New year, new habits: How to break out of the second-semester slump

The St. Edward's library has multiple options for students to find peace and quiet. It takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, according to Psychology Today.

Julissa Lira

The St. Edward's library has multiple options for students to find peace and quiet. It takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, according to Psychology Today.

After a long, stressful fall semester, we got to sleep in, watch Christmas movies, drink hot cocoa, open presents, and pick up extra shifts. And now that we’re back for the spring semester, some of us might still be struggling to be productive after a month of resting our poor, tired brains.

Students have many different ways of becoming productive again. 

“Going to an environment where you won’t be distracted like a library helps,” Miki Nguyen, a forensic science major, said. 

As for self-motivation, Nguyen likes to leave post-it notes on her belongings.

Nguyen’s advice on getting back on track is focused on self-motivation and finding the right environment to get work done. Motivation, music and quiet environments can be helpful in boosting productivity, especially on stressful days. If you’re looking for music to study to, you should check out lofi beats. The library also provides study rooms to help stay productive. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to be more productive, check out this article for tips on self-motivation. 

Students aren’t the only ones who need help getting back to their daily routine. Professors also need to plan ahead for a new semester and to return to their teaching routine. 

Amy Clements, an associate professor of writing and rhetoric, talks about how she prepares for a new semester of teaching. 

“I think it’s important for everybody to carve out time for work and time for rest,” Clements said.

When it comes to planning for a new semester, Clements relies on time management and organization the most. 

“So when it’s time to get ready for school, I just have it built into the weekdays. This is the time I’m going to spend choosing special articles that we’re going to read, updating the syllabus and making announcements,” Clements said. 

Along with talking about organizing the time to complete tasks, she also mentions the importance of rewarding yourself afterward.

After a huge task, reward yourself by hanging out with friends or family, watching movies, reading a book or whatever hobby that relieves your stress best. Just because a new semester began, it doesn’t mean your time to rest is over. Find a balance to prevent yourself from stressing out and being unproductive. 

Clements also mentions the importance of stress-management, she recalls inviting a stress management coach named Jordan Friedman to speak to her Career Preparation course. 

“The single most important thing that a human being could do to reduce stress is to get enough sleep,” Friedman said. 

The less sleep you have, the less productive you’ll be. Getting rest is very important to being a productive student or professor. 

The key points of having a productive day and returning to your daily routine consist of self-motivation, self-care, stress-management, time-management and rest. The new semester has begun and we need all the tips we can get to be productive again.