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Sunday, May 9, 2021

OPINION: Prepping for the End of Fall

Here we are: counting down the days until our last final, finally in the same month as Christmas and so, so ready to throw our backpacks in the closet, sit by the fire and turn off our brains until Jan. 4.

But for some, these final days require a bit more effort. Because, for some, these are the final days before they can finalize their degrees and say goodbye to Western.

There’s a surprising amount of work that must be done before we can pick up that diploma and head out into the big, adult world. Degree evaluations have to be turned in, fees have to be paid, caps and gowns have to be ordered and invitations have to be sent to friends and family for any post-ceremony celebrations.

Not to mention, graduating students also have to prepare for life outside of school. They have to find jobs, figure out where they’re going to live and find out who they want to be when they’re no longer a student.

It takes time for graduates to get settled and find steady work they’re happy doing, so putting down a good foundation while they’re still in school can be important.

Plus, all of those worries and responsibilities go on top of work for culminating projects, last-minute assignments, and, of course, studying for final exams.

So if someone you know is graduating at the end of fall, don’t be afraid to give them some encouragement, a hug, chocolate, caffeine or some combination of all three — they probably need it.

But even if you’re not graduating at the end of fall, this point in the quarter can be hard. Sometimes we reach a point where we just need a little help to make it over the last few hurdles. The deadlines, the grades, the fatigue; it’s a lot to try to manage.

That’s OK; you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Talk to your advisor or a counselor from Academic Advising and put together a list of everything you need to do between now and the end of the quarter.

Then put together a calendar with all your final due dates and goals so you can see everything in front of you, rather than just letting it float around in your head and stress you out.

Don’t forget to schedule in some time to take a deep breath and relax a little bit too.

Talk to your professors and tell them if you’re having some trouble keeping up. They’re here to help us, but they can’t if they don’t know something is wrong.

Don’t forget, they were all students once too — some of them still are. They know what it’s like to be overwhelmed.

Whether you’re prepping for that final walk across the stage, or whether you’re just trying to keep yourself alive until that three-week break, it’s important to keep yourself focused, organized and as least-stressed as you possibly can.

Advisors, professors, friends and family are all here to support and keep us going. College is hard; so don’t be afraid to look to them when you need a little extra help or encouragement.

We’ve made it to the final stretch. Give yourselves a pat on the back for all the hard work you’ve put in so far, then brace yourself for one last big push.

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