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My junior year of college just came to a close last week. I can’t believe it! Finals period papers challenged me, but I brought my A-game and found that there was nothing I couldn’t handle. Plenty of papers and projects later, I can finally take a breather and enjoy the sunshine of summer.
I know high school is still in session for a lot of you girls, so the question is: how can you make the most of your time, especially with the upcoming final exam period? I understand that balancing extracurricular activities with schoolwork and maybe even a job can be a tricky equation, but with a lot of calculating and consideration, you can definitely get it right.
I like making a To Do list whenever I have a lot on my plate to keep track of important tasks. At the end of every semester at Bryn Mawr College, we all make “Done is Good” lists alongside the people on our hall in our dorms. For our individual lists, we write down every task we have to complete before leaving Bryn Mawr for the semester (12-page Victorian Literature paper, Education portfolio, Econ exam, packing, etc.). I like to include some fun things, too (go out for fro-yo with friends! catch a movie! nap!). I always feel more refreshed when I make the effort to schedule fun things for myself, especially because it is easy to forget with all of the academic finals that need to be completed! Crossing off each item on the list feels great, too.
For our Done is Good lists, we attach fun-sized chocolate bars, decorate them with markers and glitter glue, and write what Being Done means for us. For me, Being Done means going to the Virgin Islands in a few short weeks with my boyfriend and some friends. (I drew some waves at the bottom of my Done is Good list!) I can’t wait to travel and experience the Caribbean for the first time.
Making priorities is another key factor to achieving balance and reducing stress. In college I continue to remind myself that I am not Wonder Woman, so when I can’t get that 100 pages of reading done in a night, I skim, highlight key sentences, and make notes whenever I can—then I move on to the next part of my homework for the night. Setting small goals each day can help to accomplish the bigger picture: during finals period at Bryn Mawr, I set a page quote each day for all of my papers and projects, and I always made sure I met them. (And I felt awesome every day when I did, too!)
While making my Done is Good lists each semester, I enjoy sprawling out in the hall with my peers and catching up while cheering each other on for what’s to come. One of the best parts of college is the sense of community that exists on campus; friends make any stressful situation a little brighter. With some tea, advice, and to-do lists in hand, friends can help make almost any situation surmountable.
You can do it!