Avoiding The Mid-Semester Crisis

Feeling bogged down by the exams, papers, projects, and hefty expectations of professors that you’ve battled for the past 8 weeks?  Don’t worry; you’re only experiencing the mid-semester crisis with the rest of your campus!  There are plenty of reasons not to let this get the best of you though, and even more ways to survive it!  Read on for more…

I write this with the looming dread that comes with having 3 mid-term exams and an 8-page paper due within the next 4 days.  Can you say, “HAPPY-HALFWAY-THROUGH-THE-SEMESTER?!”

Fortunately for you, this post is not a rally for pity, but a fair-warning: the mid-part of the semester is usually the apex.  Mid-terms will happen, massive papers and projects will be due, and right along with that, you will find yourself feeling the effects of the mid-semester crisis, which include exhaustion, discouragement, and maybe even homesickness.

What causes the mid-semester crisis?

  1. By now, you’re worn down and ready for a break. You’ve been going to class for a solid 8 weeks now.  The late nights are catching up with you, as well as the dorm food, endless lectures, and hefty expectations.
  2. Everyone’s mid-terms happen at very different times.  While you may be studying your butt off for all of your exams, your roommate may not begin her round of mid-terms for another week or two.  It can be hard to study when the rest of your friends are off doing fun things because they’ve already been finished with mid-terms for 2 weeks!
  3. Unlike final exams, mid-term exams don’t mean a break is ahead.  This means that after all of the effort you put into studying, you still have the daunting realization that you have 8 more weeks left of classes and another round of exams to get through before a nice, long break.  I don’t know about you, but this can be really discouraging!

As I am finding out, however, there are ways to avoid this and gracefully exit the mid-term period in style.

Here are my helpful hints…

  • Take a fake-out break.

It’s no secret that taking study breaks will enhance your studying.  However, I always struggle to get back on task when break time is over and recall what I was last studying.

So while it’s great to take breaks, give yourself a fake-out break; that is, take a quick break from studying to throw some laundry in the washer, call mom, go for a quick run, or even study something new.  This way, you’ll still be productive and able to quickly get back on track!  Time management is crucial during exam time! 

  • If possible, go home when it’s over.

A week or two of high stress levels and sleep deprivation and all you’ll be wanting is your bed at home and mom’s cooking.  If your schedule will allow for it, it’s always great to head home for a quick weekend right after your hectic mid-term schedule seizes.

Not only is it a good time for relaxing, but it also makes for great motivation when it’s 3am and you’re checked out of studying.  Knowing that once it’s all over, you can give your laundry to mom and crash in your own bed is a fantastic reason to KEEP CHUGGING THROUGH EXAM WEEK!

  • Don’t ignore the fact that spring break should be nearing.

Of course, if you can’t make it home, hopefully your spring break will soon be nearing!  This is great time to remember that soon you will have a week to vacate from all things academic, catch up with friends, or maybe even bask in the sun somewhere warm, depending on what your plans are!

So for those of you experiencing the mid-semester right now, now is the time to grin and bear it.  It will soon be over!  You are halfway through the semester! Good luck!

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Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor is a freshman at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in Spanish. She comes from a small farm town of 1,000 in West-Central Illinois, making the transition to a large campus challenging. At school Kaitlyn is involved with the University’s Women Glee Choir, and also sings in her Church choir and is involved with her residence hall’s Resident Board. She enjoys writing, biking, and volunteering.
Kaitlyn Taylor

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