Paris Bienert: Trumping the November slump

It’s that time of year again. Midterms are over and the sugar-induced coma, otherwise known as Halloween weekend, has come to an end. Now all that’s left to do is sit around and wait for Thanksgiving Break.

I remember during my freshman year around this time, I went through what can only be referred to as the “November slump.” Roommate issues were exacerbated, workloads seemed to double and everything in life just felt a little bit harder.

It is important to know there are easy things to do to at least assuage some of the stress that accompanies the November slump.

Students, especially freshmen, should be aware this is normal and they aren’t alone. Even weathered seniors are apt to feel down at this time of year.

The best way to combat the effects of the November slump is simply to acknowledge they exist. It is a fact that many students will feel particularly weighed down in the coming weeks, and ignoring this reality will only make things worse. As a school community, it is important for us all to acknowledge the existence of a slump, so that we can work together to get through it, rather than individually pretend it is not happening.

By now, the excitement of a new year in college has completely worn off, leaving us just two months into the semester with the feeling that there is no end in sight.

Once the honeymoon period is over, reality hits – and it can hit pretty hard. After Halloween, it can feel like the only thing we have to look forward to is Thanksgiving break.

It’s around the start of November that students really start to cripple under the burden of schoolwork. Midterms were grueling, and instead of coming out of those with a manageable workload, the high-intensity effort must continue.

As the days get shorter and colder, so too do students’ tempers. But trite as it might sound, making a conscious effort to think positively and recognize that many of your peers are having the same negative emotions you might be having,might help you be able to keep everything in perspective and get past the slump.

The National Sleep Foundation says that the average person above the age of 18 needs seven hours of sleep per night. Sounds impossible sometimes, but trying to get that much sleep helps regulate everything, from stress to diet.

Exercising is another way to make sure you survive the November slump unscathed. Physical activity not only produces more “feel-good” neurotransmitters in your brain, but it also improves your mood, helps you forget your daily frustrations and gives you a feeling of control in your life, according the Mayo Clinic.

But most of all, this slump faces almost all students in some way at this time. It’s not unusual to be feeling particularly down around early November. Homesickness becomes pervasive, particularly for freshmen. One of the best things we can do to combat it right now is just understand that our classmates, roommates and peers are going through the same thing.

Remember that if you do start to feel down this month, you are not alone in what you’re feeling. Most likely if you take the time to take care of yourself, you will probably be able to trump the slump.

Paris Bienert, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

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