Ask Abby: How to survive the second semester slump

Graphic by Haley Morkert. 


Full disclosure: I am not a licensed therapist. Honestly, I am not licensed in anything whatsoever. I’m just a gal with lots of opinions who enjoys giving unsolicited advice to almost anyone around me. So, if this is adverse advice, you can’t sue me or my place of work. Sorry!

“I can’t seem to find the motivation to start this semester, let alone get through the whole thing successfully. Any suggestions for pushing through?” -Loyal Reader

I get it, I totally do. It’s perfect sleeping weather. It’s chilly outside, there’s little to no light coming from the sky and beds are just so cozy. 

School is no longer fun and new and exciting, and first semester was tough on everyone. Not to mention that our tiny taste of sweet, sweet winter break freedom sunk its claws into your sleep schedule and tore it right to bits.

It’s a struggle, I know. 

However, I encourage you to take a step back, look around and flip your outlook to the positive. You’re halfway through the year, and there’s more minutes of daylight every day. 

There’s really nowhere to go but up from here. 

Here’s my main argument: new semesters create space for a fresh start, in almost all areas of your life. Take advantage of this! 

Try to spend a bit of extra time planning, journaling or getting a head start in some of your classes in this residual wintertime, just to set yourself up for success later. 

It’s the perfect time to do these indoor activities because, after all, no one wants to go out and have fun in freezing rain and darkness. It’s just not conducive to a good outfit. Seriously. 

Stay in and do your homework in your sweatpants. That way, you have more time when it’s nice outside for fun and games! Plus, you won’t ruin your shoes.

It’s also easy to find motivation to be productive academically when you’re surrounded by warm beverages, candles and soft music. Go full speed ahead into all the winter cozy stereotypes if it’ll help you. There’s no shame in that. 

Keep in mind that students aren’t the only people affected by the second semester slump. Your profs feel it too, so extend a bit of extra patience to them. Lean on your peers, lean on your favorite professors, spend extra time building your friendships.

Together, with understanding and love, we’ll all push through this second semester slump and succeed. 

Second semester Abby believes in you just as much as first semester Abby. 

You are valuable, valid and loved, even when your motivation is running low,



If you have a question that you’d like to see discussed in Ask Abby, feel free to contact me via email, carrier pigeon or telepathy. 


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