I admit, it is really easy to get caught up in the end of the semester stress, and this has definitely happened to me this spring!
Somehow, the end of the semester crept up on me, and it seemed like everything was due all at once. Most professors openly acknowledge that many of the courses at MSPP are “backloaded”, this means that the majority of the work comes in the last few weeks of the semester. While there are many benefits to this set-up, it works best if you can use good planning in order to avoid having to write three or four papers in one week. But, forewarned is forearmed.
Throughout the semester I have emphasized strategies that can help, but there is no time when these strategies are more useful than during the end of the semester. I have had my workload planned for some time now (I even have my planner color-coated based on when papers are due!), and I still find myself wrapped up in the stress.
Thus, I have had to remind myself of the importance of self-care: If my mind is not well-rested, it is not functioning at the optimal capacity. Indeed, my final “Clinical Seminar I” class was devoted to the importance of self-care. I know I have talked about this in several of my entries, but I only talk about it so much because it is extremely IMPORTANT. If you do not help yourself how can you help your clients?
While you are going through the end of the semester it seems impossible that you will be able to finish EVERYTHING, but you can and will. On the plus side, it is very rare to have an exam at MSPP, so the majority of your work will be done at home. Moreover, MSPP does not run on a standard grade-based system (i.e., A, B, C, D). Rather, all courses are Pass/Fail and you receive a detailed evaluation from each of your professors on your strengths and growing edges.
Like all doctoral programs, there is a lot to accomplish by the end of a semester at MSPP. However, with strategic planning, self-care, and constant reminders that MSPP wants to facilitate growth and learning by having no grades, I have been able to make it through this semester!