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It’s almost the end of your first semester at ASU. While it may seem like a small drop in your degree-earning bucket, it’s a huge milestone. It means that you hung in there and navigated the waters of a new experience. It means you discovered how resilient you can be when challenged, and how committed you are to your own personal success. It means you can reflect back on areas you need to improve and start thinking about how spring semester will be different.
We asked some ASU students who have been there, done that for their advice on how to properly finish up a first semester. Here’s what they had to say:
“Keeping an updated and organized calendar is something that I have found to be immensely helpful as finals approach. It’s easy to forget which classes have projects or exams, or which finals are during normal class time and which are during the officially scheduled ASU exam times.
Documenting all of the exam times and project due dates as soon as you know them will prevent scrambling and stress when those dates start to creep up. Surprises should be reserved for birthdays and haunted houses, not for final exams. Even just using the calendar on your phone can be a lifesaver. Stay organized and best of luck!”
– Connor N., film and media production, sophomore
“Make sure that your (and your suite-mates’) refrigerators are empty before you unplug them for winter break. Also try to do a winter cleaning before taking off. No one wants to come back to a weird-smelling room after the holidays.
And if you’re an introvert like me, plan to get back from break a few days before your roommate and suite-mates. It’s a perfect way to wind down after the holidays and prepare for spring semester.”
– Alexis Y., broadcast journalism, junior
“As a creative writing major, most of my finals are essays. If you’re in my boat, and if you have four or five essays to write this month, the best advice I can give you is to start early. If I’d started on my essays earlier during the end of my first semester, I would’ve felt a lot less overwhelmed during the final week. This year, I’m writing one essay a week until the end of the semester, and I feel completely in control. Push through, you got this!”
– Austin D., creative writing major, sophomore
“At the end of my first semester of college, I found myself feeling a little overwhelmed as I was in quite a few general education courses that were not specific to my major. My first piece of advice would be to make sure that any big projects are completed or mostly completed by the time you need to be studying for final exams. If you are trying to complete any big projects while simultaneously studying for three or more other classes, your chances of success are not too high.
My second piece of advice would be to remember this phrase: ‘the pride and satisfaction you'll feel from earning a good grade will outweigh the stress and manageability of the workload.’ After a super stressful semester, there is no better feeling than knowing you tried your best and did everything in your power to get the grade.
Lastly, keep in mind that there's a month-long break in between the fall and spring semesters, and you'll have more than enough time to recoup, relax and have fun after finals are over!”
– Samantha K., film and media production major, sophomore
Sun Devils turn to ASU Adulting 101 to learn (some of) the things not taught in class. Not sure about how to do something? Need to connect with an expert? We got you.