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A Guide to the Last Weeks of the Semester

Now that we’re finally beyond the first day of spring, we are officially on the home stretch of the academic year. The rising temperatures combined with dropping motivation levels make for a risky combination heading into the final two months of the school year. This is crunch time for final projects, papers, and exams, but most people are already mentally on their way to the Cape to spend the summer. So, how do we go about preparing for this final stretch of productivity?

The first step is to get organized. Most of us probably thought we had escaped spring cleaning for good when we moved away to college, but if you really want to be able to get things done in these last two months, you’re going to have to remain organized. Don’t throw that planner out just yet; make sure you’ve got all your key deadlines penciled in so that there are no unwanted surprises as May hits. Having a calendar and a planner proves to be even better because you can list the deadlines in two places so that it’s almost impossible to forget about them.

To-do lists can also be an incredibly useful tool in organizing your time for these last big projects by breaking them up into manageable pieces. Procrastination may be the chosen method of production across most college campuses, but staying on top of your work will prevent you from missing a beautiful spring day outside just because you’re too behind to enjoy it.

Another step to getting organized is recycling all those papers and notebooks from last semester that you don’t need anymore. This will declutter your desk, shelves, and drawers, making packing up easier at the end of the semester when you won’t have to wade through all the excess debris that has piled up over the course of the year.

Making time for fun is the second most crucial step for staying productive in the final weeks of the school year. Having events to look forward to makes studying all the more bearable because you can really see the light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, the last stretch of the semester is jam-packed with great study break opportunities, both on campus and in Boston.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

If you’re looking to have fun while supporting a good cause, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life may be a good option for you. This event, held to raise funds and awareness to help finish the fight against cancer, runs from 6:00 p.m. on April 1 to 6:00 a.m. April 2 and will take place in the Plex. If you’re interested in joining a good cause, you can register online.

If you’re looking for something interesting around the first of the month but don’t think you’re up for staying up all night, celebrating April Fool’s is another option. It may not be the most exciting holiday, but it is a ready-made excuse to mess with your friends and roommates (in a harmless way, of course). Swapping your roommate’s sugar out for salt, changing their ringtone to the national anthem when they’re not paying attention, covering their phone in rubber bands, and lodging their office supplies in Jell-O (think Jim from The Office) are all ways to get a reaction from friends and roommates under the excuse of April Fool's Day.

For a plethora of prank ideas, click here or here.

If you’re not too worn out from pranking or relaying, CAB is offering a tour of Fenway on April 2 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets for the tour, which will last one hour, are $15 for two. This is a great way to get out and enjoy some spring weather while getting ready for the Red Sox season.

On a related note, if you’ve got the budget and are looking for a sporting event, the Red Sox will open at home on April 11 against the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox play fifteen home games throughout the month of April, including a home series against the Yankees in the last weekend of the month. These games, combined with a walk down Yawkey Way, are a great way to take advantage of the spring weather while enjoying something quintessentially 'Boston' with your friends. Take a look at the full Red Sox schedule for the month of April here.

sailing boston

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If you have no interest in baseball, or you’ve seen enough Red Sox games to last you for a while, the Free Sailing Open House at the Boston Sailing Center is another way to embrace the spring weather. On April 30 and May 1 from 1:00-5:00, the center offers free sails in the Boston Harbor, run by an experienced sailor. Reservations for this fresh way of enjoying the Harbor will open up in April, and information about the event can be found on their website (including the opportunity to be notified when registration opens up).

If you’re looking to escape the BC "bubble" for a bit in April but aren’t interested in any of these major events, have no fear. April is a month filled with festivals that cover almost any area of interest. There are events for books, beer, jazz, and everything in between. The complete calendar of Boston festivals, and festivals in the surrounding area, can be found at this link.

If you want to stay on campus, don't worry–BC will be hosting a festival of its own right on campus. The 18th annual Boston College Arts Festival will take place from April 28 to April 30. The festival will feature poetry, dance, theater, painting, sculpture, music, film, and more from over 1000 students and faculty. The festival draws in about 16,000 visitors a year and is a great opportunity to experience culture without ever having to step foot on the T.

In addition to the festival, CAB will be putting on several big events in the final weeks of the semester. These events will include Modstock (the end of the year concert), Masters in the Mods (mini golf), and a Boardwalk (free games and food as they partner with RHA). The dates, times, and tickets have yet to be released for these events, but the schedule is due to arrive toward the beginning of April. Keep an eye out for these big events that will take place right on campus!

Plus, while you’re out enjoying the long awaited spring weather, make sure to keep an eye out for a good sunrise or sunset. The Eagle’s Eye Gallery is looking for photos to display in the fourth floor reception area of Maloney, and all participants will be entered in a raffle for a $100 gift card. Submissions can be made to through April 4.

The end of the semester can be tough with thoughts of summer on the brain, but it can still be manageable. Stay organized so you can stay on top of your work, then break out the sundresses, sandals, and salmon shorts to enjoy all that springtime in Boston has to offer.