We’ve just passed the midpoint of the Fall Semester at Ohio University. Unlike any semester before, this fall has been filled with adjustments, disappointments and necessary precautions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Students have had to adapt to virtual classes, but despite the change in atmosphere, burnout is still a real thing among many students.
For the average student, burnout usually hits right in the middle of the semester when everything starts to build toward finals. Midterms are scheduled for every class, homework assignments are still mounting and motivation levels are running thin. It’s a tough time in the semester, and arguably, the virtual setting has amplified the effects of burnout.
I think I speak for most college students dealing with virtual course loads when I say that their motivation levels were never super high this fall. Going into the semester knowing you’d never actually meet your professor or classmates was a let down in itself, now it’s sort of hard to fathom what the point of classes is when things start to get tough. Material seems to go in one ear and out the other, assignments seem more like busywork than actual learning tools and, ultimately, it seems like Fall Semester is a big waste of your tuition dollars. This is a fair feeling. But I’m also here to tell you that you need to push through it.
Mid-semester slumps aren’t anything new, and if you have years of college ahead of you, then I’m afraid to say it probably isn’t going to be your last bout of lack of motivation. Nonetheless, you’re underestimating yourself if you think you can’t get through it.
By now, if you’ve paid the least amount of attention needed, you should know your class schedule—I hope. Along with your schedule, you should have a rough idea of when your weekly class assignments are due. If you don’t already have one, buy a planner, write those dates down and stick to that agenda like it’s your lifeline. Following along to this should be the first step in making it through the latter half of the Fall Semester.
Furthermore, if you truly are struggling, reach out to your professors. Most professors at OU are more than caring and willing to help you, but you have to take that initiative and ask for help. If you didn’t already know, there’s no shame in asking for help or assistance.
In terms of motivation levels and overall mental health, it’s important—more important than grades, dare I say—that you put yourself first and take care of yourself. Whether it be by taking a social media hiatus, meeting up with friends for a socially distanced activity or simply bingeing your favorite TV show for the nth time (my current fave is Criminal Minds), finding a way to destress and enjoy yourself is crucial in the world’s current chaos.