16 Symptoms Of The Second Semester Slump
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16 Symptoms Of The Second Semester Slump

Do you have this infectious disease that is affecting upperclassmen everywhere?

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16 Symptoms Of The Second Semester Slump
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You're an upperclassman in college. You have plans to take on the world, but, for now, you're drowning in assignments and surrounded by idiots. This is it: the second-semester slump.

College sucker-punched you, your ego and your dreams in the face. You're too far in to give up now, but too far away from that glorious light at the end of the tunnel, i.e. graduation. You're going through what are potentially the most difficult semesters of higher education by far and, worst of all, no one warned you.

Educate yourself. Freshmen, be aware of the risks. This could happen to you.

As for the rest of you, I'm so sorry to distribute diagnoses, but if you have more than five of the following symptoms, you may be in your second semester slump.


1. In case of emergency, your backpack can double as a weapon because it's just that heavy.

Texts, binders, Red Bull, your laptop and planner, all stuffed into one bag that always seems undersized. Your spine will never be the same after walking around campus with a boulder on your back for eight semesters of college. Swing that bookbag at anyone, though, and he or she will be knocked out cold for at least a few hours— more effective than pepper spray or a taser, guaranteed (not actually guaranteed).

2. It's become the norm to pull at least one all-nighter per week.

You choose to tell little white lies here and there, instead of worrying your parents with your incredible lack of sleep. Your peers are sympathetic when you stumble into class with unkempt hair, sweatpants and dark circles under your eyes (we're just going to ignore that old saying that nights without sleep might knock a few years off of your life).

3. You're now a professional at "practical procrastinating."

You're so good at procrastinating at this point that you can easily resist Netflix. Now, your obstacles are even bigger: other responsibilities. Instead of that four-page paper, let's do the dishes. Instead of that take-home exam, let's write your weekly Odyssey article. What else kind of needs to be done, so I can put off that assignment that really needs to be done?

4. Your circadian rhythm is so off that your body might as well be functioning in another time zone.

You know what they say, "It's 5 p.m. somewhere," so act like it (except that's usually in reference to fun activities, like drinking, not studying and stress crying).

5. You've forgotten what hope is.

There's no shame in this. You are not alone. Those annoyingly happy people (*rolls eyes* underclassmen) are constantly reminding others to enjoy the present, but you are not in the mood for that kind of sappy motivation right now.

So what if you need reminders of days to look forward to, since today clearly isn't one of them? That road trip is coming up soon (is it soon enough? Probably not). Keep your head up, though. This paper, worth half of your course grade, has to come to an end eventually and good times will be had once more.

6. The only excessive drinking that you partake in now is chugging a bottle of wine by yourself while writing a research paper.

Remember the good 'ole days, when you could party until two a.m., crawl into bed and still attend your nine a.m. the next morning? Those are long gone. Anyone who tells you anything different is either one, not old enough to understand, or two, graduating years later than he or she should actually have finished.

So, you do you and indulge while you work. Tipsy crying definitely included.

7. You appreciate the little things, like 24-hour gas stations, because of your 3 a.m. Red Bull runs.

Especially in a small college town, those are blessings in disguise that you don't realize until later in your college career. So, thank you to you, too, Taco Bell, Walmart and McDonald's. Your convenience has not gone unnoticed.

8. All of your desperate e-mails to professors, begging for extensions, are sent between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

This is the big decision of the night. Do you have it in you to finish the assignment with both timeliness and quality writing? No? Then, hit send on that plea and hope for the best because that's all you've got now.

9. Once a day, you ask yourself, "Is a degree really worth it?"

You start to fantasize about different routes that your life could take— none of them ideal, but, then again, neither is your current situation. Maybe you could join the Amish or a cult. You could make those traditional bonnets look good. You also have the sense to not drink the Kool-Aid.

10. You simultaneously envy and silently judge students who brag about relaxing on week nights.

Oh, those naive souls. Good on them that they were able to finish those seasons on Netflix while you were in the library. By that, you really mean internal screaming and a string of expletives, directed at any and everyone around you.

11. You're pretty sure that your extracurricular organizations have forgotten that you exist because you're always either in class or working on assignments.

There are freshmen in your sorority who have no idea who you are. They haven't seen your face around chapter because you've become a recluse, shut into your apartment to work on that thesis you're starting. The secretary seems surprised to hear someone yell, "Present," when she says your name during roll call. Every single IM and sisterhood event conflicts with your evening courses. At least you'll be able to meet some new sisters at formal.

12. Your subconscious habitually counts down the number of hours you have left each day until bed time.


Without fail, you glance at the clock in class and immediately calculate that you only have five hours until you can crawl into bed and pass out. You look forward to crossing off everything in your planner for the day because it means that you're almost done being a person.

13. Crying. So much crying.

You've cried on the phone with your mom. You've cried in your slightly overwhelmed advisor's office. You've cried in the car outside of your house and in the school parking lot. You've cried on your boyfriend so many times that you've lost count. At least you know who has got your back and can also handle your ugly sobs.

14. Friends are just distant memories.

You happen to look through old pictures on Instagram before you turn in for the night. Awe, look how cute your friend group was at that fraternity party! When was the last time you all hung out? Maybe last semester— or longer— back when you were carefree? Thank God for your best friend, who still manages to drag you out of the house every once in a while.

15. Home-cooked meals are rarities, even though your apartment has a fully-functioning kitchen.

Your energy levels have been depleted by the time five p.m. rolls around. You've been on campus all day and haven't even had time to swing by the student union for lunch. There's no way you can wait another hour for even a stovetop or oven-baked dinner when you could get sushi, chicken fingers, tacos. . . You're convinced. You'll regret it slightly later, but, for now, sold.

16. You have to remind yourself to shower.

You've been awake for 32 hours and are dying for a shower, but do you sacrifice your homework for your next class or a rinse? God bless dry shampoo and expensive perfume (and your boyfriend for not judging).


Freshman year is supposed to get students acquainted with the work load of college. I'd be lying if I didn't say that, from there on out, it just gets more and more difficult.

The second semester slump exists, but does not last forever. It's a disease with a cure. At the end of it all, you'll be a college graduate, university alum and an educated citizen. It's worth the stress— at least, 95 percent of the time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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