Seniors column: Keep your head above water in this mid-semester slump

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We’re more than halfway through the semester. Midterms and papers have overtaken our lives, and we’re slowly losing our minds instead of growing them. It happens every year, and once again our semester calendars lack a break between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

One of the hardest things about being a student – particularly a senior – is that our time is very rarely our own. While we are submerged in classes and hours at work, we are also drowning in applications for internships, jobs and grad school. And this point in the semester is the worst. Everyone is on edge, everyone is about to reach the breaking point and everyone is in need of some well-earned time off.

I try to remind myself to hold tight for another month after which we are only one month away from the end of the semester. But sometimes it’s hard not to throw in the towel.

“I’ve had four midterms in the past two weeks, and that’s not including all the homework that seems to be more than usual,” said Maddie Meyer, 19, a sophomore chemistry and bioengineering major. “Plus, I’ve been sick.”

Meyer said her stress level at this point in the semester is “relatively high” compared to the rest of the semester.

Since we are desperate for a break, some students are on the edge of their limit when they should be the most focused.

“It’s like nothing matters but school, but you have no time to even focus on it because it’s so overwhelming,” said senior math major Kylie Hinchman, 21. “The whole new-class high is over, so there’s nothing keeping us interested, and we’re just worn out.”

Student behavior during these mid-semester weeks is interesting to see. Energy levels drop, focuses are shifted and stress and anxiety are at their max.

According to Karen Raforth, the director of counseling at CU’s Counseling and Psychological Services, many students are feeling the pressure of the end of the semester and midterms and finals around this time of year. Raforth says all the stress can stir up even more anxiety in the form of poor test performances and strained relationships.

This is the time of the semester when the campus psychological office can really help out. Raforth suggests any of the the services offered by CAPS to help maintain stress levels and keep up with the basics of sleeping well, eating healthy and getting exercise.

As we try to move past the first (or second or third) round of midterms, it’s imperative to keep stress and anxiety at bay. No matter how impossible these weeks seem, fall break begins the weekend of Nov. 23.

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Corie Thompson at Corie.Thompson@colorado.edu.

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