It’s the end of your school semester, and as you study for finals or daydream about your upcoming vacation, you might feel a tinge of sadness growing in the back of your mind. What is that, you ask? Well, with the end of any given semester, cheerleaders have to say a temporary (and sometimes final) farewell to the sidelines! For senior cheerleaders or for sideline cheerleaders not participating after the break, saying goodbye to your school team can be one of the hardest things you do in high school. For those returning to the sidelines after winter or summer break, you probably still feel a minor ache in your heart when you consider a cheerleading hiatus. Luckily, there’s always competitive and rec teams to fill the void if you feel one! So, in order for you to make the most out of your break, here are some things to keep in mind as you wrap up football or basketball season.

1. Make the most of the final few games.
Has your school team made it to the championship? Hype it up! That’s a big deal not only for the team athletes and for your cheer team, but it’s a huge event for your school! Get the whole student body excited by promoting a theme at the game or a contest for the most school spirit. The bigger the student section turn-out, the more your school team will feel supported–even making them play better, too! If the teams you cheer for haven’t made the playoffs this year, never fear! Take the nostalgia you feel now and apply it to your next cheer season, to really make it count.

2. Create lasting memories. Even though being on a cheer team creates more than enough memories over the years, commemorate them in a special way for this particular semester. One way to do so is through an event: you can host an impromptu end-of-the-season awards party, or a team-bonding night at the movies. Another way to cement your semester team is through arts and crafts: take the team pictures that have accumulated on Facebook and Instagram over the past semester, and turn them into a collage! Go an extra step to give back to your teammates by creating individual collages for everyone on the team through compiling their performance and practice selfies.

3. Determine what you want out of next season.
You might be headed into a school break, but you definitely don’t want your fitness or flexibility to slide if you plan on returning to the sidelines in a few months. Make sure you head into your school vacation with a concrete plan of how you’re going to be ready for triumphant return. This is also a great time to reflect on the progress you’ve made as a cheerleader over the past semester, and figure out what you can do differently to improve even more next time around! If you’re not returning to sideline cheer, again, don’t fret: ending your sideline career means that you will have WAY MORE free time, so might as well start putting plans in motion to fill the gap. The items on your bucket list might be closer to actualities than you think!

In what other ways can you wrap up sideline season in style? How are you coping? Let us know your story in the comments!