How to avoid the “Second Semester Slump”

The second semester is in full swing, and students are feeling stressed out.


Hannah Schaefer

The second semester has Chloe McGrorty ’23 stressed. out.

Hannah Schaefer, Senior Lead Editor

As we get back into the swing of things in the second semester, I know it can be hard to find the motivation to do your work and push through to the end. As a senior, it’s especially tough to make myself care about school right now. 

The cold, gloomy winter weather definitely does not help either. On the bright side, there are only a few more weeks until the warm spring air will come and refresh us all. In the meantime, it’s important to prioritize school work and get through these tough months. 

I have a few tips that can help ease the stress and make the third quarter easier to get through. 

  • Turn off your phone!!

Okay, this may sound easy, but if you’re anything like me, all day you think about the things that you have to get done and feel super motivated to complete it all. Then the second you get home, you open TikTok and think, “only five minutes”. We all know where this goes. It’s eight o’clock, you haven’t left your bed, and you’ve done nothing but scroll on your For You Page. The best way to avoid stress is to get your work done right when you get home. I recommend putting your phone in another room and powering it down, or if you really have no self control (don’t worry, this is me too), turn on “Downtime” in settings. You can set it for the first hour or two after you get home, and block any apps that you find yourself scrolling on for hours. I know it feels impossible to get home and do more work after already being at school for six hours or more, but you’ll feel so much better if you get it out of the way early in the evening. After that, feel free to pick your phone back up and go crazy! In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “How smart phones hijack our minds,” Nicholas Carr  discusses the effects our smartphones can have on our intellect and academic performance.

  • Clean your room.

Your environment can greatly affect your mental state. If you find that you’re feeling unmotivated and having a hard time starting your homework, cleaning your room is the perfect way to create a productive, calm environment to get in the right headspace. 

  • Get some sleep.

The most cliche tip in the book, but they say it for a reason! Sleep deprivation is the biggest culprit when it comes to a lack of motivation. According to the CDC, not getting enough sleep can lead to poor mental health, a shorter attention span, and poor academic performance. If it’s eleven o’clock and you have yet to begin your homework, as counterproductive as it sounds, GO TO SLEEP. In the long run, one zero or missing assignment will not kill you. I promise.

  • Stay organized.

Staying organized can help prevent stressful nights where you open canvas and realize that you have five assignments, a test, and a project all due tomorrow. I suggest buying a planner or starting a bullet journal to keep your due dates in order and better plan out how and when you will tackle each assignment. It’s helpful to have everything down on paper to keep track of your work and manage your time efficiently. 

  • Relax a little. 

Stressing about your work will only hurt you. Instead of worrying about upcoming tests or assignments, take a deep breath and try to think of the best way you can get it done. Stopping to take time to process your schoolwork can go a long way when it comes to staying calm and organized. Overworking yourself and stressing can cause emotional and mental exhaustion, which may lower the quality of your work and push you to burnout.

There are only a few more months of school and so many fun events to look forward to such as MagicTHON, Charity Day, spring break, and prom. Keep your spirits high! Grades are important, but you have to look after yourself first. Make the best of the last few months of the year and remember to have fun and take it easy.