Tips to combat mid-semester slump

We all have experienced it: The urge to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock early in the morning. That fleeting thought of, “Is class really necessary today?” That needed cup of roasted Starbucks coffee or a shot of RedBull and 5 Hour Energy, getting through morning, noon and night.

My fellow Eagles, we have hit the mid-semester slump.

My best encouragement to bestow upon you is that with this landmark, we only have a few more weeks to go. Think of campus as a 5K race. We have completed the hard parts – running past introductions of new classmates and accredited faculty, pushing through the beginning nuances and PowerPoint lectures of our classes.

And finally, we have put the large checkmark next to the tedious task of completing our midterms. Coming half-way to let your grades slip now would only create disappointment in this race to the finish line.

Take advantage of office hours. One of my professors almost seemed disappointed that we don’t go to her office hours more often. Why? Because the better communication you have with your professor, the more they understand you as a student – and the more they can help you succeed.

“This semester has been good. I think I’m doing well and have a good start to my college career,” Diani Braswell, a freshman commuter, said. “I go to office hours for extra help.”

Sophomore Caryn Banks also shared that upon attending Supplemental Instruction (S.I.) sessions for her classes, her test scores improved for the better.

“Definitely stay focused, and remember why you are here,” Banks said. “It gets tough but it’s nothing that you can’t handle. You will be proud of yourself in the end.”

It may seem unnecessary to attend study groups if you think you can do well on your own, but the university offers various cozy study spots, like the Eagle Study Tables on the first floor of Halle Library. This could be a great place to meet new people and if nothing else, you found a quiet place to work. You need your teammates’ support to get through this run.

Your organizational skills also can play a huge factor in your success this semester. My iPhone Calendar is my personal secretary, always there to remind me about an assignment or work date. If you are more of a pen and paper connoisseur, the bookstore sells great EMU planners with all the school dates and events listed.

“My advice would be to keep an agenda of important dates and homework assignments,” Jasmine Crawford, sophomore, said. “Post it somewhere you will see it every day.”

If you are constantly on your phone, make a homework Twitter account. Post every assignment so that when you go home and are scrolling through your feed, you’ll see your assignments. You can also purchase whiteboards from Wal-Mart or Meijer for a low price. Try putting them in your dorm room and organizing it so you have a list of your “To-Do’s” and “Upcoming Events” in big, colorful markers.

This might feel like you are taking it back to 7th grade, but binders containing separators are also very useful. Try having a different colored separator for homework assignments, study guides, and notes. Your mind will feel more at ease when your work isn’t all jumbled and loose in your backpack.

But a perk of this semester coming to a close is the excitement of winter 2014 registration.

Having trouble picking a class? Banks recommends taking the course on African-American literature. She said that while it challenges you and your beliefs, it also educates you about the world we live in. The course also fulfills a General Education requirement.

“My creative writing course instructed by Mary Koral is so interesting and fun to attend,” Bianca Mayfield said. “My semester has been stressful, yet successful. My advice is just focus and stay strong.”

I myself took an intro to creative writing course that has led me to minor in the subject. You never know what may interest you until you take some risks and challenge yourself.

We all know sometimes we get in the mindset of “Why?” Why did I take so many classes? Why did I not do that extra credit? I want you to take a step back and realize you are at Eastern for a reason. You were chosen for higher education. The classes you choose should be subjects that interest you and will further your career goals. Otherwise, you aren’t doing your time or money justice.
We are almost to the finish line, and we are all winners in this race.

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