Halfway Through the Year: Here’s How to Keep Going

Arika Engstrom, Assistant Editor

Ending the first semester can sometimes be difficult for students because some find it hard to keep motivated in school and start new courses after getting used to the classes from the first semester.

Starting the second semester is always interesting because new classes can be challenging for students to be interested in and be engaged with. Some students find having new classes easier because they already know what to expect in the period. Other students don’t, considering some teachers have already explained the curriculum for that class for the next semester, which causes a loss of motivation because students feel the need to give up. The school year is also winding down. Everyone is impatient and ready to be done with the school year. Still, it is also difficult for students to keep up with homework because there is a lack of motivation due to the number of breaks. 

Barlow ASB president, Alina Estrada, explains, “all of us are tired because school seems a lot harder since we got used to online learning and the days seem longer. It’s okay to be exhausted halfway through the day because that is how most students feel.” 

Several students may be struggling; others may not be. Either way, everyone should feel they can get the help they need from the school, and some ways that they can get this help is by going to tutoring sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the library after school. Teachers and students may be willing to take some time out of their day to help you figure out what you need help with, whether that is homework problems, test questions, essays, etc. 

Some students have trouble getting started on homework and being motivated to do homework. A great way to get motivated is by making a to-do list of things you need to get done in a certain amount of time. Write down the least important stuff or stuff that doesn’t take long and get it done first, then move on to the next until you get mentally tired. Making a list of goals you want to achieve can also be helpful; short-term or long-term goals. 

Having the right mindset is always helpful to get things done. Being motivated can be tricky, so listening to upbeat or chill music is an excellent way to get there, depending on what gets you up and going. Having a clean space to do homework makes it more relaxing and can appear less stressful. Setting a time limit on your phone can also be helpful. A lot of people struggle with too much screen time. Having a phone near you can seem distracting, so putting it up and away may help. 

Another way to help stay focused is to do homework outside of your bedroom. Being in your room may make staying focused difficult because all you want is to lay down. Being somewhere bright like your living room, a coffee shop, a friend’s house, or even outside will help your mind stay calm, less stressed, and yet still focused. 

“Vent to your friends because everybody feels stressed. Take it one day at a time and look forward to the days where you have exciting things going on or the weekend,” Estrada says. Having something to look forward to makes a big difference because all you want is to get your schoolwork done, so you don’t have to worry about it. Another idea to get your mind off of school is to go to after-school activities like basketball games. Being involved in school can help make new friends and know your personality and what you enjoy. Joining a spring sport may also improve motivation. 

So many kids feel drained and ready for the school year to end and want to give up on doing homework. Don’t give up yet! You’ve made it halfway through the year so far, and you’re almost done.