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How to Get Out of a Mid-Semester Slump

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How to get out of a mid-semester slump | WhyNot

We’ve all been there. In the lead up to exams, stress is running high but motivation is running low. Here are some tips and tricks for pulling yourself through the inevitable mid sem slump from someone who has done it before – and seen the results!


Treat Yourself

The best way to motivate yourself is to set a reward for the end of exams. Something that will give you a purpose and something to look forward to. This could mean throwing a fully sick after exams gatho, going out to your favourite restaurant with your family or simply binge watching a series on Netflix. So, whenever you’re sitting in the uni library about to smack your head on the desk and call it quits, think about how good it’s going to feel to finally get your reward from all your hard work.

Make a Study Buddy

It’s no secret that studying on your own requires a lot of self-motivation. If you’re a master procrastinator like me, you’ll always find excuses to get out of studying. It’s your dog’s birthday? Then you can’t possibly study today. You wanted to start studying at 2pm and now it’s 2:05? It’s too late to start now. Or even worse, when you start making flashcards but spend like three hours just decorating and making them look pretty.

When you have a study buddy, you are accountable for someone else and will get the guilt trip of a lifetime if you try to reschedule on them. So put some feelers out there, who knows, you might make a friend for life.


Spring Clean

I take it by now your desk is pretty cluttered and disgusting. When it comes to exam time, my room used to get borderline toxic. Clothes, take away containers and dog hair with a slight smell of despair and regret. Do yourself a favour and open those windows, do a big clean and de-clutter. You’ll feel more motivated to study in a clean work space than that hole you were living in, trust me.

Go Through Old Study Notes

Nothing feels better than going back to day one and revising to see how much you’ve learned in the semester It gives you a confidence boost to see how far you’ve come and will (hopefully) energise you to learn more. It’s also good to study and understand the basics before moving on to new stuff.


Take a Time Out

If you have time for it, maybe you should take a much-needed break from being chained to your desk and do something either active or in nature. This can be as simple of driving down to the beach and breathing in the fresh air, or going rock wall climbing with your friends. Anything but sitting at home, sitting in the library or just mooching around in general. Get up, get outside and get your blood pumping.


What Motivates You?

What is something that makes you get out of bed in the morning? What is your passion and what inspires you? It helps to re touch on what made you want to study in this field in the first place. Do you want to become a lawyer? Do you want to make your parents proud? Make yourself proud? Write down your reasons and inspiration for doing what you do and let that motivate you out of your slump.

Blast the Music

It’s been proven that listening to a fire playlist can bring clarity and make a boring task more fun. When you’re suffering a lack of energy, create a playlist that puts you in the mood to start your day. I usually listen to some lo-fi beats to help me concentrate and it makes me feel relaxed. Choose something that is fun to listen to, but you can study with at the same time and won’t end up singing along to all the words! There are some good ideas here.



Sometimes when you feel a burn out coming, it’s simply because you just need to sleep. Nothing and I mean nothing beats having a really good nap and waking up feeling actually well rested for once. Cancel your plans, take a day off work and float away into the beautiful abyss that sleep has to offer. The dark bags under your eyes will thank you!


Words by Sophie Nicolas – Sophie Studied a Bachelor of Arts at Edith Cowan University and also studied abroad in Japan

You can read more work from Sophie on her website or on Uni Junkee

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