As I have gone through my first two years of high school, I have come to realize something; the second semester of the year is far worse than the first. It is not that the work is more challenging or heavier, it is just that I simply lose my motivation. During the first semester, students go through the stages of being excited for school to be back in, readjusting, getting back into the swing of things, and studying for midterms. However, when the first set of exams are over and the new semester rolls around, the lack of enthusiasm is clear.
This, a lack of interest in school following Christmas break, is what I like to call the "Second Semester Slump." When I was in middle school, I heard older kids complain all the time about how awful the second semester was. Of course, at that time, I had very little understanding of what they meant. Now that I am in their position, I understand exactly what they meant.
After all of the pressure of midterm exams are over, the new semester of the school year begins. For some students, that may mean changing several classes, which at least brings in a little excitement. For me this year, I had only one period change in a very small way. This meant that the routine that I had gotten used to for the first 18 weeks continued in its mundane pattern.
My teachers have stuck to their ways, continuing on their teaching schedule exactly as before. I walk to the same classrooms each day, knowing completely what to expect. I go to the same lunch at the same time each day. While I am not someone who enjoys a tremendous amount of change, a little spontaneity in my school day would be appreciated.
With these complaints, one would think I would have some suggestions to relieve the "Second Semester Slump." However, I have none. I struggle with this issue. I have to truly push myself to even think about studying for my next quiz or doing my math homework in a timely manner. While I still work hard to maintain my grades, my first semester motivation has disappeared. If I had a solution, I would have put it into action by now.
Although I tend to believe the "Second Semester Slump" affects all high-school students, there are always a few exceptions. In my study hall, I look around and see a few students working diligently. The fact that it is the middle of the third nine weeks of the school year seems to have had no effect on their outlook on schoolwork. I give tremendous props to those students, who have stronger willpower than I do. At school, I frequently find myself thinking about the slowly approaching freedom of summer. I have to consciously tell myself to focus on the task in front of me, as I still have a long way to go before June rolls around.
When eighth graders prepare to go into high school, they get a lot of stereotypical advice: be yourself, study hard and make good choices. Something that students are not warned about is the struggle to stay motivated after the excitement of first semester wears off. The Second Semester Slump is not necessarily an extremely drastic condition, but if we are not careful, it could be detrimental to our grades. As the rest of the year goes by, I am certainly trying to keep that in mind.