Editor In Chief
We’ve all experienced it. Each semester starts off with the best intentions; fresh notebooks, neat planners, and more pens than you could hope to use. You start off with a neat schedule, a plan to go to the gym and a goal to finally accomplish something academically or health-wise that you’ve been promising yourself you’d do for years.
And slowly but surely, you work your way into your textbooks, your planner and your notebooks. You lose the pens, the motivation and the time to do anything other than sleep or stress about assignments.
It’s hit you: the mid-semester slump.
The mid-semester slump is a silent killer. This sneaky affliction creeps slowly into your very soul each day, and as it burrows its way into your life, it displaces all of the important goals and ideas you carefully constructed for the semester. It lodges pens into the cracks of the couch, deletes any motivation that may be hiding in the shadowy spots of your head and pushes days to last long into the night.
The mid-semester slump is something that each person can define for themselves, but everyone feels the pressure of midterms and the urgent need to pull grades into place before the semester ends. Maybe you can’t find time to do your laundry, or you pull an all-nighter to finish that important assignment, but things get harder to accomplish after weeks of dedicated work.
Some people say the sudden short days and the cold weather have an effect on student morale. Others believe professors have realized that they’re running out of time to meet their syllabus promises, so they pour on the pressure to shorten deadlines and layer assignments.
For me, Thanksgiving break has been stretched into a dim light in the distance, even though realistically it’s only two weeks away. I’ve come down with a mystery illness that not even Health Services could identify. On top of it all, I can’t find a single mechanical pencil in my house or backpack, when I know I purchased a pack of 100 brightly colored plastic writing utensils less than ten weeks ago.
Even the faculty feels the pressure at this time of year. Your professors struggle with the sudden onslaught of assignments to grade and classes to moderate, all while balancing a professional academic and personal life. When asked about his thoughts on the mid-semester slump, Dr. Robert Spicer of the Communication and Theatre department wasted no time in reporting that professors are not immune.
“Professors get that too,” said Spicer.
There is no advice to dealing with the slump. I am in no way qualified to tell you to skip classes, forget stressful assignments or blow off other responsibilities to find time for yourself, and I know there may not be any time to find there anyway.
But I will encourage you all to be kind to yourself. If you don’t want to join your friends in the library because they’re distracting, or you don’t want to help your roommate decorate the house for the holidays, it’s ok to say no. Find small things to make your day better, like a cup of tea or coffee in the morning or wearing a comfy sweater even if it isn’t your most presentable outfit. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to any of the resources on campus designed to make this time of year easier either.
Most importantly, remember that this semester will end, and so will the one after this one, and the one after that. Eventually.