With the transitioning weather in the Northern Hemisphere, it seems like the end of the semester approaches faster and faster. Take the time to look at your calendar to ensure you do self-care and have study success!

Several campuses in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing cooler weather, leaves changing colors, and more indoor-scheduled activities. These are indicators that Fall Semester is in full swing! With mid-term exams right around the corner, and upcoming Academic Advisor meetings scheduled for selecting next semester courses, and more festivity celebrations planned, it can be a good time for students to do a quick self check-in to ensure they are prepared for the bustling remainder of the semester.

Stress-Reduction Check-In

What are some of the best stress-reduction strategies that have worked well for you this semester? Reflect on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual practices and habits that have helped reduce stress and overwhelm. It could be the evening run you do twice a week after classes or the breathing exercises you do before taking a test. Or it could be that chocolate croissant you treat yourself to before your 8:00am Tuesday class. Ask peers about their strategies for more ideas you can incorporate for the remainder of the semester. Ask the Student Success office for on-campus resources and connections to equip you with more strategies for your mental and emotional wellbeing. Also, ask upperclassmen about what they do to mitigate end-of-semester responsibilities in order to plan ahead for scheduling coursework, parties, and student organization activities.

Semester Break Plans Check-In

What are your plans for the upcoming school breaks and holidays? It’s not too early to figure out the details for your budget, travel, and accommodation. If your residence hall closes for these breaks, ensure that you know where you’ll stay. If you will be traveling with friends, have conversations about sharing costs and how to budget effectively. If you are staying with a family, make sure you know what they expect of you as a houseguest and ensure you have some stationary to leave them a thank you note at the end of your stay. Plan ahead to make sure you’ve scheduled in time to do your laundry, pack, get cash, and not bring any homework with you to fully enjoy the break!

Studies Check-In

It’s not too late to raise a grade — or lower a grade this time of the year. Schedule a time with each of your professors during their office hours to check in about your performance in their class. Ask what you can continue to do to maintain the grade you currently have, or to improve it. Ask what resources on campus they suggest you take advantage of, like the writing center or the library series that focus on improving reading skills for academic texts and referencing resources properly. Typically, there are free workshops that support students to prepare for mid-term exams and revise term papers. The campus community wants to see you thrive in your studies and feel prepared and confident in each course. Be proactive in seeking help for your courses from your professors, advisors, and peers.

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About the author: Megan Norton is an intercultural training consultant focusing on trends in transnational higher education and its influence on intercultural relations. As the daughter of a former U.S. diplomat, Megan identifies as an Adult Third Culture Kid/Global Nomad. She has lived in 10 countries and 5 U.S. States. Megan is an author, speaker, and researcher who supports globally mobile individuals to recognize their cultural competencies and apply them in various contexts. Megan is the podcast host of A Culture Story, co-founder of a non-profit for Third Culture Kids, and writer at adultthirdculturekid.com. She currently lives in Michigan.

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