After the rush of frosh week fades and the excitement of a new year on campus turns into the funk of fall, many students lose momentum. But there are ways to beat the midterm blues.

Lana Hastings, vice-president of student services at the University of Winnipeg, says first-year students are especially prone to midterm blues as the pressures of studies, school, volunteer work and even independent living sink in.

“It’s not only hard to juggle everything, but it’s very hard to keep up your own mental health, physical health and hygiene at the same time. Usually, one thing drops,” she says.

A good first step back into the game is to check out the myriad services you are already paying for with your tuition.


“There is a lot of support on campus that can help them through this,” Hastings says. “One obvious example is counselling and career services.”

The free drop-in service connects students with peers and professionals to help talk through any particular areas they are struggling with and outline solutions.

“It’s a great way to have an objective and confidential perspective,” she says. “It’s very therapeutic.”

Financial aid and food banks are available if that’s what’s causing your emotional downturn, and many campuses offer childcare to ease that burden.

Another big factor in the fall slump is the sense you have been working for ages and the end is not in sight.

Instructors and students can combat this with a thorough review of what has been taught so far and having an open conversation to gather students’ opinions about the material covered.

Find out what students are struggling with so the classes can be tailored to address existing weaknesses, rather than going over what is already understood.

The University of Alberta has a radical approach to beating the midterm blues: Massive games of dodge ball. To tackle the slump in February, 2,012 students, staff and alumni faced off with 1,006 balls in the world’s largest match.

Frank Robinson, the university’s dean of students, said aside from getting into the Guinness World Records, the event also took minds off studies and another long winter.

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