The Mid-Semester Blues

Kathleen Mackey, Editor-in-Chief

It seems like just last week I was still trying to get used to writing “2020” instead of “2019.” Now, suddenly, we’re almost two months into the year. For college students, this means that the mid-semester blues are upon us.  

It’s the time of the semester when courses are kicking into high gear while our fuel tanks are starting to run on empty. Rather than letting the stress get the best of me, I’m trying to work against it and keep an optimistic perspective. 

This week, with the struggle of balancing midterm preparation, an internship, the newspaper and now a cold settling in, I can feel my motivation slipping away and a pessimistic attitude taking its place. But why is my first instinct to complain? 

The first step of combating this instinct is changing my mentality. For our generation, there seems to be a general disapproval of being bored or not having a full schedule. But, as soon as we have a lot to do, suddenly we can’t function. Oftentimes, we project our stress and lack of free time onto others. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this. 

Caroline Dowd-Higgins from The Huffington Post stated it perfectly: “Busyness is a dangerous trap that relinquishes your control to find meaning and fulfillment in life when you are stuck in the quicksand of being busy.”

This new concept of “busy culture” has become more about how busy we are,  rather than why we chose to make ourselves busy in the first place. Yes, I have a lot on my plate, but why does that have to be a negative thing? 

While balancing it all can certainly be exhausting, all these things that make my days hectic add something worthwhile to my life. Without them, I wouldn’t have the experiences that make me so sad to be graduating soon. Very soon. So soon, in fact, that another part of my mid-semester blues is coming to terms with the dwindling number of days I have left at Carroll. 

After spring break, I’ll be halfway through my final semester. Only nine weeks will remain, and I’ll be facing a long series of lasts. Last lazy day on the quad when the weather finally breaks 50 degrees. Last trivia night at Los Arcos. Last 2 a.m. deadline night in the newsroom. These are just a few things that have made my four years so memorable and hard to let go of. 

If I fall into the trap of complaining about my stressful schedule, I’m only going to miss more opportunities to enjoy each moment. If I don’t, it’s all going to fly by even faster than before. 

If you’ve read any of my columns, you know that I’m a big proponent of not wishing time away, but rather, appreciating each day for what is, no matter the ups and downs. With spring break just a few days away, it’s the perfect time to catch our breath and re-energize. 

Whether you’re facing your last nine weeks, like me, or just getting started as a first-year, I hope you can come back with a positive mentality and a willingness to stay present. The time we have here is immensely valuable and rapidly fleeting. Let’s make the most of it.