Combatting the mid-semester slump

By Abigail Padgett

Midterms hitting you hard? Yeah, me too. Around this time every semester, I always seem to fall into an ill-timed slump, or a kind of unmotivated funk where I can’t stay concentrated on my work even though the amount of papers I have to write and tests I have to study for feels suffocating. This is a common feeling when dealing with stress, so here’s how I normally go about trying to keep myself feeling fresh and motivated through the second half of the semester.

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Courtesy of UP


  1. Trying a new restaurant: I’m a big foodie, and I think finding a new restaurant is something kind of underappreciated. We all know Oxford’s options can be limited, so if you feel like you’ve tasted all, you can here in Ox, pop over to Hamilton or even Cincinnati to spice up your options. Even trying a new option on a familiar menu can be a good way to get some variety.
  2. Finding a new book/series: Because reading is my favorite hobby, I’m always trying to convince people to give reading a shot. Especially being a college student, I know that picking up a novel is probably the last activity you want to do after finishing a long essay, article or book for homework, but it’s a great way to escape from the horrors of class reading. Finding a book or series “for-fun” always helps me balance how I view reading I have to do, versus the reading, I want to do. Plus, I think swapping a book for a new Netflix show is refreshing. Click here for the NY Times’ “Books” page. Now you’ve got all the options.
  3. Go somewhere new: Getting away from space you spend a lot of time at is essential. If you’re used to studying in your dorm, find a new place on campus to get that work done, so it doesn’t feel so monotonous. Making slight changes to your week, such as where you study or exercise helps make you feel more energized throughout each week.
  4. Exercise: I know, everyone says this, but it’s true: exercising is insanely good for you, both physically and mentally. Even if you’re a person who only knows where the rec is because you toured it on your Miami visit, sweating it out is probably the best way to stay motivated throughout the mid-semester slump. Not only does exercising reduce stress, but it also keeps you in shape and alert. If the rec is intimidating or overwhelming, take advantage of this nice weather while it lasts, and get outside.
  5. Take a day off: This sounds counter-productive, but it’s not. Scheduling your work, so you’re able to have a day or night off can be really good for you. Whether it’s taking off a Thursday night to have some fun, or not cracking a textbook on Saturday, organizing your time and shaping it around a day off can help you feel a little more relaxed throughout the semester.