A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

End of Semester: You Can Do It!


I do not even need to guess it; yes, you must be struggling with exams or papers at this point of the academic year. The end of semester is approaching and everyone seems to be really stressed and anxious. Wait a second. Think about it, this might be your final days as a college student, or you might go on an exchange in the fall semester, or you have an exciting trip after the final deadline. So, why not make the most out of these seemingly stressful days?

I have just submitted a draft of my seminar paper to my teacher, and now I only have my thesis to finish. To be honest, in the last two months I have been really stressed out with my thesis, an elective seminar, part-time job and internship coming all at once. I visit the libraries every day as usual, but some days I just cannot get anything done even if I sit in front of the computer without distractions around for 10 hours.

Isn’t that frustrating?

The thing you have to admit that even robots need electricity to function. We are human beings and we need rest; we might be super productive, but we might also get quite tired after working hard without rest for a long time. Get yourself some rest when you feel stuck. My friend Chloe told me that your body is very smart; and if you need something, it will tell you right away. So don’t push yourself too hard.

Concentration is very important, at least in my case. The last three days have been my extra-productive days, it’s because I submitted my (terrible and not even 50% complete) first draft of my thesis to my supervisor, and I could concentrate on my seminar paper. I stay at the library until late, but I managed to finish my 4,500 draft in three days based on the research that is done earlier. Tomorrow, I am going to resume my thesis writing. Some of you might be really good at multi-tasking, but I am a bit slow in studying and I cannot do many things at the same time, so doing one thing at a time suits me the best.

If you can, as I always do, take a walk in Leiden or The Hague. There are many amazing little things for you to discover, and those things will surely brighten you even if you think exam weeks are the dark ages of humankind. The singing birds will warm your heart up, and the running canals will brush away your stress and anxiety.

But but but BUT! Please don’t walk too much because that really hurts… I am a crazy fan of walking and once I walked for 12 kilometers in less than 2 hours. The result? My legs have been injured for almost three weeks now and I have stopped any *unnecessary* walks. I’m still trying my best to recover. So again, don’t push yourself too hard…because it hurts, haha!

I hope everything will be on track for all of you before summer holiday comes. Hang in there, you can do it!


— by Xueyan Xing, MSc student at Leiden University

One comment on “End of Semester: You Can Do It!

  1. mike
    September 30, 2016

    This is completely understandable.Humans fear challenges but at the end of the day,such challenges make us great.Exams prepares us for the best.Personally, I have a simple strategy: I relax in the summer and take a vacation other parts of the world.I have been to Canada,USA,China,Japan,Indonesia,India. My next boots are in Africa just for an intriguing activity,gorilla trekking.Of course,it is still early but I make my plans earlier.I have started contacting companies there already like gorilla tour booking safaris,,sight seeing safaris among others. Guys,exams are stressing that is why everyone needs a relaxing strategy.

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