By Daisha Overstreet

We did it! It’s the end of the semester. Well, almost. We still have to deal with the “end of the semester clean-up” by getting our lives back on track after an exhausting semester. At this point, we’re crawling to the finish line, and being organized is a foreign concept. With all this combined with the thought of leaving your best friends for three months, anxiety levels are rising.

I call this the “semester clean-up” because right now, life seems chaotic and is literally flashing before our eyes. It’s used to get yourself back on track after the smorgasbord of stress from class, finances, friends and even family that decides to hit you like a bus all at once. I’m currently using the semester clean-up to get my life together.

For those who know me personally, I overuse the phrase “trying to get my life together,” because it’s just a daily struggle that I’m sure everyone can relate to. Gaining motivation to go to class and trying to focus on assignments while keeping up with friends are just some of the daily struggles I regularly deal with.
Friends: how many of us have them? All of us, of course. Regardless of if you’re from Ohio or not, you have met and have gotten close to someone who you will probably not see over the summer. Tragic, right? But it doesn’t have to be this way. In today’s world, connecting virtually is just as important as connecting physically. So gather up those last minute phone numbers and Instagram and Twitter names, and get connecting. I guess you could also search your homies on Facebook if you really wanted to, but no one gets on that anymore.

The tricky thing about this time of the year is while you should be cherishing the moments with your besties, the required time spent on assignments has increased tremendously. In order to balance this, I carry my homework with me everywhere. If there is a dull moment in the conversation, or my friends and I are just chilling, I’ll try to whip out my homework and complete assignments in pieces. It may sound a little obnoxious to whip out my laptop to just type one paragraph, but hey, any type of work at this point helps.

Studying for finals and managing assignments are two things you cannot avoid. If you can avoid them, then you’re not in college.
One thing I must emphasize, is the importance of paying attention to deadlines. Life at this time is on “deadline-steroids” meaning assignments are assigned and due at hyper-speed, and all professors are “assignment-synchronized” meaning somehow your professors know when each other are divvying out homework and choose to do this at the same time.
“Assignment-synchronization” may sound impossible, but trust me, in some magical way, this really does happen. Don’t believe me? OK. Wednesday, I had this blog, two math homework assignments, peer review comments for College Writing and a feature story draft for Multimedia Newswriting all due the next day.

Avoid the “Oh, I’ll remember that” belief, because you won’t. At this point, it’s impossible to remember any task if you don’t write it down.
“Oh, I won’t forget to take the final,” I thought confidently about my online course. Being two weeks ahead in my online course, I focused on other classwork. Setting no alarms and writing not one thing down, I wound up taking my final two days late which, as a result, was not counted on my final grade. After a long-winded, back-and-forth, exhausting, and even ridiculous email conversation with my professor, I finally got my grade to count so I wouldn’t have to retake the course. Needless to say, deadlines are your life!

The key to cleaning up the deadline mess is remembering. If you don’t remember to complete a task, you’re not going to do it. What I do now is write EVERYTHING down and set frequent alarms on my phone. I don’t care if my math professor says we have a quiz on one problem that’s 2+2. I can guarantee you I will definitely put that in my agenda.

Use the “end of the semester clean-up” to get these last few weeks on track. I hope the tips, tricks and funny experiences I’ve shared throughout this semester were both helpful and entertaining. We’ve all taken in a lot of information, drama, and life lessons from this semester, and even this academic year, but this only prepares us for what’s next.