4 tips for beating the mid-semester slump

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It’s the middle of the semester and the signs of falling motivation are there. No matter how far you dig into your bag, you can’t find a pencil and have to ask to borrow one — again. Your laundry basket is overflowing, you find yourself contemplating skipping classes almost daily, and you end up staring at a blank screen more often than actually writing the essay you were assigned.

Midterms are on their way and the semester only gets harder from here. You might be guzzling down unhealthy amounts of caffeine just to get by day to day. The mid-semester slump is creeping around the corner – but there are ways to beat it.

Organization is key.

An article from The Prospect suggested, “write everything in it [a calendar]; every assignment, every test, every essay, every meeting and anything else you might need to do.”

It’s easy to lose track of all the assignments, tests and social activities you have to do – and in the middle of the semester, it might seem to slip away easier. Use planners and phone reminders to make sure you don’t let one pass you by – or you might end up upset over failing something simply because you missed it. Try to set alarms even ahead of time so you’re not staying up late, downing Mountain Dew, and stressing yourself out to turn it in at 11:59 on the dot.

Set small goals.

It’s easy to get lost in the big picture and see the huge upcoming paper or test you have. To prevent from over-stressing, take a step back and divulge these tasks into smaller steps where you’ll be less overwhelmed. Study for an hour every day instead of cram-studying the night before. Break your assignments up into smaller sections by writing 30 minutes a day instead of trying to write it all at once. This will make those daunting tasks more simple and keep you from being overwhelmed.

Bad habits are hard to break – but they are breakable.

Maybe it’s time to change up your routine. Maybe the habits you started at the beginning of the semester aren’t quite working out — so it’s time for a plan B. Asses what you have been doing, what has worked and what hasn’t.

Take a break.

Make time for relaxing and doing things you enjoy. Even if the only way is to set a specific time for yourself to take a break. An article from The Young Hopeful states that you may need to plan all your responsibilities into a detailed schedule, including breaks and alone time. It said, “You may need to make a very detailed schedule that includes time for meals (preferably healthy ones), break time, and some sort of physical activity to release stress and get those endorphins going.”

Sure, you have an endless list of tasks to complete, but your biggest focus should be you. It’s healthy to take a break every now and then to do something you enjoy. You are not a homework machine; you need to get away from it every now and then to clear your mind. Taking breaks will not only benefit you, but will help you be able to perform better in school as a result.