This blog comes from Student Minds in Cambridge where, controversially, there is no reading week in the middle of term. Whether you have a reading week or not, if you’re ever experiencing a slump in energy and mood in the middle of term, here’s some things you can do to help:
- Get out of your room/ get out of the library and go for a walk – There are lots of lovely green spaces in Cambridge, and during the week it’s rather peaceful! So get some fresh air for half an hour, and go and leave the confines of college to give your head some space.
- Do something you enjoy for a little while – Do you play an instrument? Do you like drawing? Is cooking your thing? Kicking a football around make you happy? Stop what you’re doing once a day and let yourself do something enjoyable. The work can wait – really, it can. You’ll be more productive if you come back with a clearer head from even as little as a quarter of an hour of de-stressing.
- Call home or call your friends outside of Cambridge – We tend to lose perspective when we’re here; we forget that there’s a world beyond CB1-4. A chat with someone back home or at another uni will refresh your ideas a bit and help you escape the bubble.
- Change your usual study spot, even if it’s just once a week – Instead of that corner in the library or sitting at the desk in your room, go to a café in town and set up camp there for a couple of hours instead. The repetitiveness of always working in the same place can make studying feel even more monotonous and difficult and changing your spot might increase your productivity.
- Ask for an extension – Go on, we dare you! You’re entitled to ask for extra time to do an essay or hand in a piece of work if you want or need to. Supervisors are humans too, they understand that you’re under a lot of pressure. We’re not in secondary school anymore; you’re allowed to hand something in late without getting yourself a detention.
- As Sainsbury’s once put it, try something new today! Cambridge is full of opportunities and we forget that because we’re too busy diving our noses into books. Go to a yoga class, try your hand at salsa, have a drink in a pub you’ve never been to, go to a talk that your faculty is hosting, have a walk around a different college, go for a swim at the sports centre, watch a film at the Picturehouse… Basically, find something you’ve never done here, and do it. Take a friend with you too, if that helps. University is about trying new things after all.
- Reach out to someone if you’re feeling down – Whether that’s a college nurse or counsellor, a friend down your hallway, a porter, Linkline, or even SMC. If you need someone to talk to when you’re feeling rough, don’t keep it bottled up.