Mid-Semester Slump

By Chloe Gamber, Head Academic Writer

Photos from mosaictreecounseling.com and world.edu

Everyone gets burnt out from schoolwork, no matter who they are. Constantly worrying about a grade or just forcing yourself out of bed can be a struggle everyone has felt. The transition of semesters is also a hassle because we have to create a whole new routine again. Managing your involvement in organizations, sports, or a job are major stressors on their own, let alone a full workload from classes each week. Some will be ending their half-semester courses this week, which are very difficult courses to manage. I, personally, have struggled with eight-week courses because there is such a heavy workload in such a small amount of time. Regardless of the length, it is impossible to really get the full grasp of every lesson from each course.

It is impossible to grasp each lesson for its full-intended purpose because courses take an equal amount of time for each section in most instances. If a lesson is too long, then students will also be worn out and result in more burnout. Being burned out can happen at any time, but there are many ways to handle being burned out and pushing through.

Tips and Tricks

Organization when having a cluttered schedule is a major key to success. Having sticky notes, a planner, and/or a white board is a great way to keep track of your schedule each week. When you are rushing to finish assignments, it is still important to take breaks —pushing through an assignment without a break can cause anyone to be more burnt out than ever. Watching a fun video or resting your eyes are good ways to refresh yourself before continuing an assignment. Spacing out study sessions each night is also a great practice to help with being burnt out. Making time to do physical activity, such as a short walk or stretch session, can help generate blood flow that you cannot get while sitting down, cramming for a test. Physical activity will allow your body to function, and it is more beneficial than sitting and expecting your body to remain energized. According to dailybruin.com, there are many reasons that show that movement while in the classroom would be beneficial. Students would be more alert and not inhibited from sitting for so long. Of course, this is not often practiced, but the same premise applies to studying at your own desk.

Pushing Through

Being able to overcome the pressures of exhaustion is a lesson we all need to learn. Having the right mindset is the main key to overcoming any situation you come across. When it comes to being in the slump of mid-semester exams, you should feel accomplished by your success so far and know it is worth the struggle. Knowing the worth of yourself and your hard work is very valuable. Going mindlessly through school and work is only going to cause pain. Having barriers that cause your mind to wander is expected as a student. Overcoming each barrier you face in your academics gets you closer to the end goal of graduating. Knowing that the times are tough now but will pay off is something I constantly remind myself. According to heathline.com, a study showed that “ in 2020, the student burnout was 40%. In April 2021, it was 71%.” 

The pandemic has definitely caused an increase in the concern of student mental health. Having fears about the pandemic can also provoke a bad mindset. The best way to get through school during the pandemic is to know that everyone is in this together; we all are facing difficulties with changes in the classroom. Reaching out to those around you is always a good idea, to gain a sense of community and keep a better mindset.

Understanding the signs

Knowing the difference between burnout and boredom is very important. A few signs concerning burnout from healthline.com include: “forgetfulness, diminished pride in work, losing sight of goals, irritability with those around you, fatigue and tension.” Burnout can occur for many reasons and pinpointing these reasons is vital. Figuring out if it is your academic schedule or other life occurrences is a major process, and understanding the source of the burnout will help you to know who to reach out to in order to get help.

Need to Reach Out?

No one should feel ashamed for reaching out or seeking guidance—reaching out for the sake of your mental health will definitely impact every aspect of your life, especially within the classroom. You should never feel ashamed of seeking a tutor either—everyone learns differently and it is difficult to find a customized teaching style that is uniform to everyone. Just because you don’t understand the professor’s way of teaching does not mean you are unable to learn the material. Sometimes, it just takes an additional source to guide you in the right direction. Everyone’s academic journey is different, but each involves personal struggles. This is the time to discover what steps you can take to avoid being burnt out this semester!

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