As a senior at Pace University, I have much experience on what it takes to get through an entire school year. At this point, we have all been in school for at least 12 years and know the ups and downs that happen as the months go on. For me, I have always found spring semester to be the hardest as it seems to drag on forever. The feeling is more intense this year as the pandemic has changed the entire dynamics of our education system and most classes have now moved remotely. We no longer have that cherished spring break to look forward to, and with hardly any days off this semester, burn-out is basically inevitable. Here are five of the most common symptoms of a “mid-semester crisis” as well as solutions that help solve them best.
1. Having so much work and don’t know where to start
I often find that when I get assigned so much work, I become paralyzed with anxiety. I think to myself, “I have so much work, I don’t even know where to begin.” When this happens, I find that it is best when I sit back, take a breath, and start doing little assignments first. That way I can work my way up to the bigger ones. Have a discussion board question, an essay, and a project to do? Start with the discussion board question, then write a paragraph or two for the essay, and then finally maybe do some light research for your project, so you know what you will be focusing on. Who knows, maybe you’ll get on a roll and you will complete more work than you thought you could.
2. Staying up late at night and can barely keep your eyes open throughout the day
This issue mostly has to do with time management. We get 24 hours in a day, and 7 days a week. Think to yourself, how much of that time is wasted with you just thinking about the work you must complete, rather than just doing it? Besides, let’s face it, we all know a lot of it also goes to scrolling on TikTok. Try and set aside two of those hours per day to just dedicate it to getting work done. You would be surprised with how many tasks you can get done in two hours, and it might not even take that long.
3. Reading the same paragraph over and over again
Have you ever been reading a chapter for an assignment, and found that you were stuck on one paragraph, reading it over and over again but not taking in any information? This happens to me all the time. I usually describe it as if I am daydreaming while reading, and therefore my mind is not focused on the words. It only ever happens when I’m burnt out so bad that my brain is literally rejecting any new information. This is when you need to take a break from doing work. You’ve probably been at it for hours, and you need to give yourself a rest. Watch a few YouTube videos or grab a snack and get your mind off of tedious tasks.
4. Being so busy on one task, you forgot you had another
Sometimes when you have so many different assignments and tasks to complete it is easy to begin mixing them up or forgetting about one altogether. You have spent so much energy on one project, you forget that you had to complete a quick summary on the discussion board. To prevent this from happening, use a planner and write all your assignments down. If you don’t want to go out and buy a planner, you can use your phone instead! I tend to open the Notes app on my phone and list all the things I have to do for the week and check them off as I go. This has helped keep me more organized, plus it gives mental satisfaction to be able to check things off your list.
5. Questioning why you are in school in the first placeI think we have all been here. School is hard, and even more so in a pandemic where everything was abruptly moved online. Sometimes we all get so overwhelmed we start questioning, why am I even doing this in the first place? When I find that I have hit rock bottom and started questioning my sanity, I have to think back about how lucky I am to be able to get an education in the first place and where this education will one day lead me. You chose to further your education for a reason and look at how far you have come already! You have made life-long friends and memories. You have endured a school year in a pandemic. One day, you will get that dream job, and you will know that in the end all the late nights and studying were worth it!
About the Author: Alexis Penn is a senior Communications major. She is currently a reporter intern at Bronxnet TV, and has a passion for both journalism and public relations. After graduation, Alexis hopes to pursue a career in the beauty or fashion industry.