Tips for Overcoming the Mid-Semester Slump


Anyone else feel like they’ve been in a bit of a funk lately? Between the chilly weather we had here in Tuscaloosa last week and schoolwork really picking up, I have found myself in the mid-semester slump recently. Luckily, I feel like I’m on the tail-end of it, but I always begin to feel a bit unmotivated and unproductive during this time in the semester.

I am eight semesters into college (crazy to say that!) and have found a few things help me when I find myself in the slump. Unfortunately, there’s no immediate solution that can turn the whole day/week/whatever amount of time around, but they do help in the long-run. I wanted to share in case you’ve been feeling a bit down lately too, and maybe these tips will help you work your way out of the mid-semester slump.


Take time to relax.

It can seem counterintuitive to relax when you need to be productive. However, I find myself needing to be rested in order to get good work done. Whether it’s watching an episode of my favorite show or taking a brain break to go and grab a coffee, a little time away from my computer can make a big difference and help me feel more attentive when I return to my work. Moderation is key here, so I like to set an alarm on my phone so my 20- or 30-minute break doesn’t turn into an afternoon nap.


I also find going to bed earlier makes a huge difference. While it can be easy to procrastinate and leave work for the evening, getting schoolwork done during the day to free up your evening means an earlier bedtime and better sleep. 


Use that agenda you got for the year.

When life is moving fast and I’m feeling unmotivated, it can be easy to forget about my agenda. Writing things down can seem overwhelming, but it can actually help me in the long run to see what I’ve accomplished at the end of the day. I like to fill out my agenda for the week on Sunday and revisit it each night before I go to bed. Not only is it helpful to see what I’ve accomplished that day, but it also puts the next day into perspective and helps me know what exactly I have on my plate.


Change your study spot.

While study groups may not be possible with COVID, finding a friend or roommate and going to a coffee shop or library to work can also help make work a little more manageable. Working so close to your bed or living space can make taking a break tempting, but for me changing my location helps me focus on what I want to accomplish while I am there. Plus, being with someone else helps me feel more accountable for using my time well.


Drink more water.

I am not always the best about drinking as much water as I should, and I find that when I am in these slumps that I often have not been drinking enough water. Filling up my reusable insulated tumbler is an easy first step to helping solve this. I also find that drinking with a straw helps me drink more, too. It is amazing what a difference water can make in how you feel and your attitude, but it’s so important to starting to feel re-energized!


Schedule incremental times of productivity.

I’m someone that loves to work to a deadline, so when I am trying to get myself to be productive, setting a personal deadline is helpful for me. I give myself a certain amount of time to complete an assignment and set a timer on my phone so I don’t forget. While I don’t always meet my deadline, knowing I only have a certain amount of time to get something done helps me stay off my phone and spend an unnecessary break on TikTok.


If you’re not into time-frame deadlines, you can also try setting quantifiable deadlines. For example, you can try to make 50 flashcards today or complete five internship applications by Friday. These still are benchmarks of progress, but don’t necessarily give the stress of crunch time.


The mid-semester slump is no fun, but I hope these tips and suggestions for what I use to keep myself motivated and productive help. I’m always looking for new ideas too, and would love to hear any recommendations you have for staying positive and energized in a hectic semester!

Post a Comment