ABOVE: Students gather around the Mound. (File Photo)

By Cale Erirch
Staff reporter

Four and a half weeks. There are four and half weeks of classes left for the fall semester until finals. That means roughly one more month of studying, homework, classes, and extracurricular activities until we can all join each other in breathing a collective sigh of relief.
For now, we’re at the awkward part of the semester between coasting and putting our noses to the grindstone to get to the end.
We’ve made it through midterms, homecoming and Halloween, so what is next? For many, this thought may be overwhelming. Classes you vowed to attend religiously now come second to the snooze button, because who can deny the importance of sleep? But maybe if you hit that snooze button a few more times you’ll wake up just in time for finals, just in time to get through this semester and go home for a much needed break.
Now is the time of year when students begin to coast by skipping classes, and even neglect personal hygiene. Many of us roll out of bed moments before we need to leave to be on time for our first class of the day. We then throw on the first articles of clothing strewn across our floor that smell the least unpleasant, while rolling into class just in time to not disrupt the lecture and slowly slouch into our seat, all the while struggling to keep our eyelids open. But no matter how overwhelming this period of the academic calendar is, light shines at the end of the tunnel. But how can we get to it?
On the first days of school, we all took our time getting ready in the morning. You got up, showered, and tried to dress nicely for class, not knowing who you may see walking across campus.
The allure of a new school year has now worn off, and with that the desire to impress when you leave your dorm room. It’s difficult being a college student-spending time away from family, away from warm meals and someone to wash your clothes.
Having to lug our clothing to a washer and dryer is tedious, and could lead to a distain for washing your clothes altogether. You may have a pile of clothes covering the carpet of your floor, or the infamous clothing chair coupled with the lack of time and desire to do laundry, waking up too late for a shower, and of course, no-shave November.
I know it’s hard to find the inspiration to get up and get ready for the day five days a week, but it could affect your performance in the classroom. Without a doubt, getting up and preparing for your day will wake you up and intensify your focus during lectures.
As usual, there are a multitude of distractions for students as we inch closer and closer to the end of the first semester. Over the past weekend, we set our clocks back an hour for daylight savings, making the days seem darker winter falls.
Soon, we will exit the buildings from class to the cold dark night, urging us to run home and curl up into our bed. Instead of opening the books to start homework, you’ll turn on “Stranger Things 2” and binge watch the entire season in a sitting. Maybe now you’ll start your homework, or you could re-watch friends for the tenth time knowing you’ll cry when they leave their keys on the counter in the final episode.
Yes, you should probably study for upcoming exams or start essays, but Ross and Rachel are meant for each other. It is acceptable to binge-watch Netflix here and there, as relaxation is a vital component to your mental health, but it is important to ration your intake and properly disperse your free time. Set aside an hour a day just to study for finals, and your future self will surely thank you.
Motivation is a key factor in finishing out this semester strong, but finding the initiative to do so this time of year remains challenging. None of us really want to be in class. We just want to fast forward to the break. No matter how much we look forward, this is the time where it is most necessary to focus on what you need to get done in order to perform admirably in the classroom.
Finding a way to motivate yourself to be awake and coherent for class by ignoring distractions could be the difference in letter grades.
It’s getting colder and darker, but there is the promise of home and a break on the horizon. If you are having trouble finding the motivation to finish out the semester just remember that we are so close to the end, only four and a half weeks left.
Cale Eirich is a junior majoring in communication. You may email him at cale.eirich@sckans.edu.