The 5 Stages You Go Through Every College Semester

Now that I’ve been through several college semesters, I’m starting to notice a pattern in the phases I go through. In fact, it really isn’t just me, I notice a lot of my friends and peers going through the same cycle. You have your ups, you have your downs and you have some days where it really seems like there isn't any lower you can go. While everyone's college experience is different, there is no doubt that at some point during your college career you will experience these phases.

Syllabus Week

I have a love-hate relationship with syllabus week. It’s nice because you usually waste one whole class period going over the syllabus, and your only real obligation is to buy your textbooks, and maybe start reading a chapter or two. I always feel super motivated and organized and ready to take on the semester. But then there are some classes where I’m like, “Holy crap we really have to do all this? There’s absolutely no way I am getting all of this done. I don’t even know what that word means, now we have to do a whole project about it? Alright, I guess I’ll accept a C in this class.”

Loss of Motivation

Just a few weeks into the semester, I usually feel a decrease in motivation and it hits you like a truck. At this point, I'm usually sick of doing homework, and easily distracted, and I just feel like the semester is never going to end. I most likely have given up on reading the book that seems to have added no value to my daily life, and I’m probably pretty upset that I spent $200 on something so worthless. 

Relaxation Periods

Those days where you realize you couldn’t be doing homework even if you wanted to because you just don’t have any, are what keep me pushing through the semester. While everyone seems to be stressed, I couldn’t be more carefree sitting in bed all day, online shopping and watching Netflix. These days are very few and far between and always seem to come and go too quickly.

"What am I doing here?"

It’s months into the semester, midterms are over, papers and assignments are piling up, andI’m really questioning my need for a college education. I’m stressed to the max and it’s usually at this point that I’ve given up all hopes on a 4.0 or even 3.5 semester. The only thing that keeps me pushing through days like these is the realization that I truly am not alone in these feelings and all college students seem to catch these feelings around the same time each semester. I just rant about it to my friends and keep pushing.

Finals Week

Finals week always seems to go one of two ways. Sometimes I never really have any major finals, and the ones I have are nothing to really stress over. Other times, I swear I have descended into hell for an agonizing five days. I’ll have three exams in one day, and only a few hours to study for them. These ones always seem to be do or die. Pass or fail. The actual only thing keeping me alive is the thought of a nice long break ahead.

If you are a college student, you've most likely experienced all of these phases in any given semester, or something very similar. Although I seem to question why I even chose to do this in the first place, I just remember it’s going to pay off in the long run and realize that most of the time I’m stressed about things that don’t even end up happening and college actually isn’t that bad after all.