After a much-needed Thanksgiving break filled with family time and that homemade food that they craved all semester, students are realizing there are just two short weeks left before the end of the semester. For some, panic ensues. For others, it’s time to coast. Whether you find yourself in a panic state, a coast state or somewhere in between, FINISH STRONG!

I remember the end-of-the semester challenges of college. You are looking forward to going home for Christmas break, daydreaming about the wonderful experience you will have during a January Term Study Abroad program or a VISION trip, or just looking forward to some “down time.”

Staff members are excited, too, about Father Dease’s recent announcement giving us two extra days off so we don’t have to work during Christmas week. I know I was like a kid in a candy store when I heard the news, and I will be working hard these next two weeks to also FINISH STRONG! Thank you, Father Dease!

I’m sure you are wondering why I keep saying “FINISH STRONG.” It is around this time of the semester that I always reflect on the sound advice that my graduate school mentor used to pass on: FINISH STRONG! Some people say, “Gosh, you sound like my mom!” Lately, I have found myself repeating these two words quite often to the students with whom I work. I know my Linkages students have heard me say this a time . . . or two . . . or three! FINISH STRONG!

Each student here has an amazing opportunity to get an outstanding education. With just two weeks remaining, you should stay focused on your studies – it could mean the difference between a B and an A. It may mean putting off your holiday shopping, or studying before the holiday party, but the time is now. The advice is simple, but I hope it sticks in your head as it did mine: FINISH STRONG!

And good luck to all St. Thomas students on your finals!