How to Kick the Mid-Semester Blues

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s easy to feel as though we’re stuck in neutral – constantly waiting for our classes to end, the weekend to start, and the semester to finally come to a close. Although it’s convenient to measure out the last bit of the term in remaining assignments or counting down the days until the final hour, it’s important to remember to live out of intent, rather than out of anticipation.

The easiest way to sink yourself into a rut before the holidays is to believe that you have to wait until school lets out to relax or to enjoy yourself – there is more meaning and purpose to your everyday life than simply completing homework and eating three meals a day. The life of a student is cutthroat and intense and exhausting, and it’s crucial to remember that your education does not define you. You are a student, but you are also a friend, a daughter or a son, an athlete or an artist or anything you want to be. You are a student at the University of Michigan, but you are also a twenty-something year-old kid who should be enjoying life – even in the middle of the semester. Here are some suggestions that may remind you to live a little:

Skip a class and give yourself time to breathe. Remember when your mom used to call you out for “mental health days” in middle school? Those are still necessary and valid and wonderful. Your time is incredibly valuable in these years of your life, and sometimes, spending time on yourself through exercise, napping, watching Netflix, or just calling your mom, is more important than any lecture.

Try something new and keep an open mind. Ann Arbor is an incredible place to explore, and there is so much to discover in our area, as well as in the state of Michigan. Break out of your routine – it could be something as small as trying a new flavor of coffee in the morning, or something as significant as taking an unfamiliar class just for kicks.

Attend an event and as many of them as possible. The University of Michigan and the area of Ann Arbor are home to phenomenal events that take place every single day; do a quick Google search and make your way over to the poetry readings, fundraisers, and guest lectures that seem to be so abundant on our campus. Education isn’t just something that happens in lecture halls – there are some things that can't be taught by professors through Powerpoints, and it’s up to you to go out and find them (no note-taking required).

Reach out to an old friend or introduce yourself to someone new. It’s so easy to become too comfortable with the people with whom you surround yourself every day. When you think back on your college years, you will most remember the people who changed your experience; we are surrounded by passionate, driven, diverse people who are all working towards the shared goal of success. Maintaining relationships with those who inspire you, and taking initiative to meet people who will enrich your life will not only augment your own college experience, but the experiences of others.

Treat yo’self – you deserve it. Grab dinner with your friends, go out on a Monday night, sleep in until noon on a Saturday, buy yourself an ice cream cone. Hard work is only maintained when it is rewarded and it’s important to praise yourself for all that you’ve achieved and all the progress you've made. 

Edit your life and do it constantly. Let go of people and activities and things in your life that don’t add to your happiness or growth as a person. It’s never too late to be someone completely new, and it all starts with the decision to reject stagnation. It may seem as though your life isn’t up to you, but it absolutely is; if you aren’t having fun, then what are you doing?

Every day of your life is a new adventure – a new chance to shape yourself and your life into exactly what you want it to be. Take advantage of these chances and make sure you take the time to smell the roses, pet the Diag squirrels, all that jazz.


Images courtesy of: Reddit and Stephanie Harris