So Your Semester is Already Off to a Rough Start, What Now?

The start of a new semester can mean a lot of things. For some people it can bring a new country via study abroad, returning home from abroad adventures, new classes and professors, and more money on textbooks. It can be a very exciting time and a fresh start. I myself have found that the spring semester, in particular, can present some interesting things as we’ve just rung in the new year and it’s a time for change. But, that being said, sometimes that change is hard, or things don’t go as planned and it all goes up in smoke relatively quickly.

I’ve been on both ends – with the new semester bringing refreshing and welcome opportunities but also with the new term bringing tears, stress and too little sleep. So, how do you combat those new semester blues if they hit hard before classes even start? Here’s how I’ve learned to deal with it over the past three years.


1. Lean on your friends.

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Whenever you’re struggling, whether it’s because of a boy, stress about classes, or homesickness, there are no better people to lean on. I live with one of my best friends which is such a blessing because whenever one of us just needs a hug or a movie night we’re always there for each other. Even if your friends live across campus, the walk there can be some time to clear your head and sort some feelings out. Sometimes the best thing to do is to talk out your feelings with people who won’t judge you, but who will also be honest with you.


2. Take some time for yourself.

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When you’re upset, sometimes you just want to be alone and that’s 100 percent okay. Sometimes it’s exactly what you need. Don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, I just need to be by myself for a bit.” It’s completely understandable when you’re stressed or upset to just want to decompress alone. As Jenna Marbles has taught us, me time and leisure are very important. Some people take this time to meditate, while others may want to nap or just hang out in your favorite café. Bottom line: sometimes being by yourself with your thoughts is what you need to process.


3. Watch your favorite show/listen to your favorite music.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Throwing on some John Mulaney or jamming out to Dua Lipa is my go-to for whenever I need a little pick-me-up. It’s easy humor or the perfect time to have a little dance party and look as ridiculous as you want. The little things can make the biggest difference in your mood and can also be a comfort factor, even if you’ve seen a movie 800 times.


4. Let yourself be sad, but only for a little while.

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It’s fine to be sad when things go belly-up, but don’t let it consume you. I usually allow myself to have one day to be sad about something and cry as much as I want about it, but after that one day, it’s time to move on and no longer let it get to me. Obviously, you don’t get over things overnight in most cases, but it’s all about baby steps. If it’s a case where the topic needs to be off limits with friends in order for you to sort yourself out, then tell them.


5. Understand this is only a small part of college and an even smaller part of life.

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During college, the smallest things can seem like the end of the world. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “this is the worst day of my life” or “I hate college this is the worst” because of some minor issue I can’t even remember now. At those points, it’s important to remember that the situation might not be that significant when looking back at your four years of college. Even further, college is only a small blip on the radar of your life, so that one little issue that happened freshman year probably isn’t going to matter come junior year. It’s all about perspective so try to remember how impactful something really is. Don’t let a stupid boy or a bad quiz grade ruin your semester.


6. Do your favorite things and go to your happy place.

Photo Credit: Boston Discovery Guide

At times the best tactic for battling a bad mood or disappointment is to distract yourself. In Boston, it’s easy to find a “happy place” to go to for comfort. I personally just like walking around the city when I’m upset or going to one of the study areas in the Yawkey Center for Student Services to relax my mind. I know my roommate walks along the Esplanade for the same effect. So, find that place or activity that makes you happy or at ease and utilize it.


7. Learn from it and move on at your own pace.

Photo Credit: Columbia Business Times

Ever since my first really bad break up I’ve tried to adopt the attitude that every situation, even if it's messy and hurts like hell, is an opportunity for learning and growth – whether that means learning something about yourself, life, or what you want from a person or a situation. So whatever is getting you down, be it getting ghosted by someone, a rough patch in a friendship or issues at home, see what you can take away from the situation that can help you in the future and start to move on. It sounds cliché but it really has changed my perspective on things drastically over the past few years and has made the healing process that much easier.


The winter can be rough between snowy and cold weather, the pressure of cuffing season and the stress of a new semester filled with new classes and new challenges. But, there are so many ways to practice self-care and ensure your dreary start doesn’t continue into your whole semester.

Happy spring semester ladies!


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