It’s that glorious time of the school year when you submit your last papers, do your final exams, and retire your schoolbooks for a well-deserved break. You’ve made it! Some semesters are easier than others, so whether you’re struggling to make the grade or floating along watching the clock tick down to the final bell, you have to end all of your hard work on a good note. Start your vacation on the right foot with these four expert tips to wrap up your school semester in style.

1. Pat yourself on the back.
You don’t necessarily have to do it literally, but you should at least reflect on all that you’ve accomplished this semester. Your teachers demanded a lot from you, you collaborated on projects with peers, and you’ve earned the grade to keep you on track towards your eventual graduation. Well done! School is supposed to challenge you, and you’ve knocked it out of the park. Now, before you officially claim your spot in front of the television for a couple months and turn your brain off until further notice, congratulate yourself on your academic achievement. Oh, and try to keep your mind active over the break if at all possible… it will help once school’s back in session.

2. Pat your peers on the back.
You’re not the only one that did a great job this semester–your schoolmates did, too! Classes are better with multiple points of view all coming together in a group discussion, so your schoolmates are helping you more than you know. Plus, more than one of them have either made your day, helped you out, given you great advice, or stood up for you over the course of this semester; a little acknowledgement is the least you can do. As everyone cleans out their lockers or gathers for a final lunch break, go around and compliment those that have made a major dent in your school life recently. Appreciation goes a long way, and what goes around comes around!

3. Thank your teachers.
Nobody likes a suck-up, but saying thank you at the close of a school semester is different than being a teacher’s pet. Your teachers are sculpting your future by instilling life lessons in between their lectures, lessons for you to carry and reference throughout the course of your entire life–that’s no minor task! And, unless they are a gym or theater teacher, chances are that you’re not going to be in one of their classes again. So, when the bell rings signaling the end of class, go up to shake your teacher’s hand for a job well done on their part. You never know: just this small action can resonate with significance, enough to get a college recommendation later on down the road, or career advice from them once you’re an adult.

4. Think ahead to next semester
. As you’re grabbing your belongings to head home on the last day, contemplate where you want to be when you return to campus after the break. What do you want to have accomplished by then? Take in the feeling of freedom now that your finals are done, and question how this feeling can be escalated at the close of next semester. You can really do anything with a solid game plan, so get the gears turning now before you get distracted with holidays or summer fun.

In what other ways can you wrap up your school semester? Share your stories in the comments!