It’s that time of the semester where you’re probably feel more tired than usual and each day of class feels like a lifetime. It’s almost like you hit an invisible wall where school and homework just feel more exhausting and harder than it normally does. Let me tell you a secret…you’re not alone if you’re feeling this way. A lot of college students, from freshman to graduate students, get hit by mid-semester burnout at least once (maybe more) during their college experience. I know I have at least a few times.
Mid-semester burnout can hit you like a brick if you don’t catch it early. Here are 10 tricks to help you avoid mid-semester burnout before it can raise its horns.
Remember your purpose and your dreams
Every year (and right before a new semester), I write down my goals, my aspirations, and the reasons why I decided to be a pharmacist. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or that I’m not good enough, I remind myself what my purpose is and that there’s a higher reason that I’m in this position to begin with. I highly recommend that you do the same, which means take a few minutes to think about what your goals are and write them down somewhere where you’ll constantly be reminded of them. Once you see your goals and vision on paper (or screen), I’m sure you feel a lot better about why you’re working so hard in school.
Take a breather and have a fun day out
Sometimes you just need to get off campus and have a fun day out somewhere. If you don’t have a car in college, no worries. A lot of colleges have a shuttle system to take students to the most popular destinations around the city. Or hop on the local bus or train system to go to a new area that you’ve never explored. Want to make it into a weekend trip? Do it! Book a flight to a cute destination or take a road trip to a nearby city with your friends. Once you focus on yourself and your well-being, I promise you’ll start feeling better and more relaxed afterwards.
Prioritize your schedule
At the beginning of the semester, you might’ve fallen into the trap of signing up for too many commitments that you can no longer handle. This is okay, and it’s a learning situation that I, myself, had to learn a number of times. Before mid-semester burnout hits you hard, set your schedule and make changes to it over time. If something is causing you too much stress (say an organization or a relationship), you are absolutely allowed to cut out those things from your life. Life is supposed to be fun and joyful so if it doesn’t bring purpose or joy to your life, then say sayonara in the last remaining months of the semester.
Exercise, exercise, and exercise
I’m definitely not the person (at least right now) that enjoys working out, but whenever I do, I always feel better mentally and physically. Exercising produces endorphins, a chemical that our body produces to relieve stress and elevate our mood after a workout. When you’re first starting out, exercise can definitely feel like more work than fun. But overtime, it’ll eventually become fun and something that you actually enjoy. The one thing that keeps me motivated to work out on a regular basis is trying out different types of work out classes. There is so many to choose from that you’re sure to find something that you enjoy, from aerobic yoga to spin.
Start a new hobby and make time for it
Remember when I mentioned earlier about trying out new workout classes? Yep, the same principle applies. College is supposed to fun, exciting, and all about learning about yourself as a person. When you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed from classes, take a set back and try something new. It can be something that you used to do back in the day or something that you’ve always wanted to do but never did. This year I really want to dive more into photography and potentially get back into horse backing riding. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take a horseback riding class in college, and it was a lot of fun.
Go to your professor’s office hours
Obviously, a lot of stress is going to come from your classes and your workload. Instead of worrying at home, seek out your professor in his or her’s office hours. Your teachers are there to help you through the material so don’t be afraid to seek them out and ask questions. Don’t forget that they love what they do and appreciate when students make the extra effort to learn the material.
I remember when I was taking my first math class in college. I was in my teacher’s office probably once or twice a week asking questions and having her walk me through each problem step-by-step. The time that I spent with her was well-spent, and I learned so much. I had the same experiences in pharmacy school for which I am so thankful for.
Clean up your space
There is something special and calming about having a clean home. It’s so easy to let your room become messy and dirty when you’re stressed out, and for me, a dirty home makes me even more stressed out. Try to make it a habit to clean up your space, whether that be washing your dishes, washing your bed set, or picking up clothes off the floor, on a regular basis. The easiest way to stay on top of cleaning is to make a cleaning schedule and to do a little bit every day. This way your home stays clean, and it never gets super overwhelming.
Set a sleep schedule (and stick to it!)
If you want to avoid mid-semester burnout, then you’ll want to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep on a regular basis. Overnighters and long work nights are the thieves of joy and prosperity. When you stay up all night, it feels like you’re getting a lot done and that you are being productive, but you’re not. Your brain works less effectively when its tired and overworked. Instead of pulling an all-nighter, plan your schedule to allow you a full night’s rest. You’ll feel a lot better and more energized after you slept a solid 7-8 hours.
Have a Girls Night In
Chances are that all are of your friends are feeling the same way and are experiencing the symptoms of mid-semester burnout. Reach out to them and try to get everyone together for the night. It’s super easy to set one up and cheap for the wallet. Order takeout, get together some of your favorite things, and let the night waste away. My favorite nights in college have been playing board games or watching movies with my friends. But honestly spend time, in general, with the people that you love and appreciate. It’ll make you feel 1000x better.
Go get pampered
There’s nothing better than getting a facial or massage when you’re feeling overwhelmed with life and school. If money is tight right now, look on Groupon for some great discounts on spa packages in your area. I can typically find a 60-minute massage for under $50, and it’s truly worth every penny. After a facial or massage, I feel so relaxed and in-sync that I’m ready to take on the world. Make sure to read the reviews and go to a location that has good feedback from other customers. You don’t want to be left with a crooked back or an unruly kink.
Mid-semester burnout is a real experience for a lot of college students. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and do a little mental check in. Even if you can only spare 15 minutes, relax and do something that you enjoy to re-center your mind. I know you’ll kill the rest of semester! Good luck!