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How to Survive the Mid-Semester Slump

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Yep, that pretty much sums up how we’re all feeling at this point in the semester. It’s around this time when college students everywhere begin to lose the motivation to study for exams, get those assignments done or even attend class. If you’re one of those students, have no fear because these tips are a full-proof way to get over that mid-semester slump.

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Evaluate your habits

Are you really doing your best work? Is your procrastination preventing you from getting the grades you want? Are you “treating yourself” too much? Take some time to think about how your habits are helping or hindering you this semester. There must have been a reason you clicked on this article, right? Maybe it’s time for a change.


Shift your priorities

First, you need to remember what’s important to you. Your health and well-being should always be a top priority, but school is also important. It’s easy to get distracted by everything else going on in life – socializing, extracurriculars, etc. – but don’t forget that you’re paying for an education. Once you get into the mindset that doing well in school is important to you, you’ll be more motivated already.

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Do what you need to do to stay motivated

Speaking of motivation, everyone has different methods of achieving it. Maybe you get work done in the library, but get distracted in your room. Or, maybe you need to sip on a coffee or enjoy your favorite snack while you’re studying. Whatever works for you, do it! Some other ways that I like to boost my motivation to study include: watching Ted Talks, listening to movie soundtracks on Spotify, studying with a friend and putting away my phone.

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Stay organized

Organization is key, especially at this point in the semester when assignments are piling up. Check all of your classes’ rubrics and write down all the assignments in your planner. Then, make a list of the assignments in order of when they’re due and tackle the quickly approaching ones first. It’s also motivational to make a daily to-do list and check off the tasks as you go.

However, it’s super important to make sure that you set realistic expectations for yourself. Part of the reason that so many students burn out halfway through the semester is because they have too much on their plates. If you have a mile-long to-do list every day, you’ll never get it all done and you’ll definitely feel like giving up. So, give yourself a break and make sure you the tasks you set out to accomplish in any given day are actually doable.


Change up your routine

If you’re “slumping” at this point in the semester, maybe it’s because your routine has been the same for the past couple of months. Try changing it up! I’ve started to make time for myself in the evenings by establishing an evening routine. At a certain point in the evening, I’ll stop doing homework, cook myself dinner and watch tv while I eat. I also like to read or journal at night or hang out with my friends without worrying about schoolwork. Now, I look forward to this new stress-free part of my day.

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Get enough sleep

Seven to nine hours. Every night. Need I say more?


Reward yourself (and don’t feel guilty about it)

*Cue the ‘treat yo-self’ memes.* The biggest piece of advice I can give is to reward yourself for your hard work. Give yourself something to look forward to after these few weeks of stress. Whether you get yourself a milkshake from the Milkshake Factory after an exam or you go online shopping after a long day of studying, you deserve it. Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks or doing things for yourself. Boosting your morale with a reward during a mid-semester slump is key.

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Get off campus

Go explore Pittsburgh, because there’s so much out there outside of Oakland. This is beneficial in two ways. First, removing yourself from the environment you associate with stress will put you in a better headspace. Second, removing yourself from the bubble of campus will remind you of the big picture of things. Which brings me to my last tip:


Remember that there’s life after midterms!

College is hard! But, you’re here and you’re doing it! You may be drowning in midterms right now, but just keep in mind that this is temporary. It will all be worth it in the end.

Madelyn is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh double majoring Psychology and Communications with a certificate in Corporate/Community Relations. Outside of writing and editing for Her Campus Pitt, she is also a member of CHAARG and Gamma Sigma Sigma. In her free time she enjoys watching horror movies, making Spotify playlists, exploring Pittsburgh, getting coffee and working out.
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