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How to Stay Motivated and Avoid the Mid-Semester Slump

By Shayna Ede on October, 13 2020

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Mid Semester Slump

After Christmas break, students come back to campus for classes ready and willing to learn. You do your homework every night and turn it in on time, you wake up every morning for that 8 a.m. class with only a little complaining, and you even go to tutoring every single night. However, after roughly six to eight weeks, students start to fall off the wagon. Suddenly, doing homework isn’t as important as watching Disney+, you stop going to that 8 a.m. class because it’s just too early, and your priorities are all over the place. So how do you avoid falling into this “Mid-Semester Slump” so to speak? Is there any way to avoid it?

You can start by prioritizing your work. Being unorganized while drowning in homework is an anxiety attack waiting to happen. To avoid it, start a planner and one by one, write down only what you need to accomplish. If you have a five-page paper due in two days along with a heavy math assignment to do, you probably shouldn’t write in “watch Netflix and relax” as a priority. Keeping a planner is time-consuming and tedious, but if you keep it up it will help you out in the long run.

If you try and try but simply cannot find the motivation to do your work, a distraction is often a good thing. Brain breaks often help refocus the mind and get the nervousness and panic out of your system. These brain breaks, however, can’t be too big of a distraction, or else the entire purpose is defeated. I find it helpful to watch a few motivating TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talks. TED talks are short clips from a motivational speaker of virtually every topic. Listening to someone tell you to get it together while also explaining why you are possibly struggling with focusing ironically seems to help motivate a student. This motivation may last a lifetime, or it may just last long enough to finish the tasks of the day, but finding a good TED talk to listen to is easy and helpful.

If TED talks just aren’t for you, that’s fine! Another way to stay motivated and on track is to find a study buddy. Studying with someone can help improve motivation, but they can also help you learn. Finding a responsible study buddy to help you is as easy as pie. They can be someone from the class you’re studying for or they can be one of your close friends. From my experiences, close friends have been the best study partners. They are usually not afraid to tell you what they think of your English essay and they are not shy when it comes to telling you to get focused. On the other hand, they might not know exactly what you are studying if they have not taken the classes before. In the case of studying for a test in a class specific to your major, choosing someone in class might be the smarter decision. No matter your choice, finding study partners help with the quality of work and staying focused!

Rewarding yourself can add to the feeling of being accomplished, especially after you just finished something huge. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I finish a project or finish practicing my instrument, I feel like I can take on the world. While doing something to benefit yourself or others often gives a sense of complacency, it is good to solidify this with a small reward for yourself. My personal favorite award is usually a trip to Taco Bell for the Cinnabon Delights, but rewarding yourself can also mean watching a single episode of your favorite television show, going out with friends on a Saturday night, or even going to the vending machine downstairs to get a little midnight study snack. What makes you happy is up to you and you only, no one thing that applies to every person.

One of the last things you can do to get through this so-called “mid-semester slump” is to try meditation. I know this sounds crazy but bear with me here. Meditation is a way to release all the negative vibes from the body. As college students, we often don’t realize how much stress and negativity our body is taking in until we reach our absolute breaking point. What if I told you that you could possibly avoid a mental breakdown by sitting on the floor for five minutes every day? To start, dim the lights and turn on calm music with no words. Meditation requires focusing on one thing only: breathing. When you focus on breathing, you clear your mind and for a moment, you forget about all the stress. Meditation has also been shown to increase confidence, improve sleep, and even go as far as helping prevent substance abuse and addiction. Many choose to meditate before bed to help them clear their mind, and also because this may be the only free time they have during the day to complete the activity. As ridiculous as it sounds, meditation can have a magnificent effect on students who find themselves stressing out and worrying often.

School can often be overwhelming, especially after four or five weeks of consistently waking up early. With these few tips, it can be easy to stay motivated and on top of life’s curveballs.


Shayna Ede

Hello! My name is Shayna Ede, and I am currently attending For Hays State University. In elementary school and even high school back in Colorado, I always thought writing was fun. I was the first to sign up for writing contests and English classes. I am majoring in Journalism, which seems quite fitting. I am in the marching band here at FHSU and I have a blast performing! When I’m not thinking about school, I like long talks with my family and friends, riding horses, and photography! I may be early in my years of college, but I have big plans to travel and see what this world has to offer after I graduate, while of course taking pictures and writing about the things I encounter!


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