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It is that time of the semester again: the final stretch. The end of the semester can bring a variety of emotions to students. 

Mike Cannon, communication department chair, said that students working through a semester can be compared to runners in a race.

“At the beginning, everybody’s excited,” Cannon said. “There’s a lot of energy. Everybody is optimistic that they’ll do their best and start and run well and finish strong. And then as the race progresses, that may or may not be the case.”

He said he feels the hardest portion of a race is the middle .

“All the sudden, you’ve gotten beyond that enthusiasm at the start, and the finish is not yet in sight,” Cannon said.

He said this phenomenon can occur among students during the middle of their semester, thus making that time of their semester a difficult one.

Cannon said that in school, like in a race, some finish strong and some cross the line on a stretcher. 

“I honestly see all kinds of students,” Cannon said. “I think there’s often an exuberant rush toward the finish, but I also do sense some battle fatigue when projects are piling up, final assignments are piling up, preparation for final exams are looming and are stressful.”

Rachel Redford, a junior studying communication, said this semester was so busy she never had time to get into a slump with school.

“You had to keep going or else you would fall off the train,” Redford said.

Redford said she stays motivated to finish the semester strong because of her goal to reach a 4.0 GPA.

“That’s kind of like the first stepping stone in my career,” Redford said.

Leslee Manner, a junior studying bio-chemistry said she enjoys getting good grades, but her greatest motivation to continue to do well in school comes from her dedication to serve Christ. She said she views school as one way in which she can help build Christ’s Kingdom at this point in her life.

“This is what I’m called to do right now,” she said.

After returning from her mission last fall, Manner said she felt unsure of her purpose and missed the calling she had as a missionary. Then one day during finals week of Fall semester she said she realized that doing well in school was her new calling.

She said this new point of view has helped her find purpose in school again.

Kevin Roberts, a sophomore studying sociology, said he is feeling tired as the semester is coming to a close.

He said he is on the Spring/Fall track, and, of the two, the Spring semester can be more challenging due to the weather.

“It makes me tired when it’s hot, and so it makes doing homework a little bit harder to do,” Roberts said.

Cannon said that when the track system was in its beginning stages, he noticed more of a trend in which students would become distracted or start to give up early. He said he does not tend to see that pattern as much since the track system has settled in.

He said students on spring track show the same level of dedication to their schooling as those assigned to the Fall/Winter track.

Cannon said he feels like the warmer weather can even be beneficial to students. He said the light and the warmth can serve as mood boosters to help students stay positive.

He said his advice to students who are struggling to finish the semester in a strong manner is to prioritize their lives. He said students should look ahead at their big projects and assignments and make some kind of a to-do list or plan to finish the semester the best way possible.

“Remember why you started and how you want to finish,” Cannon said.