Many students struggle to get over the mid-semester hill, Prowl Co-Editor Tegan Lovelady shares some of her tips


PHS senior Tristan Willett leans back in his chair and plays on his phone while wearing his beanie, which is against the school’s dress code. He’s one of many high school students who haven’t been able to shake the “mid-semester slump” since the third grade.

  1. Don’t be an apatosaurus. This poor, depressed creature spends his life looking backwards, focusing on the past instead of the future. Keep in mind that just because you did bad on a couple tests doesn’t mean you have to continue the trend. Break away from feeling sorry for yourself and find ways to improve. As Mr. Cappiello would say, “Don’t be meeedioca. Don’t be a knucklehead.”
  2. Try to make some friends. Everyone has heard of a “study buddy.” Sometimes this can be unproductive, but when used in the proper way, a study group or partner can be beneficial to all parties. You don’t always have to be alone, and having someone to bounce your ideas off of might help your brain function above average for once.  
  3. Complete random acts of kindness. Just because you’re miserable doesn’t mean everyone else has to be. Look around; you’re probably not the only one who has fallen into the pit of doom. This might help you make some friends, and let’s be honest: you need all the help you can get. But, on a serious note, putting a smile on someone’s face will put one on yours. It truly is a chain reaction. 
  4. Reward yourself. Studying is a lot easier when you have something to look forward to. Go to the movies (you can take your friends with you if you’ve made any) or do something you’ve always wanted to do. A little adventure never hurt anybody. This will not only lift your spirits, but you will be able to study more efficiently if you’re in an upbeat mood. 
  5. Divide and conquer. You don’t have to do every assignment all at once. I’m pretty sure that’s considered some kind of cruel and unusual punishment. It’s more efficient to switch between assignments. You won’t get bored as easily and you might actually get something done. Go ahead. Pull up that cheating group chat. Someone else will gladly do your work. 
  6. Find what works for you. Are you the type of person that isolates themself in a dark room, or do you like some scenery while you hit the books? Do you have 400 different colored pens, or do you stick to one, chewed-up pencil that’s missing an eraser? Those are the kinds of questions you need to be asking yourself. What helps you learn better and stay focused? While answering those questions, keep in mind that sometimes the correct answer isn’t always the easy one…
  7. Build accountability. Ask a family member to keep up with your grades. Join an extracurricular activity that requires you to keep your grades up to participate. Submit your monthly grades to someone you care about. Set goals for yourself and crush them. There are many ways to stay motivated; get creative. The mid-semester slump and procrastination go hand in hand. 
  8. Log off, shed some responsibilities and take care of yourself. School isn’t the end-all-be-all. You still need to take care of yourself and keep up with your mental health. Let’s be honest: going without a shower for five days isn’t healthy. You’re supposed to do your homework, not kill it. Vent to a loved one, get a counselor or join a support group if need be. Surrounding yourself with people who want to see you succeed will motivate you to become a better version of yourself.
  9. Get active. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and clear your mind. Exercising releases endorphins. An endorphin is just a fancy word for motivation. It also offers great health benefits. You don’t need to become a meathead who lives off of protein shakes, but even thirty minutes of physical activity can do you some good. Even better, Get outside. Take a walk, dust off your bike, sit on a park bench and enjoy some quiet time. Spending time outdoors can relieve some anxiety and inspire you.
  10. Make a study playlist. Listening to your favorite kind of music while you study can increase focus, help you retain information and lift your mood. It’ll also give you something to look forward to. So, scream those swear words, ugly sing, listen to some awful alternative … whatever floats your boat.
  11. For goodness’ sake… DRINK SOME WATER. A good grade was never achieved on dehydration.
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