Chilly air, falling leaves, everything pumpkin spice, and all you want to do is curl up under a blanket and read a good book. The only problem is— you have four past-due assignments, three essays, two quizzes, and… a partridge in a pear tree.

Tis’ the season for the mid-semester slump. The time of year when the joy and excitement of a new semester has worn off, the relaxation and idleness from fall break are still lingering and the end of the semester is not quite in sight yet. Don’t worry, you are not the only one who feels trapped in this current state.

Though motivation can be low this time of year, we are only halfway through the semester and there is still a lot of work to be done. Let us help you rediscover your productive side and conquer the second half of the semester like the excellent student you are!

Where To Begin:

It can be difficult trying to find your motivation after you have been on vacation mode for a week. There may be times where you feel super motivated, while other times there is no productivity in sight— and that’s okay! It’s all about starting slow, planning, and giving yourself credit.

Starting Slow:

It is easy to feel rushed when getting back into the swing of things. Every assignment, quiz and obligation you have swarms back into your brain, and it feels like it’s now or never. When starting again, it’s important to ease into it. While it’s beneficial to track deadlines and make sure your work is completed, you don’t want to try to tackle everything all at once. Encourage yourself to complete one or two assignments each night (depending on your workload), create a plan that allows you to study, but also take time for yourself. Continue to get enough sleep, eat balanced meals and allow your brain to take a break so you can pace yourself throughout the semester. After all, you can’t learn to your fullest potential if your brain and body aren’t functioning properly.

Plan, Plan Plan:

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: plan out what you need to do. When you have multiple assignments due within a short period of time, planning can become overwhelming— trust me, we’re all a little guilty of this. As we have found out through personal experiences, the stress and anxiety cease once it’s all laid out. 

There are numerous ways to go about planning and organizing: you can use a traditional paper planner, you can use your phone, laptop or other smart device. You can use sticky notes, a white board, a calendar— the possibilities are endless! The key is just beginning, start somewhere. When you start planning out what you need to do and when it needs to be completed, you will notice a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and you will be able to find time for yourself, which brings us to our next point:

Giving Yourself Credit:

At the end of the day, the only way to get out of the mid-semester slump is to take care of yourself. Turning in assignments on time, studying for exams and prioritizing your academic career is a crucial part in finding your motivation. However, the only way you can achieve your academic and career goals is if you are functioning to the best of your abilities. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep, stopping at Doc’s to grab a quick snack or the dining hall for a meal, self-care and taking care of your well-being should always be your top priority. 

If you notice your mental health isn’t the best or it’s declining, take time for yourself. Schedule an appointment at the counseling center, utilize the relaxation room or explore the various features TimelyCare  has to offer. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, go to the Rec and check out one of their workout classes or just simply take a walk. Find the activities that boost your serotonin and bring you back to your happy place.

Acknowledge all you have accomplished so far this semester and encourage yourself to keep up the great work. When you give yourself credit, you are proving how capable you truly are, despite what the mid-semester “scaries” are telling you!

Forging On:

Once you have made it to the other end of the mid-semester slump, it’s important to maintain your motivation, organization and self-love. Before you know it, finals will be approaching and let’s just say, they are a whole other beast! Schedule time to go to the library, set aside time to fuel your body and not think about all the work and then go back to studying and conquer those courses!  As long as you pace yourself, set boundaries and tune in with your wellbeing, you are destined to not be defeated by the second half of this semester.

Good luck Knights, we believe in you!