With the blink of an eye, another winter break has come to an end. It hardly seems like a month ago we were all struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finals weighed heavy on us, regardless of our different majors. We all breathed a sigh of relief when we handed in the last of our work. But we’re about to start all over again and for me, it will hopefully be my last semester as an undergraduate.

I come into the new semester with fresh memories of the brutal weeks I experienced in the fall. I approached the fall semester with an optimistic attitude. I believed I could handle anything that was thrown my way. The previous semester had been my most successful in college, thus far. I had declared my second major and tackled it head on by taking six classes while doing a remote internship and writing freelance on the side. I succeeded and I believed it could be replicated. But it wasn’t.

Although I had one less class this past fall semester and another internship (an in-person one), I couldn’t muster up the energy or motivation to finish strong. I struggled day in and day out, ready to give up. I finally began to understand why people drop out of college when they’re on the last stretch. Some days it felt like I would join that pack, but with the help of my family and friends, I continued working until the last paper was handed in.

I may have completed the semester but I failed on a personal level. Although I passed my five classes, I received grades I wasn’t familiar with. In the end, I was stressed and upset. I had to come to terms that I can’t do everything at once and excel, yet. We are our harshest critics and I can attest to that. It was my first time balancing working part-time and school full-time, along with other responsibilities. But I’m determined to do better this upcoming semester.

In order to improve, it’s important to reflect on the past. Doing this allows us to understand what went wrong and how it can be prevented in the future. My biggest mistake last semester was forgetfulness. There were several occasions where I would open the door to a class and instantly remember that I had an assignment due that day. I did have a planner but I still seemed to forget about deadlines, which isn’t great news when you’re a Journalism major.

This semester I will have to constantly look at my planner and syllabi to help me stay up-to-date. By doing this, it will also help me with another issue I experienced–lateness. I could have passed with better grades if I hadn’t handed in work late on a regular basis. My professors were kind enough to even count work after the deadline and I ultimately dealt with the consequences in the end.

I don’t expect the upcoming Spring semester to be easy by any means. But I hope I’m better prepared this time – both physically and mentally. I’m not Superwoman who can succeed in everything she does. But I can make a better effort at improving myself in order to end my college career on a strong note.