It’s the middle of the fall semester, and frustration and anxiety can be felt across campus. As I come upon three midterms and the due date of a 3,000 word essay, I recognize that my productivity should be the only thing going up. However, the amount of YouTube videos I watch in a day to seems to be shooting up there with it. Yes, I am a victim of the mid-semester slump.
The mid-semester slump can be defined as the time in the semester when mid-term exams and assignments seem to pile up, and the stress seems never ending. During this time of the semester, I find the most creative ways to procrastinate from my work: laundry, cleaning my room, grocery shopping and, of course, the usual suspects—Netflix and YouTube.
I can’t imagine a student that has not experienced this slump. If you haven’t, I have two questions for you: what’s your secret, and are you even human?
Once the middle of the semester arrives, I begin to feel a mix of emotions. I feel happy that the semester is halfway over, and for the exact same reason, I feel terror.
The middle of the semester symbolizes a lot of things. It’s the last big opportunity to ensure that your grade is going to be what you want it to be. If you do well on mid-term work, you have some more wiggle room for mistakes on the final. Likewise, if you do poorly on mid-term work, then you have to set unrealistic expectations for yourself for your final exam.
There are stages to this horrible slump, and everyone goes through them in a different order.
One of the stages is extreme stress. For me, there are always a few times during the middle of the semester when I cannot think of anything other than the studying I have to do. Thoughts of homework and exams creep up in every part of my day.
Another stage is denial, this is when you try to ignore the fact that you are completely freaking out about everything that needs to be done. You’ll know if you or your peers are in this stage when any mention of work is responded to with the phrase, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
You may also find yourself in the stage of acceptance, which is when you feel relaxed about everything, and take on a “whatever happens, happens” way of thinking. This relaxed way of thinking doesn’t necessarily mean studying is not being done, it just means that a sort of calmness has been adopted. A freak out is usually close behind this stage.
Everyone experiences the mid-semester slump in one way or another. I’m experiencing it right now, and the stage I am in can change from hour to hour. I wish I had some helpful advice to give to my fellow students, but all I can say is keep working hard, we are all making our way to winter break, one procrastination-driven freak out at a time.