As we approach the middle of the semester here at Monmouth University, it is easy to lose ourselves in the sea of assignments and exams. This section of the semester where assignments quickly roll in is enough to make any student’s head spin. It is so easy to dial in to classwork and forget about everything that is supposed to make college so fun! It’s at this point we start to ask, “What can I do to feel like myself again?”
The real issue coming for college students is adjusting to a new style of living because college is such a major time of change. It’s easy to relax in a location that you’re used to but for many college students, their “zen” is far away from campus at home. This could mean a thirty-minute drive for some or a plane ride home for others. Naturally, this leads to a strange mix of freedom, autonomy and responsibility that can be truly frightening. This feeling can hit the hardest during this section of the semester, the midsemester slump where everything—classes, social obligations, and self-care— just start to feel like a chore.
Thankfully, no one is alone in our endeavor to beat cold weather and qui zes! There are a multitude of ways to keep in touch with ourselves through these tough times. An article from Truett McConnell University goes over some of the top tactics to keep yourself sane. A tried-and true method includes heading outside for a while. With how beautiful Monmouth University’s campus is, it should be easy to find an outdoor site that alleviates a bit of your stress. The tables by the Residential Quad are always set up, Shadow Lounge has now reopened, and even just laying out a towel on the lawns will do the trick. Also, it would be a tragedy to neglect the existence of the beach only a mile from campus. Head out to the coast and enjoy some peaceful ocean waves, which remain an option for those seeking to enjoy nature even as the weather starts to cool down.
Taking care of yourself is also a great way to recharge your battery. It is crucial to allow yourself a day or two off from schoolwork to allow for self-care. Grabbing some of your favorite snacks and listening to your carefully curated playlists can lift anyone’s mood easily.
It is important to do what makes you happy. Take up a calming hobby or just hang out on your own; it can all make a big difference in your academic life. It is also important to have some time with friends and family. Monmouth University itself is very close to different marketplaces and activities, so it is easy and fun to grab your roommates and head out for a quick trip to explore the outside world. These excursions remind us that life is not just here on campus. Knowing that life does not just consist of being at school and deadlines helps to remind us to take our time and reflect on the work we are putting in during this season.
Biology student Ceciliah Leininger shared how she is dealing with the semester so far as a resident student. She said, “[I] watch Marvel movies and Bachelor in Paradise with my roommates weekly, or I read my books.” Finding media you enjoy or can enjoy with a group is a great way to grow a community or get your mind off work. These shows and watch parties can distract you from the daily stresses, allowing you to relax for a little while before getting back to my academics.
Chemistry student Alexia Cole described that she plays video games to deal with the chaos of the semester. No matter what kind of video games you enjoy, they can take you to another place and away from your worries. Of course, you can always play a calming game, a strategic one, or something a little more action packed. The world really is your playground.
The biggest issue during this time is trying to keep yourself level headed during a tidal wave of assignments and essays. It’s important to take some time off and appreciate your hobbies, your shows, or your games, even if it is just to remove yourself from academic stress for a couple of hours. Remember, this is temporary, and getting through it is easier than you think.