Halfway through college
I am almost officially halfway through my college career at UIC, and also happen to be suffering from what is widely known as the sophomore slump. Studies of college student GPAs around the nation have shown that there is a tendency for students’ GPAs to drop during the second semester of their sophomore year; something that I am combating as we speak. Perhaps it is because sophomores are the wise fools of college, the ones who think they’re capable of writing five-page papers the night before they are due and determining when they can skip class without penalty. Perhaps it is because second semester sophomores begin to take on high-level courses and experience heavier workloads. However, my theory is that our GPAs begin to taper simply because we are all just a bit tired.
Even with a mere week left of school, I have been finding it harder and harder to churn out my very best work for assignments. I constantly feel as though I am suffering from writer’s block and exhaustion as I take on final papers and night-long studying sprees. Although the school year’s finish line is just in my grasp, these last couple weeks have felt like months.
While I am quite aware of the sophomore slump, I have been scrambling to figure out ways to keep my GPA from slipping as well as my sanity. While it may seem obvious and somewhat cliché, I have found that giving yourself a break is necessary. I cannot stress that fact enough. While many may confuse this for procrastination, having a “treat yourself” mentality every once in a while does wonders, for both your mental health as well as your productivity.
When you’re at home studying, taking a nap (with an alarm to prevent sleeping for three hours, a novice mistake), rewarding yourself with a bath after homework, or taking a five minute dance break to your favorite song between assignments is incredibly therapeutic. When I had an awful case of writer’s block while writing an essay for my Latino cultural studies class, I blasted Drake’s “One Dance” and danced like there was no tomorrow. I felt revitalized, a little out of breath, but revitalized, and I could look at my paper with fresh eyes. It helped.
Stepping away from your work (not for too long) in order to rejuvenate your mind is one of the best things you can do to keep your sanity, which is oh so important during upcoming finals week. While my suggestions may not be the best for you personally, I strongly encourage you to give yourself a moment during your intense study sessions and breathe. Just know that we are all in it for the long haul and are capable of enduring these final weeks without losing our minds.
Lucy Teruel is a sophomore majoring in communications and minoring in political science. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Lucy loves music, French, shopping, going to the gym and traveling. She’s also an avid sports fan with a particular penchant for the Chicago Cubs. She hopes to one day become a sportscaster, so don’t be surprised if you catch her on the nightly news a few years from now.