Holiday Season Slump: 3 Tips for Finishing Your Semester Strong!


Posted December 1, 2020

The semester is drawing to a close, festive season has commenced, but don’t check out just yet. This month we are focusing on the holiday season slump and what you can do to beat it and finish the semester strong!

Stay Present & Organized

Between holiday Zooms and breaks from school, staying present with school deadlines can seem almost impossible. But, if you stay organized and create a plan for the end of the semester, you will maintain momentum that will make your dissertation work and coursework easier to pick back up in spring.

Generally, studies suggest that writing down your goals makes you at least 40% more likely to achieve them. Our dissertation mentors suggest using Google Calendar (or a paper calendar will do) to lay out all of your upcoming deadlines. Then, create “soft deadlines” for when you’d like to have each item finished by. Typically, these will be a few days before the “hard deadline” for each assignment.

Ask for Help

We see this all the time; students become overwhelmed and approach burnout, but do not turn to committee members, chairs, or outside resources for help. Why? Well, sometimes students may not know that there is help available to them. Other times, students wait too long and come to us looking for a tight turnaround that we cannot accommodate, effectively reducing their chances of achieving critical dissertation progress.

After 15,419 students, 22 years of experience, and maintaining an A+ rating through all of it, our teams have amassed a thorough understanding of the dissertation process and what it takes to get each chapter approved. Reaching out for assistance does more than just reduce stress and burnout, it fast-tracks your dissertation process. New to consulting? Learn about comprehensive dissertation consulting here.

Don’t Overcommit, Think Ahead

We aren’t just talking about overcommitting your social calendar. Cramming too many project deadlines into the same week can cause undue stress and lead to poor academic performance. If a committee member or chair asks for a deadline that does not work for you, request additional time. Most of the time these deadlines are not set in stone and you will feel more in control knowing you have a plan and sufficient time to produce quality output.

Avoiding overcommitment requires forward thought. Since you’ve laid out soft and hard deadlines in your calendar, you have a clear idea of what can be taken on. By thinking ahead, you will have more opportunity to reach out for help if needed and you will have plenty of time for any potential revisions. Think into next year, too! Where do you have to be in your dissertation journey for 2021 to be your graduating year?


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