It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint: Counselor Tips to Finish the Semester Strong!

Have you ever thought about running a marathon? You can’t just run 26.2 miles tomorrow. You must plan, prepare, and practice to be up for such a challenge. It can take about 15-20 weeks to train and in the first week of training, you may be all in! However, around week ten, you may start to get tired as the excitement starts to wane and the hard work sets in.  

This is how many Florida Virtual School (FLVS) students feel when they are working to complete a semester course. The excitement of the beginning of the school year has lessened, but the time for hard work continues. Here are some tried-and-true ways to push through the last mile of your course and finish strong! 

Develop a road map of assignments 

Sometimes when students look at their assessments tab, it can feel never-ending!  Taking time for a mid-semester organizational check can help you get back on track. Be sure to use your pace charts to help you know how many assignments remain each week to meet your goal date. If you are stuck, call your teacher, and set a goal date to complete the semester. They can help you make a pace chart from where you are to completion. Sometimes having this “road map” of assignments can help you see a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Plan ahead 

Just as you can’t instantly run a marathon today without training, it’s often not possible to finish a course in a day. The more you can plan ahead, the less stressed you’ll be! Planning discussion-based assessments (DBAs) with your teacher can save you time playing phone tag and keep you on schedule. Let your teacher know your goals and plans! The more you communicate with your teacher, the stronger a team you become to help you reach your goals. 

Make it a team effort 

While running may seem like an individual sport, most athletes have a team behind them. You do too! If you’re running into a roadblock in your course, let your family and teachers know. Your family wants to see you succeed, so let them know what you need to be successful. Do you need to be able to work on your course on Monday from 1-4 p.m. uninterrupted? Can you use a quiet office space during that time or go to the library?  

Take the time to practice 

Just like our Running Club, taking the time to practice helps you do your best!

Even athletes have off days. If you didn’t do well on an assignment throughout the semester, be sure to tackle it again for a higher grade before taking your segment exam. Talk with your teachers about resources to help you better understand the concepts you’re stuck on. You may go to a live lesson, meet your teacher one-on-one via video conferencing, watch a video, or talk through the material with a friend. This will help you master the course concepts before taking the last exam and finishing the semester. 

Refuel and recharge 

To run 26.2 miles, you need to make sure your body is prepared.  Remember, getting 8-10 hours of sleep helps you stay alert and function at your best. Eating healthy foods, staying away from caffeine, and exercising can also help you stay focused. 

You may think that running a marathon or finishing a course is hard. It is, but you can do hard things. With a bit of organization (and your team on your side), you can finish this semester strong! 

Make the most of the spring semester with flexible, full-service online learning at Florida Virtual School. FLVS Full Time enrollment is now open for the 2023 spring semester. Head to to get started. Or if you’re interested in individual online courses, FLVS Flex is open year-round at

Anne FlennerAnne Flenner, School Counselor, has worked to meet the academic, social, personal, and professional needs of FLVS students since 2011. Previously a school counselor in Alachua County, she has received several awards and serves on multiple state counseling boards and committees. She has a Master's degree in Counselor Education from UF. Anne loves working with student athletes, supporting college and career readiness, and focusing on student mental health and wellness.

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