This is the last Monday Motivator for 2018. The semester ends this week, and, even as we all feel the stress of finals, we know the break is coming. Faculty and students will finish this weekend. And then it will just be staff members left until we close for the holidays.
While I always miss students, it’s nice to have a few days to tidy up from the semester and make some plans for the next one. The library staff will have a holiday lunch, and then, one by one, folks will start taking days off to finish shopping, to start huge cooking projects, or to fly home to see family members.
I hope everyone has a nice holiday filled with at least some of the following:
- Family and friends
- Good food
- At least two books that you’ve been putting off until you have time to read them (and time to read)
- At least one version of “A Christmas Carol”
- A special gift (It’s totally appropriate to give it to yourself)
- A chance to give to others
- One day during the holiday when you get to do nothing but chill
Happy Holidays, everyone. See you in 2019.
As the semester comes to an end, the stress levels go up. Students are writing papers and completing projects before final exams begin. Faculty are grading papers and projects and writing those final exams. Now fall semester finals are even more stressful because they coincide with the beginning of the holiday season.
So how do you handle the anxiety of these last couple of weeks of the semester? Here are the Jolly Librarian’s tips:
- Be realistic. Look at the time you have and the amount of work you have to do. Schedule your time and energy wisely.
- Don’t get discouraged by all you have to do. There is one saving grace at college. Semesters have a finite length. So no matter how bad the next two weeks are, the semester will be over after the last final exam (or after you’ve graded that exam).
- Find a buddy. One thing I’ve noticed this semester is the increase of study groups using the library. Groups are great: they hold you accountable for material learned and for actually showing up. And they can provide you with the knowledge you’re not suffering alone. From my years as a faculty member, I know the same idea works for teachers as well. We might not be in the same room, but just knowing that there are colleagues grading away in the offices down the hall who can provide support, a laugh or two, and a needed dip into their chocolate supply is a big help.
- Take a short break. I know we all turn to our phones for entertainment. But I actually think getting up and moving around is a better stress buster. If it’s cold, wrap up in your coat and scarf and take a quick walk around the campus.
- Do something nice for someone. Sometimes just remembering that other people are out there and need help is enough to break the self-centered drain that stress can drown us in. It’s great that the holiday season means there are plenty of opportunities to be nice. (Buy a secret Santa gift for someone. Give to a charity. Bring donuts to your next study session.)
- Remember why you’re doing this. Keeping the bigger goal in mind won’t make the stress go away, but it’ll keep it in context.
- Find a way to laugh every day.