You started the uni semester off strong; you went to all of your lectures, did all of the pre-readings, and actually made notes from tutes and class discussions. Heck, you even engaged with the extra material that was there each week to ‘extend your knowledge’. You had a vibrancy — a spring in your step, if you will. But now, well, you’re in a bit of a slump.

It’s a tale that we’re all too familiar with. The ‘Mid-Semester Slump’ is commonly known as a term by which to describe that point in the semester where you’ve started to miss a few lectures, fallen a bit behind on some readings, and have been deliriously tired multiple nights in one week because you’re just trying to fit too much in.

You’ve started to feel that slump seep in and you’re finding yourself reaching for your calendar to count how many more weeks there are until the holiday break. If you’re doing that, then you’ve definitely got a case of ‘Mid-Semester Slump’.

‘Mid-Semester Slump’ is a bit of an annoying one, I will say. It’s a hard road to recovery, but once diagnosed, it’s much easier for you and everyone around you.

How do you know if you’ve got the ‘Mid-Semester Slump’? Well, that’s an interesting question. If you’ve said the following phrases at any point this week, then my friend, I’m afraid you’ve contracted it:

  1. What day of the week is it?
  2. Is the assessment due tomorrow or next week?
  3. I wonder if the lecture’s worth going to…
  4. How many weeks of readings do I need to catch up on?
  5. I don’t think I have class today…
  6. What did I miss in the tute?
  7. I just need to skim the reading so I can bullshit an answer
  8. Thank god, it’s just pass/fail
  9. Maybe the coffee in Reid will be good this time
  10. When was the census date again?

These are just a few signs of ‘Mid-Semester Slump’ — there’s plenty more out there. But now that you have come to realise that you too have this slump, the better off you will be because you can do something about it.

The main step you can take in combatting the ‘Mid-Semester Slump’, is to acknowledge that this slump will go away and you will feel that Week One vibrancy again soon. It’s all about telling that slump, “hey Slump, I know you exist and you’re trying to kill my zest for life at the moment, but if you could not do that, that would be most appreciated.”

It’s time to put a face to the ‘Mid-Semester Slump’ we all feel, and not let it have the power it holds over us. So, without further ado, here are my unsolicited tips for tackling the ‘Mid-Semester Slump’:

  1. Get on top of things early—

Nope. Sorry, I’m not going to do that. I really don’t have any tips for getting out of this slump, because I just don’t think there’s a problem with it. I think we all experience this slump and we know what it’s like because, quite frankly, it’s just the experience of being a busy university student.

I did find a pretty nifty article by La Trobe University on the infamous ‘slump’. They said, “if you’ve fallen behind with uni work this semester, it can feel like the pile of assignments and exam preparation is insurmountable. But we want to assure you, there is still time to turn your semester around.”

In their article some students recommended helpful tips to get through this slump period, such as not being afraid to ask for help, handling assessments by doing a bit towards each one per day, and maybe even having a bit of a social media cleanse to get your uni work back on track.

The slump is going to happen, and it’s as simple as that. Maybe I’ve missed a lecture and a reading here and there, but really, the slump is what motivates me. I would like to thank the ‘Mid-Semester Slump’.

When I find myself saying those dangerously slump related phrases out loud, I have a little check in with myself and address my slump tendencies. Why am I being such a slob today? Did I really need to stay up until 2.30am watching New Girl for the tenth time causing me to be extremely tired all of the next day? Was my power nap worth missing my online class for? No, the answer is no.

If you, too, find yourself in the ‘Mid-Semester Slump’, and have found yourself asking questions that are in ‘slump territory’, then welcome. Welcome to ‘The Slump’.


Courtney would like to create a Facebook group chat called ‘Mid-Semester Slump’. Message her if you’re interested in joining.


Words by Courtney Withers

Image courtesy of Pixabay

By Pelican Magazine

Pelican is one of the oldest student publications in Australia and the only independent paper at UWA. If you like having opinions, writing, drawing, and/or free tickets to local events, then Pelican is the place for you! We print six themed issues a year, and run a stream of online content.

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