5 Feels You Have at the End of the Semester & How to Avoid Them

1. Tired

It's no secret that the end of the semester turns a college campus into an episode of The Walking Dead. Even the best planners end of up running on an empty fuel tank at the end of the semester. Your big papers, projects, presentations, and exams are all happening in a two week time span leading to long nights in the library followed by early mornings to get to your last few classes.

We all think we can just power through, but lack of sleep can do more harm than the good of trying to learn a 4 months worth of material in one night like:

  • Loss of concentration, alertness
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Forgetfulness
  • Weight gain

How to Avoid It:

The obvious and often recommended solution by parents and professors who don't understand the struggle is to simply get more sleep. But we all know that's useless advice.

Sometimes that's just not an option. Make sure you continue eating high energy meals. Sometimes feeling tired is just a result of lack of food rather than sleep.  Also, even when you're super tired, avoid taking naps longer than 90 minutes at a time. Anything longer than that can actually make you feel more tired when you wake up and might even prevent you from sleeping later that night!

2. Hungry

How many times has this happened to you?

You hit snooze on your alarm until the last possible second, forcing you to go straight from your bed to your class to take a final exam. Then it's straight to the library to cram for the next one. By the time you get home, you snap at your roommates for watching TV without you and when you're pouting in your bed, you finally notice your stomach is growling and remember you haven't eaten all day. You order a pizza or make some Ramen and then apologize for your hangry behavior.

Even if this is a rarity being hungry for long can cause some major short term problems:

  • Poor brain function
  • Heartburn/Indigestion
  • Unable to exercise
  • Poor sleep
  • Mood Problems aka HANGER

How to Avoid It:

Prioritize eating over studying. Your studying is useless if all you can think about is what kind of pizza you want to have delivered to the library. If it's a matter of forgetfulness, set an alarm to remind you to eat or do your studying at a coffee shop or near a food place on campus. Smelling food or seeing it will remind you to refuel.

3. Stressed/Overwhelmed

The end of the semester seems like some psychological experiment gone wrong to test the stress levels and reactions of young people. Some will tell you to make a To-Do list. If you're like me, seeing all of your responsibilities all in one place and having to think about them all at one time only makes you wonder how you're going to get it all done.

How to Avoid It:

Write out how you're going to get it all done. Sometimes it really makes a big difference to micromanage your own life. This may sound ridiculous, but it hasn't failed me yet, so just hear me out. Plan every hour of your day a week at a time and do it realistically. If you know you're not going to wake up at 6am and finish that paper, don't write it down. Find other times that you know you can commit to. Give priority to the assignments that are due the soonest and slowly work in the rest as you have the mental and emotional capacity to do so.

If it's not the organization that gets you down, you can also try the old classics like taking a 15 minute break, exercising, taking a power nap, or even watching TV (but only if you have self-control to stop and get back to work).

4. Lazy

Sometimes your mind finishes the semester before the actual end of semester, and you find yourself spending your afternoon watching House of Cards instead of studying for the final you have the next day because you just don't care anymore.

Well 9 times out of 10, when the professor is handing out the exam the next day, you're going to wish you would've studied and wonder why you got so lazy. 

How to Avoid It:

Study or work with friends in a public place. For some reason, it is much easier to let yourself down than other people. If you say you're going to meet your friends, you are more likely to follow through with it and actually study for that final.

Getting started is half the battle. If you have a major assignment due, don't think about finishing the paper, just try to motivate yourself to start the paper. Once you get going, you're much less likely to stop.

5. Nervous

Why the assignments that are worth the most part of your grade all have to be due at the end of the semester, we may never know. Not only does it put a lot of pressure on you, but when you're sitting down to take the test or give the one presentation that could seal your fate in the class, nerves are natural. Being nervous is sometimes a good thing, but too many nerves can cause your mind to go completely blank.


How to Avoid it:

Do the super hero pose about 2 minutes before the big event happens. It's been scientifically proven that how you sit or stand can affect your confidence. Stand or sit in an open pose. Spread and/or extend your legs out and put your arms on your hips or behind your head. Make your body as long and wide as you can. On the flip side of that, avoid sitting with your legs or arms crossed. When you make yourself smaller, you feel smaller, but when you make yourself bigger, you feel bigger.


HCHI wishes you luck in these last few weeks of the semester!