Ways to Prevent a Mid-Semester Slump

July 1, 2021 Rachel Grier

The dreaded “mid-semester slump” is a rite of passage for university students. You’ve gotten into a routine. You’ve been studying the course material with consistency. And now, as mid-semester approaches, you’re starting to feel like you’re in a rut.

Perhaps this sounds familiar: You’re getting bored, not feeling challenged, and not feeling like you’re learning anything new. Unfortunately, it’s all too common to feel discouraged and down on yourself as you’re halfway through the semester and have to start thinking about finals.

To make things worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for students. The shift to online classes, work-from-home, and social isolation has been far from ideal. And more and more students report feeling drained, demotivated, and burnout.

But the good news is that you can shake yourself out of that slump and motivate yourself to get back on track.

Here are four easy ways to avoid the mid-semester slump.

1. Take Time Out for Yourself
Amidst the endless loop of classes, work, exams, assignments, and just the general stress of meeting deadlines, it’s not surprising that you might overlook your personal needs. You need a breather and some time for yourself to recharge and rejuvenate. Being stuck in the same exhausting cycle for months is detrimental to your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

To avoid getting into a mid-semester slump, we recommend taking some time out for yourself to enjoy the activities that you genuinely love. It could be reading a good book, spending some quality time with a loved one, working with a canvas and paints, or cooking a hearty meal.

Everyone has a hobby that makes them happy. It’s a good idea to make your hobby a priority to avoid getting into a rut. Taking time out does not mean dedicating days on end to your interest, but just enough time to make you feel relaxed and energetic again. This break will lift your mood and make you feel good about yourself.

2. Spend Time Outdoors
By the middle of the semester, the weather may be favorable enough for you to get into the habit of stepping outside. Staying cooped up in your on-campus or off-campus residence can get a little tiring.

Spending time outside comes with many health benefits, such as improved breathing, elevated mood, enhanced concentration, and more.

If you live in student residence buildings like apartments near Brock University, you can head outside to the nearest park to relax or hang out with your friends or roommates.

Take a casual stroll outside your residence to give your muscles some movement and prevent yourself from lethargy. Also, try to detach yourself from gadgets and instead concentrate on nature or do outdoor activities.

3. Don’t Shy Away From Saying No
It’s great that you can manage university and several other responsibilities at the same time. But, sometimes, you could become more bogged down with tasks than you may realize. You may be holding everything together on the surface, but deep down, you know you badly need a break.

While a break is well-deserved, some of us struggle to say no when things are getting too much to handle. Whether it is an extra shift at work, an extra credit assignment, a party, or even a casual hangout with friends, it’s important to say no when you’re drained.

Identify your limits and set realistic boundaries. You cannot continue to keep pushing yourself if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

4. Ask for Help
Handling things on your own is a great life skill. But we must not glorify this idea to the extent that it becomes toxic for our mental and physical health. We all need help at times, and you mustn’t shy away from asking for support from the people you trust.

For example, you might feel like you’re on the verge of burnout or are exhausted, stressed, or anxious. In that case, you could ask for help from your loved ones, friends, roommates, or relevant online support groups. It is also a good idea to seek professional help to cope with these situations. Or, you could just need a little extra academic assistance, in which case you might approach your professor or a tutor to start getting the help you need.