Tips for avoiding mid-semester burnout

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Midterms may have you counting down the days until the end of the semester. Since many students struggle to stay motivated and focused at this time of year, the UAF Academic Advising Center and eCampus have put together some tips on how to avoid mid-semester burnout.

Drink plenty of water

If you aren’t drinking enough water, you can experience a myriad of side effects, including mental fog, fatigue, and headaches. Be sure to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to stay hydrated.

Make getting a good night’s sleep a priority

The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Getting a good night’s sleep can improve your brain performance, mood, and health. On the other hand, not getting enough quality sleep regularly could raise the risk of many diseases and disorders (ranging from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia.)

Tap into what you enjoy (a favorite craft/ hobby, taking a walk with a friend, cooking a favorite meal, getting outside, etc.)

This can be a great way to relieve stress and help you create a better school/ life balance.

Break down the remaining semester into smaller pieces that are achievable

Leaving projects until the last minute can be stressful for anyone. Creating a timeline of when you plan to complete your assignments, study, etc. can help mitigate this stress.

Set up a check-in appointment every couple of weeks with your academic advisor to stay motivated and accountable

Academic advisors can help you make and reach academic goals, create a timeline for getting your assignments done, and can provide tips for finishing the semester strong.


Ginny Redmond, left, tutors Kaneyo Hirata.
Ginny Redmond, left, tutors Kaneyo Hirata (UAF Photo by Todd Paris)

Connect with UAF’s wide variety of resources (tutoring, health and counseling, etc.) to get assistance

UAF wants to make sure its students all have the resources they need to succeed. Academic advisors, instructors, and Resident Assistants can all help you get connected!

Burnout is something that students everywhere experience, and it’s nothing to be ashamed about! Below are some additional tips and tricks to help manage your stress.

Learn to say no

There are times in everyone’s lives when they are unable to take on any more tasks. Learning to say no can help you set some boundaries and can lead to a better life balance!

Students relax after a day of classes in the Sacket Hall dining room on UAF's Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel.
Students relax after a day of classes in the Sacket Hall dining room on UAF’s Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel. (UAF photo by Todd Paris)

Know when you need a break

Oftentimes, students think that studying for 12 hours straight is the key to succeeding in their classes. While this may work for some people, many find it beneficial to take periodic breaks. Figure out what works for you and stick to that schedule when studying for upcoming quizzes or exams. Be sure that you completely detach yourself from your work and have the opportunity to truly take a break.

Create a new routine

It can be hard to stay motivated if you feel like you are in a rut. Changing up your typical day-to-day schedule can help you stay productive and engaged.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet

It can be easy to binge on snacks while studying and doing homework, but over time that can lead to poor mental performance and decreased concentration. If you like snacking while you work on your assignments, try having some healthy alternatives on your desk to eat while you work.

Always remember to be kind to yourself. Midterms and finals are especially hard times of the semester, but remember that you can and will get through them! Please don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you need it.



Adapted from:

Avoiding the mid-semester burnout (Southern Nazarene University)

Good sleep for good health

Avoiding mid-semester burnout (Syracuse University)

4 Signs You Have Mid-Semester Burnout and What to Do About It

by Alexis Carstens

Alexis Carstens is the Student Success Specialist at UAF eCampus. She helps you get the most out of your online learning experience! Connect with her to learn about student resources and more.


  • Karina Gonzales-Smith

    Communications Manager
    Karina has worked in higher education for over 14 years. Her passion for learning began at an early age when she learned how to speak English after moving from the tropic to the Arctic. Since then Karina has moved from one classroom to another — on campus, online, or overseas. She’s an alumna of UAF and UAA where she studied biology, psychology, and public health. Karina currently teaches for the Allied Health program in the UAF College of Rural and Community Development. She deeply values connecting with people, and her role as Communications Manager allows her to be an authentic, creative, and supportive champion of equity in education.

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