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While students are keeping up their studies, Thanksgiving lurks just around the corner. 

“It feels like it’s been a week since Tuesday,” one of my professors said yesterday in class. 

Isn’t that the truth.

If your semester is anything close to as busy as most of ours here at The Penn, you can relate as well. 

With the weather getting colder and daylight getting shorter, a once-pleasant walk through the quad is now like walking through a wind tunnel just to make it to class.

Getting out of your warm bed in the morning is getting harder and harder.

Homecoming seems like ages ago, and midterms (if you had any) are in the bag, but we still have three weeks until Thanksgiving break.

In college, getting to Thanksgiving is similar to making it to that joyous rest stop when you’re driving on the interstate and really have to pee.

At least this weekend is Halloween weekend at IUP. It usually serves as the last big blowout of the semester for students.

After that, it’s all about reaching that turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

So how do you push through these last three weeks even though you’re probably, like most of us: overworked, underpaid and just plain tired?

1. Music is key. 

If you wake up in the morning and just can’t find the motivation to get out of bed and start your day, hop on your Apple Music or Spotify app and play something that will set the mood. It can change your entire mindset for the day.

And if you can’t find the energy to sit down and bang out that English paper or those statistics problems, music can help with that, too.

Though, there are sometimes that music is not helpful, such as studying or memorizing a speech. In that case, check out some lo-fi hip-hop on YouTube. It’s calming, and there are no lyrics that’ll distract you.

2. Go to the library.

Do you remember before you went to college and your grandad told you to use the library to your advantage? Well do it. It actually really helps. If you get distracted fairly easily, the library can help you work efficiently, and you can attempt to avoid those distractions.

Yes, there is still your cell phone that is very capable of distracting you, but give Do Not Disturb a try. You’ll still get all your messages and notifications, but your phone won’t go off, and give you an excuse to check it.

Plus, when you leave the library and check your phone, you might have more than one notification, making you feel like you still have friends.

3. Catch up on sleep whenever possible.

This one is easier said than done. But the weekends can provide you with the rest you want and need. That doesn’t mean you have to go to bed early on the weekends, but if you want to sleep in until noon. Who cares? You’re a college student who works your a** off, and you deserve it.

4. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

Taking a quote out of Jim Valvano’s book here, but it has never been so true. You’re not alone, most of us are in the same boat. And we understand that sometimes it can just feel like it’s all too much. But don’t quit. There is a reason you chose to enroll at IUP. There is a reason you picked your specific major. Don’t look back and push forward.

And if you ever feel like you need help, reach out. Reach out to a friend. Most of the time they are feeling similar, so it can be good to vent. 

Talk to your professors. They were once students, too, so they can relate if you’re feeling overwhelmed or even if you’re struggling with something outside the classroom. 

The worst thing you can do is not talk to them at all and fall into a hole or go AWOL.

Don’t forget that the university has a counseling center if you need it. It is located at G31 in Suites on Maple East. The phone number is 724-357-2621.

Remember, you can do this.

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