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6 Tips to Get You Through that Mid-Semester Slump

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The fall air in southeastern North Carolina is a welcome reprieve from the hot, sticky days of August. Getting outside actually feels like a gift rather than a punishment.

At the beginning of the semester, we didn’t mind being indoors in air conditioning, away from the muggy heat and humidity, while we studied. Now the crisp, perfect fall temperatures beckon us outdoors to gaze at the riverfront or visit downtown shops. This shift in degrees reminds you it’s time to start planning your Halloween costume, Thanksgiving get-together, Black Friday sales, where to spend your winter break, or New Year’s Eve.

But now is not the time to lose focus! Pumpkin pie, thanksgiving turkey, or ringing in the new year will be so much sweeter knowing you put all your effort into completing the semester.

To help you push through the mid-semester slump, CFCC Counselor Emily Varnell loves these ideas to keep you motivated!

Get organized

Making a list to keep track of assignments and due dates is more helpful than you realize. Once you put the tasks on paper or tablet, you will feel so much better knowing that you have a glance option to double-check and make sure you have plenty of time to complete an assignment.

Now organize your study space

Clutter can overwhelm your mind. Trying to read and focus is difficult when a stack of papers, fast food containers, or dust is littering your thinking space.

Take a break

It’s okay to step away from your workload and take a cleansing breath and clear your mind. Decide how long a break you need and what you consider a break. A bike ride, workout, or even reporting to work for a short shift could be the right break for you. But be mindful of the social media rabbit holes and Netflix binges that may consume more of your break time than planned.


Never underestimate the power of sleep. Any medical professional will likely tell you how important sleep is. Sleep is restorative. It heals your body and your mind. Waking up refreshed is a powerful tool for getting things done.

Find your support system

Friends and family can be distracting. Their well-meaning efforts to see you and hang out may prevent you from getting things done. Don’t ghost them, but you must explain your need to study. Perhaps they would be happy to help. If they help quiz you for an upcoming test, then you will have time to play Call of Duty or Minecraft or watch the latest episode of The Kardashians.

Reward Yourself

Maybe a gaming session with your posse is the perfect prize for all your hard work. Maybe that fancy coffee or that new pair of boots you’ve been eyeing is just the treat that will keep you motivated. You’ve worked hard. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back.

Any of these tips can be the key to your success. Mix and match them to see what works best for you. If you temporarily lose focus, don’t beat yourself up. Take a deep breath and start over.

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