Hardships of the homestretch

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Costa is a senior majoring in journalism.

It has come to my attention this last semester of my academic career that school is hard.

I have been able to get by most of my classes throughout my time in school with a blend of B.S. and last-minute heroics. This time however, Southern Methodist University has apparently got wise of my shenanigans and has decided to take the difficulty up a notch. And by a notch, I mean 10.

Some advice I can bestow on any undergraduates wrapping up their first or second spring semester is to make life as easy as possible in your later years. Don’t just take the minimum amount of hours to fulfill a full-time schedule during the spring or fall. This will come back to bite you big time when you enter your senior year and are told by your academic advisor that you can kiss your social life goodbye.

All those projects and papers that are making you feel faint right now? Try adding another two to four on top of that and see how happy you were that you only took 12 hours back in 2013.

Another suggestion that anyone will endorse is to make sure to take a summer school course at least twice over the duration of your time in school. Not only are many of the professors much more easy going during the long break – after all, they willingly signed up to do it because they love teaching or whatever – but the classes are normally smaller and much more intimate. My courses in summer school this past year and J-Term were some of the best classes I took while at SMU, and I would do nothing but highly advise any and all students on campus to attend either, if not both.

Plus, the cost of these terms is cheaper than a regular class during normal semesters, and with the opportunities at Taos, you really have no excuse to not take these opportunities while you can.

Now in case you are struggling to survive as I am because of your daunting routine, might I suggest a few more ideas that will help get you through this last month?

First, stop procrastinating. Seriously. Put this paper down and go do some schoolwork. My article’s not going anywhere. It might even be online for a glance.

Another idea is pretty obvious, but bears repeating, is to pace yourself in this final stretch. Don’t feel obligated to do everything right now, but don’t count on having hours of free time on the weekends either. You can find ways to do your work and a 30-minute break too.

Finally, know how to multi-task. I’ve developed my own ritual of doing work online while listening to audiobooks — speaking of which, how about that red wedding? ­— a method that’s kept me from going mental at least twice this past week.

Hopefully some of these suggestions will help you out as your semester comes to a close, and the assignments start to pile up. Just remember that time is still on your side, and there’s no reason you cannot finish this school year off strong. Or you could just put it off for Fall 2014.

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