So you’ve settled into the rhythm of a new term...or at least it was a new term a few weeks ago! You know which of your professors you like (and those you don’t quite); you've gotten used to your regimen and work schedule; and you’re back on a student budget, with the comforts of your most recent trip home a faint memory.
Students can feel slightly down when they reach the middle of the academic term for the following reasons:
Lagging in energy
Nothing exciting to look forward to in the near future apart from exams and essays
The politics and drama of student accommodation, bringing on cabin fever-like effects
Late nights in the library and early mornings in lectures
A course is a lot more intense than expected
One bad grade has turned you sour on a course
Money leaving your bank account in the form of rent and living costs
Below we suggest a few tips to help you make it to the end of the term:
Get a part-time job
Most students will find that they have more money at the beginning of the term if they have received a student loan/bursary instalment; if wages from a holiday job have come in to their account; or their parents provide them with some monetary support at the beginning of each term. It’s easy to feel good about life when you have a healthy bank balance! However if you find that you’re bleeding money in rent and living costs, consider finding a part-time job. You should always check that you have permission to find paid employment in another country according to the terms of your visa. Also, remember that you’re in the country to study, not work; always put your education first and ask yourself if you really have the time to have a part-time job too. It can be just a few hours a week anyway, but means you have some extra money to spend. Plus you’ll get to meet new people, learn new skills and make the time between now and the end of term come quicker.
Rethink your workload
Take a day to assess all your upcoming assignments and deadlines; what needs to be completed first and when are your deadlines? De-clutter your workspace and files, as you may still have leftover documents, papers, handouts and leaflets from last term which you don’t need any more. Fresher’s Fairs alone can result in you picking up leaflets that you have no need for. Getting rid of the junk can make you feel like you can handle more and things seem more manageable, setting you up for the busy period that comes at the end of term. Try some alternative study techniques too.
If you find that you have a lot of free time on your hands, consider whether you’re doing enough for your course. Are you committing yourself as fully as you could? Every course will have a recommended number of study hours; but you can always do a little more. Look at any further reading lists or ask a professor what they would recommend you read (or even watch or visit). If you’re fully immersed in your course, you’ll lose sense of time passing slowly.
Join a society
New experiences prevent us from feeling like things are too “samey” or that we’re stagnating as individuals. If you have something new to look forward to, like joining a new club or taking on a new hobby, you’ll spend time anticipating it; meeting the people involved; learning the skill or activity; and adjusting to this new presence in your life. Before you know it, it will be the end of term, and you’ll be sad to have to go several weeks without this activity and the people associated with it. It also means you have something to look forward to with each new term.
Improve your health
Depending on your lifestyle and what’s available to you for nutrition, you may find that by the time you’ve reached the middle of term, you feel a lot more sluggish and that you’ve put on some weight. This can affect your energy levels, thus ability to work and even your general outlook (especially if you’re over-tired). Get some rest or introduce a healthy element into your lifestyle; a new form of exercise or sport will keep things interesting. Get more sleep so when you wake up, you’re ready for whatever life throws at you.
Make more plans
The waiting game can be awfully long if you have nothing to consume your time. If you have things to look forward to, you’ll break up the term for yourself. Plan some treats for either during or once term has finished. These may include short trips, music gigs or simply seeing a friend you've not seen in a while. Even if you’re returning home at the end of term, plan all the simple comforts which you’ll be able to enjoy once more - the simple things are often the sweetest things in life!