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Second semester is rough. Even with spring break fast approaching, the middle of this term often feels impossible to get through. You’ve already been in school for at least two months, and you still have so long to go until summer. Mid-terms are taunting you, and how is it that finals seem so close, but summer seems so far? Not to mention the chaotic weather, gray skies one day, a bright sun the next, and a blizzard the day after. The only guarantee is that your seasonal depression will get plenty of chances to poke it’s ugly head out.

In spite of all this doom and gloom, there are ways to survive these trying months. Pop some vitamin c pills, get out of bed, dress in layers (you never know what season is going to make a guest appearance next), and let’s get this show on the road.

Change up your routine

No, I don’t mean drop out of all your classes so you can spend all day in your blanket burrito. Try does some new things! If you and your friends always wait for hours at that frat-boy favorite pizza place on Thursday nights, try the new Thai place instead. Getting tired of the same old house parties? Have a baking party (wine is optional, chocolate chips are not)- you’ll enjoy cookie calories more than vodka calories anyway. Breaking out of your everyday rut might add just the right amount of spice to your life.


Yeah, you’ve heard it a million times, so I’ll keep it short, but exercise really does make you feel better. You need those happiness chemicals to keep running around in your brain, and working out is a legitimate way to make that happen. If you hate the gym, think about trying a class like yoga or zumba.

Get something living to keep in your room

If you live in a dorm, you’ll have to be more selective with this one. You might not be able to get a cat or a dog, but your RA probably won’t even notice if you have a fish. If animals aren’t your thing, buy a cactus or a herb garden. Your new living thing will give you a surprising sense of purpose, and even if you just have a plant, you’ll feel a surprising sense of companionship. Not only that, but you can repot plants in adorable vintage pots or repurpose mason jars or get a colorful fish to add some new flair to your room.

Treat yourself

Have a treat yourself day! Do whatever you want! By yourself or with some supportive pals! Buy some books! Eat a scone! Line your shoes with red carpet! Take a bath! You deserve it.

Branch out

Be selective about your vibes. If you’ve been spending 100% of your time with the same one or two people, try to change it up a little bit. Everyone gets sick of each other if they spend too much time together, and it’s super easy for that to happen when you live and go to school with your best friend. Try having lunch with a couple of interesting acquaintances, or at least invite them to sit with you and your ride or die.

Be your own best friend

You are going to spend your entire life with yourself. If you’re feeling really blah, you might as well figure out how to un-blah yourself now, because this probably isn’t the last time you’ll feel this way. Learn to do things on your own– have a solo spa night (everyone can benefit from the occasional face mask), cook yourself dinner, go to a concert, or just take a walk. It really can be nice.

Invest in some blankets 

It’s freezing out, dorms are often drafty (or so stinky that you keep your window open, even during snowpocalypse), and there’s no way you’re going to feel less blue if you’re always cold. Hit up your local TJ Max or Marshalls for some luxe blankies at starving college student prices. Your feet will thank you on the next snow day you spend Netflixing in your bed.

Take those mid-semester blues head-on!

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the author

Kathleen is a Northern California native and incoming freshman at Washington & Lee University. She spends much of her free time obsessing over the future (not in a crystal ball way) and making plans to visit as many countries as humanly possible throughout her four years of college. She loves her dog Morton, Grey's Anatomy, and money. One day she hopes to become the perfect mix of Cristina Yang, Mindy Kaling, April Kepner, and Amy Poehler. Until then you can find her crying over how exciting life is and retaking the Myer's Briggs Test to make sure she really is ENTJ.

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