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Thursday, October 17, 2013
The Mid-Semester Slump


by  Tim Lawless

Doctors say that running will make you healthier, make you live longer, and give you more energy. It burns calories, increases your sense of well-being, and just generally improves your life.

Running makes me miserable.

I’m usually ready to give up about half a mile in. You know how when you’re running, there’s always that person in the distance you’re trying to catch up with? There’s also the guy on the side of the path, hunched over, hands on his knees, looking like he’s ready to pass out.

I’m that guy.

Here’s why: I treat everything like a sprint, not a marathon. I don’t pace myself. I just want to get it over with as quickly as possible, so I can go back to my air-conditioned car and not be running anymore. I don’t have the discipline for a long distance run. Who am I kidding? I don’t even have the discipline for a short distance run…or a brisk walk…or a leisurely stroll…or physical exertion in general.

You get the idea.

Weird place to start talking about handling the crazy workload that comes in the middle of a semester, right? Some people approach school like a sprint. Others approach it like a marathon. Sprinters generally do work in large portions, and generally close to deadlines. I most definitely fall into this category.

I have a full-time job, I’m taking classes, and I’m trying to fit all of life’s other responsibilities in there somewhere. I’m willing to bet most of us are like that. Between families, work, school, church, and a million other little things that demand our attention, sometimes it seems like the Friday or Sunday when an assignment is due isn’t just the best time to do the work, but the only time.

Sure, we get the work done. But after spending an entire day (or two) on an assignment, there’s no better way to describe how we feel than “utterly exhausted”.

We treat school like a sprint. We go full speed ahead, and do all the work at once. We get it done,  then feel completely burnt out. Then Monday comes, and we do it all again.

Marathons are difficult. Or, at least that’s what I’ve heard. As you might recall, I’ve never actually run one. You can’t go full-throttle in a 26 mile race. You have to pace yourself. Otherwise, you’ll hit mile 9 (or mile 2, in my case) and be ready to give up. 

What if we treated school like a marathon instead of a sprint? Maybe we won’t be so exhausted at the end of the week, or rushing to complete that final assignment on the last Friday of the class. What if we took that 20 page paper, and started it in the 4th week instead of the 6th week? What if we wrote 2 pages a day for 2 weeks instead of 10 pages a day over the course of 2 days?

If you pace yourself, you might find that you have a little more time for the million and one other responsibilities you have. Who knows? You might not feel so exhausted. You might even enjoy school a little bit!

Most of us will have a 10 day break coming up on October 11th. Enjoy that time without having to be concerned with school. Spend time with your family. Spend time on a hobby you enjoy. Maybe even go for a run!

Just kidding about the run, guys.  Let’s be realistic here.


Posted at 3:33 PM | Comments (1)