Second Semester Slump

Students battle burn out, stress in last stretch of year

Allie Tribe, Staff Writer

Photo by Jada Boner


In the last days of summer, students line up outside of the DHS campus, eager to pick up their new schedules and see their friends. After three months of relaxation and lazing around the house, they come ready to ace their classes and put their best foot forward for the new school year. At first, the buzz in the school is palpable. Week by week, life returns to normal, but with the promise of Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, students keep their motivation up. For many, the first semester flies by, but the second semester plays out as something entirely different.

After a first semester full of football games, holiday breaks and fall sports, the winter months of the second semester seem to move at the speed of a snail. Without any real holidays to look forward to, students trudge through the repetitive days and numerous tests. Then, as they try to make it to the end of the year, parents and teachers start to put pressure on them to decide what to do for the next year, coming to a head for juniors and seniors as the upcoming year leads to college decisions. Second semester means slow days, preparing to face a new school year and fighting a lack of motivation that makes completing work impossible. 

Luckily, there’s a few ways to combat the burn out. Activities, whether mental or physical, provide a place to blow off steam. Coloring, exercise and watching TV are all activities that give students an outlet to either relax or expend pent up energy. For students battling any dual or AP class, sleep starts to come second to homework. While finishing up an essay before going to bed sounds easy, it often leads to students staying up into the middle of the night, rather than taking in some much needed rest. Instead of pushing off sleep to finish an assignment, an ample amount of sleep allows teens to work more efficiently.

In a school where GPA, rank and grades take such priority, it’s easy to get swept up in the endless cycle of work. Sleep, mental health and a student’s sanity always come before acing a class, so when taking algebra notes suddenly seems impossible and finishing a physics project makes the world crumble, remember to find time to rest, relax and regroup.