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How to deal with end of semester lull

(Photo courtesy of: “Students are overworked and tired at this point in the semester.”

Nate Coady
Connector Editor

Finals are coming up and classes are reaching their end. A cursory glance around the classroom or lecture hall alone will show that motivation has reached its limit. Students get to this point in the semester and keeping up with work and attendance becomes a mountainous task. The closer the end is in sight, the harder it is to actually get there. That is a feeling that is all too familiar. For those looking for pearls of wisdom and methods to keep their head above water for the remaining few weeks, here is what some fellow UMass Lowell students do to keep themselves on the right track.

For some, it’s as simple as finding the right time to decompress. “I do something fun with my friends on the weekends,” says junior Benafshay Merchant, “it gives me something to look forward to.” Attendance-wise she has a much more realistic perspective: “If I don’t go to class, I’m going to fail, like genuinely.”

For those pesky 8 a.m. classes, Merchant has a study buddy to keep her in line. Perhaps if an alarm isn’t motivation enough, find a friend! “I have them with my friend Hannah. We wake each other up. You should see our text chains, they’re crazy.” Having someone to go to class with and share in the turmoil of waking up may be just the thing to help get out of bed and out to class in the morning, especially if being an early bird is a struggle.

But what about those classes in the lecture halls? It is so tempting to take advantage of the anonymity of such a large class size and slip away for a class or two, or three, or four, or seven. Merchant says, “I don’t have any classes like that, but when I did… you get to people-watch. I like to people-watch.” It may be a good idea to spend just a little bit of a brain break and engage in people-watching. Remember to lecture-watch too!

Some students turn to the responsibility they have as students to get their work done. When asked about what motivates her to keep up, freshman Emily Lindveit says “Deadlines. My assignments have deadlines, so that’s what’s motivating me to finish them.” Sometimes, getting that nose to the grindstone is the best way to go about finishing those term papers or group presentations. As daunting as that is, freshman Sasha Orr rationalizes the task by saying, “I’d rather suffer a bit and get my work in by the deadline than give up and flop.” Perseverance is key, it’s not always going to be easy!

For those seniors out there, this feeling is probably felt to the core. What senior Leo Dephino has to say about it may help in alleviating the dragging ambivalence that comes with finishing out the college career. “I’m almost done with school completely so that’s my motivation,” he says, “I just think of, hey you know what, in one month’s time, I’ll be on summer break, what’s another two weeks of school.” Keeping pace on the last leg of the race is tough, but keep breathing, freedom is right around the corner!

Motivation can be found in all sorts of places. Whether that be the prerogative of a fine education or a supportive and like-minded friend, there are plenty of reasons to find the necessary motivation to close out the year. However, some may find it from a deeper place. Junior Elizabeth Perdomo looks for motivation from her parents.

She says, “When I try to keep up with school work and also working while being in school, I think about my mom and my childhood. I think about how she came here at the age of eighteen with no help and my dad was back in the Dominican Republic. I try to compare myself

to her and the strength and hard work she put in in order to manage a low-wage income job as well as take care of two babies… If my mom can do it, I can.”

Perdomo is a first-generation student. She works on top of school and commutes from Methuen. “All I think about is the support of both my parents, I now have both of them in this country, and they help me with school… it keeps me grounded to keep moving forward. Overall, their stories help me keep myself focused because, although I want to succeed for myself, everything I do is for my parents!”

Summer is almost here. The time to celebrate will come, and however dragging the semester may be, remember there is motivation everywhere. Stay grounded, UMass Lowell, just for a few more weeks.