• The Oiler10

The Mid-Semester Mayhem - Professor Edition

As I start Year 7 in the world of higher education, there is a definite period of time that our Oiler10 group has labeled as “Mid Semester Mayhem”.

These few weeks are filled with anxiety, sickness, and often a downturn of productivity for most students. While there are many reasons for this as Lindsey’s blog outlined last week, from my perspective, there are a few focus areas that students need to continue to place at the forefront each day to get them through this challenging time to ensure they are positioning themselves for a strong semester finish.

While these may not be daily activities, they are definitely things that I believe students can strategically put into their weekly schedule to ensure they are positively moving forward!

1. Meet with & Maximize time with their faculty members

I met with a student just yesterday who had definitely hit “mayhem status” in two of his classes. My initial question to him was, “have you set up a meeting with the professor, or visited them during their office hours?”

You can imagine their response. (If you can’t, it was a resounding NO).

As they sat and told me all the reasons for wanting to drop the class, and how they’re doing poorly, I kept coming back to - “if you haven’t had a conversation with the professor, or sought them out at all, then come back after you’ve done that with a recap of the meeting.”

Too many times students only interact (and I use that term loosely), with their faculty members in their 2-3 hours of seated class time per week. Some of them never even have a conversation during that time, and haven’t started to build any type of relationship.

Students must strategically engage with not only their faculty members weekly / bi weekly, but also their advisors (if not the same people), to ensure they’re continuing to build relationships, ask for assistance, and allow that person to know what’s going on in their lives.

Drop by their office.

Get to class early.

Say Hi, and ask them how their weekend / week / day is going.

Spark up a conversation.

Just engage a little bit!

I truly believe that people who have decided to make their career in higher education do so because they want to interact with students and care about their well being. But if there is no interaction from the student side other than in class, it’s hard to truly develop that further than at face value.

2. Work to set aside some personal “outreach” time

I often see around week 4, students settling into a new “tribe”, or group that they seem to do everything with. While this is awesome, I think sometimes it can contribute to that “mayhem” situation because everything gets a little comfortable, and people start to regress a bit. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend time with those people you’ve found you really enjoy, but you need to ensure you’re giving yourself some “you time”, and seeking out opportunities to engage with other people on campus.

This could be a new student in one of your classes that you did a group project with.

Ask them to go to coffee. Engage with them in a “outside of class” manner.

Or maybe it’s going to a meeting for a club you’re interested in. See what it’s all about. Meet some new people. Get some free food (there is usually some at most meetings).

Continue to grow your relationship building skills & opportunities. Often this excitement, and nervousness, will help you break out of a funk you might be in.

3. Start each day with gratitude walk / list / moment

Now this one might sound kind of funny to most college students, but I truly believe that all people need to do this, especially during those tough times where everything may seem a bit all over the map.

I could go on and on about research associated with the importance of showing gratitude in your life, and making it a priority each day, but I won’t… because you can go read that.

But, in a short synopsis, if you’re able to start each day with a focus on what you’re grateful for, your brain can’t go into a negative place at the same time. A large majority of our thoughts each day come from a negative mindset, and ultimately, “break us down.” Now this breakdown absolutely contributes to your overall health, and ability to focus on positively moving forward.

So, if you can shift your mind to be thankful for what you have around you at the current moment, and the opportunities of the day, then absolutely it can work as a little “life vitamin” boost in other areas.

Give it a try, you might just be amazed at the outcome.

Mid Semester Mayhem is a real thing. Your lives are crazy. You’re being pulled in a million directions, and you’re struggling to take good care of your mental / physical states in the process….. I’ll give you credit there.

But pushing forward is on you as well. These three tips, along with many others can at least help you get past that slump if you’re in it, or walking on the edge.

We’re here to help.

Go Be Awesome Today!

- Doc G

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