It is that time of year again - the point in the semester when the mid-semester slump starts hitting students across campus. With midterms underway and no breaks in sight, this portion of the semester is exceedingly difficult to handle academically and mentally. Having accountability partners, taking breaks, and looking at the bigger picture can all ease the pain of the mid-semester slump.
Having a consistent friend or group to study with can help keep students accountable for studying especially when procrastination sounds more appealing. This portion of the semester tends to have some of the most difficult tests. Pushing through and continuing to work hard is a crucial aspect of beating the mid-semester slump. Some decreases in grades are normal at this time. However, if all of a student’s grades significantly go down, stress during finals season will be much higher than necessary. A group of friends to study with for classes boosts morale and increases motivation to ensure a successful round of tests.
Studying can be very draining mentally. Taking good, frequent breaks can improve mentality and productivity. These breaks can be as easy and short as getting up and moving around for a couple minutes to get blood flowing and leaving the study area for a short amount of time. Taking a longer break can also be very helpful because it takes a student’s mind off the study material which enables them to return to studying with a clear mind. Longer breaks can include hikes, naps, video games, hanging out with friends, and much more. Both types of breaks are very important during the mid-semester slump because they help relieve stress and increase productivity when studying resumes.
Stress relief is a crucial skill especially for the remainder of the semester. Figuring out the best way to take a breather and let out steam can be difficult but very rewarding. Reducing stress can be as easy as getting enough sleep at night or eating well. Exercise can also be an effective method. Meditation, yoga, and similar practices help clear the mind and alleviate stress. Ultimately, each student handles and relieves stress in individualized ways and there is not one great method that works for everyone. Finding balance individually helps students feel more at peace and prepared to handle difficult situations such as tests and presentations.
At this point in the semester, it can be very easy to be swallowed up into academics and busy schedules. Sometimes taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, whether that be the semester as a whole, all of college, or even the start of a career, can help put everything into perspective. Getting worked up over a test is more than understandable, but seeing it compared to the next five years seems significantly less important. Academics and grades are still important to attaining a career. However, neglecting mental, physical, or emotional health seems more unrealistic over one test in comparison to the bigger picture.
Defeating the mid-semester slump is a common goal among students, especially right after spring break. With accountability study partners, frequent breaks, stress management practices, and reflection, students are set up for success during this draining time of the semester. Remember to keep a positive attitude and maintain good self-care practices!