Top 10 ways to avoid the mid-semester slump

It is a typical cold and dreary Charlottesville winter, which means it’s prime time for students to begin burning out on classes — hang in there, it gets better

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Anna Mason is a Top 10 writer for The Cavalier Daily.

Riley Walsh | Cavalier Daily

1. Connect with friends

Make time for lunch or even just spending time in the library to study. Hanging out with friends will allow you to momentarily unwind and relax enough to get your mind off of school. If you are stressed, being with those you care about can help lower your stress levels, leaving you ready to get work done whenever you return to the tasks you have due. 

2. Make spring break plans

Spring break is from March 7 to March 15 and will be a nice week off from classes. Without the standard grind, students at the University undoubtedly have a huge variety of plans. Whether you are taking a trip, heading home or staying in Charlottesville, there will be a lot of fun to be had, like catching up on some sleep or eating different foods than you are used to. Start planning in advance, so that during this last push towards the break, you are motivated to make it to the time off. 

3. Switch up the weekend routine

Instead of sleeping in on Saturday, take a friend and head to the Downtown Mall for brunch. Being productive on the weekends even in a fun way will make you feel refreshed and ready to go. After having a nice time away from school for a few hours, you will be ready to check back in and get back on the grind of school work.  

4. Go to sporting events

Basketball, baseball and swim and dive are just a few sports currently in season that are open for students to attend. On nights when the homework load isn’t too much, take some time to support your favorite Hoos. Sports games are incredibly captivating, so they can help distract you from the idea of classes in the morning and give you something to look forward to. Random basketball games on Tuesdays can make a drab day of the week so much more exciting. 

5. Try studying somewhere new

The middle of the semester creates routines that you weren’t even aware of before

winter break. All of a sudden, you might find yourself in the same room of Clark or the same floor of Clem every single day of the week. Evaluate this. If you get work done there, then you should definitely stay and make it your nook. However, if you can’t get work done anymore and have begun to despise a specific library, switch it up and try somewhere else. There are numerous coffee shops and study sports on the Corner along with spaces in almost any academic building designated for studying — explore and find your best fit. 

6. Practice self-care

This is super important. Taking care of yourself and your health is more important than anything else at the University. Wash your hands and make sure you are getting enough sleep. For something less vital though equally as fun, do some facemasks and take a day or night to yourself and focus on relaxing and living for yourself rather than worrying about school. 

7. Explore dining options

Particularly for first years and second years on dining plans, food is becoming hard to find. The dining halls are still all there, though I’m sure that slowly the food is becoming less exciting, and you are probably looking to order more food from outside restaurants. Before you pull up the delivery apps, think about the potential to use meal exchanges and plus dollars. Don’t forget about the food trucks by the Amphitheater and the many cafes scattered around Grounds that accept Plus Dollars and Cavalier Advantage. 

8. Always utilize office hours

Throughout the semester, there will be some classes that take higher priority than others in some weeks. During the weeks off, always be sure to go to office hours in classes that you may need to catch up in or focus more on. Professors and TAs hold office hours to be able to assist their students and offer instruction in smaller settings. These office hours can be beneficial if you have specific questions or even just need help understanding a broader concept so they should be utilized. 

9. Reach out for advice and help

The University has many resources for students who are stressed or having any sort of issues throughout the semester. Student Health has the Counseling and Psychological Services and Health Promotion and Wellbeing services integrated into its programming. There is likely a hotline to call or resources online for any more information students may desire. There are also human resources scattered around Grounds in first-year dorms and within the faculty and staff at the University.

10. Join a club or activity

Finding something outside of classes to participate in can help bring a student out of the slump they find themselves around mid-February. Spending quality time exercising or socializing with people about things that are not class related will allow time away from the books and improve one’s day. Just a brief break will allow for a more fond memory to become attached to the University and maybe new connections to be made with new people. 

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