov. 18 from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in UMC 308 and I can help connect you to the right resources.

Buffs, I’m here for you and rooting for you to finish strong over these next few weeks. Please take care of yourselves and use support resources if you need them. You got this!

JB Banks
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs