It’s about a month after the official midterm break, but with a month left before finals, these last few weeks are the most grudging of the semester. You debate whether to go to your 9 a.m., procrastination is at an all time high and there’s a voice in your head saying, “Yeah, but if I just get an A on the final exam…”

There are one too many semesters where we college kids have fallen short and have settled for average grades, average bodies and average relationships because let’s face it: college is hard, and the impending cold whether is anything but motivating.

Remember in August, when you told yourself this semester would be different? Yeah, me too. So earlier this year I wrote a letter to myself.

Dear Maggie,

Hey champ, how ya doin’? Mediocre? I figured if you’re reading this. For the benefit of yourself, I’m writing down the bad habits you slip into every semester.

1. Go to class.

That’s it. Just go. Go when you think you can afford to skip class, because the reality is you can’t afford to skip class and you know it. This is your foundation of success — just going to class. If you skip one, you skip them all. You’ve (sort of) been doing this for two years now. You’re not a freshman, you’re grown. Grown women go to class.

2. Stop blowing things off last minute with a poor excuse.

Oh, I can’t go to meeting because I need to pick up someone from the airport. Oh, can we reschedule for next week? I accidentally let my neighbor’s dog out. Now I have to search Old Louisville to find it, oops! Darn it, if you say you’re going to be there, just show up. You’ll feel better about yourself that you did.

3. Use your agenda.

Your agenda is the one school supply item you’re allowed to splurge on, and you’re not even going to use it. You just reached into high maintenance territory.

4. Take care of yourself.

The free world class gym that’s a 10 minute walk away from where you live? Yeah, go there. When else are you going to have access to these free amenities? Honestly Maggie, you should be peaking in college.

5. Eat some fruit and vegetables.

Pinterest isn’t going to make all those pretty but probably disgusting kale smoothies for you. Also, when someone mentions to you that they “cheated on their diet” (i.e. had some whip cream with their bowl of fruit), you’re eyes won’t be working so hard to not roll into the back of your head. And, you won’t feel as bad when you think of what you’ve eaten over the past three days (i.e. living off of Halloween-themed Oreos and assorted candy).

5. It won’t kill you to stay in a weekend to study.

Oh yes, but all of your roommates and friends are going out, and it’s fun to succumb to peer pressure, but think of your week ahead. Do you really have the time you think you do to procrastinate? I’ll go ahead and answer for you: no you don’t. So go to the library or use your desk for something other than a laundry pile. Gold star if you drink tea and watch a documentary afterwards.

6. Call your parents.

Call them to see how they’re doing, and not so you can just complain about your life or slyly mention that you’re short on rent (again). Be patient when they tell you their mundane, small town stories. After all, not everyone can live the fabulous life you do.

7. Think before you ‘W.’

Apparently it looks bad on your transcript to withdrawal from a class every semester, so I swear if you take another ‘W’ because of absences, there will be some serious self loathing to look forward to.

You got this Maggie, can’t wait to see how do at the end of the semester.


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