The Mid-Semester Grind

Category Student Voices


Portrait of Claire
Claire Hoffman Class of '21
Authored on March 21, 2021


Mid-march. Midterm season. Middle of the semester blues. Whatever you call it, we’ve all been there, and it can be tough. 

In a zoom-iverse, even more so. I feel like right now I’m at the point in the semester where I finish one paper and immediately have to start on the next. While it’s not always one overwhelming day, what looks like a never-ending grind until the end of April can look like a tough road ahead.

I’ve also found that I, especially as I’ve gotten older, really dislike feeling like I’m behind on my work. My days of staying up late with a pset the night before it’s due are far behind me – I much prefer to do a little each day and comfortably be done a day or two beforehand. The same goes for papers, which are the battle I’m fighting these days. While my organization usually works out favorably for me, it can sometimes mean that looming future deadlines stress me out a bit, or make it feel like I don’t have any down time. 

What I’ve realized though, is that it’s quite the opposite. Especially as a second semester senior, making time to spend with my friends is super important to me – this is the last time we’re all going to be in the same city and on (mostly) the same schedule for a while! 

I think overall as students we can feel a lot of pressure to do super well and do work all the time, but there’s also a lot of value in making time to do fun things. Whether that’s hanging out with your friends, grabbing a coffee, or watching something new on Netflix, it’s really important to remember to not fully cut yourself off from the things you enjoy. Also, I’ve found that I’m actually more productive when I have fun plans to look forward to – there’s no better motivator than FOMO.

New England Aquarium!

My boyfriend and I took a trip to the aquarium as a fun way to not think about work for a bit. Highly recommend!

While this isn’t me saying that you should blow off all your work to make unexpected plans with your friends, I think it’s important to sometimes push yourself a little or maybe take a bit of a risk. And if that’s not your style, that’s ok too, as long as you then are making sure you’re still making time for yourself and something you find fun – even when it is midterm season.


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Claire Hoffman Class of '21

Hi! I'm Claire and I'm a senior in Leverett House from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I study Neuroscience with an English Secondary, and I'm also pre-med!

Student Profile
Portrait of Claire