From a holiday haze to the school craze, second semester can be rough for some students.
“That point in the semester [when] you start off really well—I’m going to do the reading, I’m going to do my homework on time, get everything done two weeks in advance—then there comes that point in the semester where you just give up on that, and for me that usually comes in the second or third week,” said Julia Lee, a second semester senior and English major.
This lack of motivation due to being worn out by the previous semester is called by many “the second semester slump.”
However, the second semester is also an a chance for a fresh start.
The four week break between first and second semester is significantly shorter than the 12 week break of summer. These 12 weeks allow students to expand their horizons with summer jobs, internships and days of sleeping in. The burnout that typically happens with finals week can finally release itself.
The shorter Winter Break might not benefit students as much as Summer Break and is a possible reason for a difference in not only students’ mindsets but also their grades between the first and second semesters.
Motivation at the beginning of the spring semester is also dampened by the cold winter weather. If students don’t want to even leave the house when it is cold, they definitely don’t want to class.
In Milledgeville, students have to constantly check their weather apps, as winter weather can range from 30 degrees and windy to 65 and sunny.
Lauren Bradley, said that on a scale from one to 10, her motivation level going into college was “a 100 for sure!”
“Now it is a nine,” Bradley said.
However, Susan Spencer, a counselor at GC, said that the second semester offers students a fresh start.
“The second semester is an opportunity for new students to start strong, master their motivation and learn from mistakes made in the first semester,” Spencer said.
Spencer said that during the first semester of college, students tend to struggle with adjustment.
“Adjusting to college courses that are likely structured differently from high school classes and learning how to manage time, social interactions and sleep issues are typical first semester issues,” Spencer said.
“Those same concerns can follow students into the second, but generally students, at least theoretically, know what to expect.”
As students continue on their journeys through college, they gain perspective and knowledge, understanding what to expect when registering for classes or visiting a professor during office hours.
With this experiences comes tips and tricks that can be passed on to younger students.
“Try to keep on a schedule,” Bradley said “Even little things like working out. That still keeps me motivated.”
Lee also recommended keeping track of your schedule.
“Put everything in your calendar, whatever calendar you have,” Lee said. “I specifically like the one on my phone and my laptop so I can easily pull it up, and you can see everything that’s due. So at the beginning of the semester when you get your syllabus, I put everything in there.”