7 Tricks for Getting Through the Rest of the Semester

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve reached that point in the semester when all I want to do is sit around and binge watch Netflix. Aside from a few bursts of energy here and there, I’ve lost all motivation. I manage to get all my work done and go to class every day, but that doesn’t mean that I want to do any of it. Not to mention, the weather we’ve been having lately does nothing to help keep me motivated. Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to overcome this almost-end-of-semester slump. If anyone else is struggling to stay motivated, I thought I’d share some of these tricks with you.

 

1. LOTS OF COFFEE. Let’s be honest, a large portion of college students are dependent on coffee. We need it to get through the day. I’m sure we’ve all thought about trying to cut down on our coffee intake, but this is not the time! If coffee is what gets you through the day, then have as much coffee as you need to keep yourself alert and functioning. If you’re severely lacking motivation, the extra energy that a cup of coffee gives you can seriously help you get stuff done. You can go on a coffee detox once the semester is over and you don’t have to worry about trying to get everything done. Until then, use your coffee dependency to your advantage!

 

2. Do your best to keep yourself organized. Try using a planner (or whatever method works for you) to keep track of all your exams and assignments. If all that information is in one place, you won’t be doing as much last-minute work which will greatly decrease stress levels. This can also help you avoid having to stay up late to finish your work – even though sometimes we can’t help it, staying organized can at least help us avoid it. If you have a slow week where you don’t have much work to do, try looking ahead and seeing if there are any assignments due in the coming weeks that you could get a head start on. In the long run, being organized and proactive about your work can help reduce unnecessary stress.

3. Don’t forget to sleep! One thing that I think every college student has experienced is having to stay up late to study or finish an assignment that we either severely procrastinated or just forgot about. Sleep is so important, studies show that not getting enough sleep can seriously impact your brain’s ability to function properly. If you have a big exam coming up, don’t stay up late to study the night before. Instead, go to bed early and make sure you get a good night’s sleep. In the end, if you haven’t slept, pulling an all-nighter won’t do you much good. You’ll be better off getting a full night of sleep and studying when you wake up than staying up late and not getting enough sleep.

4. TAKE BREAKS! I get what it’s like to start working on something and not want to stop because you’re making progress, but after about an hour and a half of focusing on one thing your brain is going to shut down and you’re going to get frustrated. Whenever you start to feel like you’re reaching that point, put your work aside and spend 15 minutes doing something completely unrelated. Don’t overwork yourself. If your brain has been focusing for too long on one thing, the quality of work will start to go down – don’t be afraid to let yourself relax. Do something that doesn’t take much brain power, get yourself a snack, go get coffee with some friends, anything that will give your brain a chance to recharge.

 

5. Make time to do things that make you happy. Whether that’s going out with your friends, reading a book, watching Netflix, or wandering around downtown, you’ll feel a lot better afterward. College is stressful but there are so many ways to have fun while we’re here, utilize that. Even if you have a big exam and you need to study over the weekend, take one night to go out with your friends. If you have to, set aside time in your week to do something that you enjoy and put it on your schedule. Spending all of your free time in the library or hiding in your room trying to get work done can get lonely. Even if you’re just going to the dining hall with a group of friends, just do SOMETHING that is fun for you.

6. Give yourself some ‘you’ time. As important as it is to make sure that you’re staying social even when you’re stressed, it’s also important to have some time to yourself when you aren’t doing anything related to classes. This is especially important if you’re an introvert like I am. In between classes, I make a point to go back to my room and decompress. Believe it or not, it really is possible to over-socialize so don’t be afraid to be a hermit every once in a while. If you’ve had a particularly stressful week, there’s nothing wrong with hiding in your room bingeing Netflix all weekend.

 

7. Remember that your mental health is more important than anything. Yes, your schoolwork is important, but that doesn’t mean that you should put it above everything else. Mental health is serious and shouldn’t be ignored. If your workload is really stressing you out, talk to your professors and ask for extensions on assignments. Don’t just try to cram everything in and risk having a mental breakdown. All of your professors have been there before, they know what college is like and how stressful it can be. As long as you’re actively engaged, putting effort into their class, and haven’t been slacking off all semester, chances are that they are going to be more than willing to help you out if you’re stressed or struggling to get everything done.

 

These are the tricks that I use to manage my stress, they may work for you or they may not. Everyone is different. Sometimes you have to try a bunch of things before you find out what works for you. Even if these tricks don’t work for you, there are probably other things that will. Just do your best to keep yourself organized, make time to have fun, and put your mental health first, and finishing this semester may not be as stressful as you had anticipated. I hope I at least helped a few of you with these tips. Have a great rest of your semester, Wildcats!