Heading for the Finish Line – UW Graduate School Skip to content

Heading for the Finish Line

Whether you are enrolled in your very first quarter, or entering your third or more year of graduate study at the UW, the fall is always a busy time for meeting project deadlines, fulfilling work obligations, and taking care of family and community. We know you are looking forward to a well-deserved break. As you work through this week and the next, consider trying out the following strategies in order to help you finish the quarter on the right foot.

Protect your time. One way to stay on track during these last few weeks is to set boundaries with how you spend your time. Block out time slots you know you have to honor, such as hard deadlines for school, work, and family. Hold off on scheduling meetings and appointments that can realistically be postponed for a few weeks or more. Prioritize time in your daily schedule for short breaks away from your work space, to get some water, and for wellness and stress management activities that meet your particular needs.

Reach out for support. Every now and then life totally happens and we fall behind on papers and projects. Rather than spend time worrying about the possible outcomes of not turning in a final project, we encourage you to be proactive by asking your professor for an extension. You can do this by drafting an email to your professor. Briefly state why you are behind (e.g. family emergency, personal illness, need more guidance on understanding key concepts). Include any questions you may still have about the project. Finally, include a concrete plan for turning in your project in a reasonable amount of time. Have a peer proofread it before you click the send button. You could also have an in-person conversation with your professor during their office hours: just bring a draft of your project completion plan to help guide your conversation. More often than not, you will find that your professor is understanding and will work with you.

Reward yourself with self-care. It can all feel like one big blur after you’ve completed all your work for the quarter. We truly hope you dedicate time during the break to participate in activities that support you in feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and centered. This can include reading a non-academic book, cooking for yourself or loved ones, hiking or zumba, or catching up on episodes of your favorite tv show. You’ve earned the time to just be!

We hope these tips resonate with you, and have a wonderful break!


Core Programs—Office of Graduate Student Affairs
UW Graduate School