Avoiding The End Of Semester Slump

Avoiding The End Of Semester Slump

How to stay motivated when you're on the verge of giving up.
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It's that time of year once more—spring is in the air and summer is just on the horizon. In the midst of all the sunshine, flowers, and beach fever, it's difficult to remain motivated and keep your priorities in check. Study "breaks" turn into endless Netflix marathons, and every night becomes the perfect night to go out when there's 70-degree weather outside. It's easy to discount the papers, exams, and projects when you are so close to the finish line; although you want to finish strong, you can't remember why you're doing so in the first place.

I know what it's like. I know you're on the verge of giving up. You're sick of your job, your classes are dragging, and the work seems endless. At this point, you could honestly care less about flunking that last exam, and attending classes seems completely arbitrary. I know, because I'm going through it too. Spring fever has hit me in full force, and it's taking every bit of energy I have to finish out the year.

I also know this—as tempting as it is to discard your responsibilities, you owe it to yourself to do the best you can. All the effort you put in throughout the semester, the sleepless nights, early mornings, and caffeine-induced study sessions mean nothing if you let it all go now. Soon enough, summer will be here, and you can finally have the long-awaited lazy mornings and relaxing pool days (those with internships and summer classes, RIP). Until then, put your energy and efforts into succeeding to the best of your abilities in whatever endeavors you have yet to accomplish.

You may dread it now, but your future self will thank you for not letting your GPA tank during your last few weeks of spring semester. By no means am I saying you should shut yourself out from society and fun and solely focus on the work at hand, but don't take a nap or watch TV every time you remember you have something important to do. Find the balance between work and pleasure. In the end, the work will be worth it. Until then, here are a few ways to make these last few weeks slightly more bearable.

1. Have some fun in the sun

Just because you have a paper to write or math problems to work out doesn't mean you can't enjoy the beautiful weather! One of the most depressing moments for me is when there is beautiful weather outside, but I'm stuck inside studying. Take the books, hit the closest lake or park near you, and study there! Need WiFi? Not a problem. Many parks offer WiFi service as well. Raleigh actually has their own WiFi network throughout the city, so even places such as Pullen Park, which happens to be my favorite study spot, have access to the internet. If this doesn't work for you, check out places such as Bruegger's or Starbucks that offer outdoor seating along with WiFi! You get to soak up the sun and get your vitamin D intake while soaking up the information you need to do great on your exam.

2. Two (or more) is better than one

Let me guess—your motivation is at an all-time low. Lucky for you, that's pretty much the state of every other student on this campus as well. In instances when you feel like you just can't get through the work alone, make plans to study with classmates to help each other out. Making plans to study with other people makes you accountable for showing up and actually doing your work.

3. Set goals and rewards

When the amount of work you have becomes overwhelming, or you just can't find the motivation to get it done, set rewards that can help inspire you to get it done. Make plans with a friend to do something you like once you get to a certain chapter, or whenever you finish your paper. Just make sure these goals are realistic. For example, I told myself that once I finish this article, I will treat myself to a five-course meal at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate yet another article. Very realistic and attainable, right? (Reality: currently, I cannot afford a single slice of cheesecake, let alone an entire dinner).

4. Make a schedule, and follow it

Sometimes you know that you have work to do, but you say that you'll do it "later." Instead of procrastinating and then crying on the inside (or outside) when the work all piles up, make a schedule that gives you enough time to get your work done. Set time aside for work, studying, and for relaxation! Need to have your daily Netflix fix? Pencil it in! It sounds silly, but when you have a plan, it will help you maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle with both work and fun. Of course, once you make a schedule, you should follow it! (Personally, I'm still working on this part)


So there you have it. Even though the thought of sitting down and writing that 20-page paper you have due a week from now makes you want to cry, the sooner you start, the faster it'll get done. Stay motivated and you can make it through these last weeks of the semester successfully. If not, you're probably at the wrong school. In this instance, you should probably head to the counterfeit diploma business down the road (also known as UNC) and buy your degree.

Cover Image Credit: The Odyssey

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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