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How do semester rhythms impact your studies?

Have you experienced issues with semester rhythms while at university? Source: Shutterstock

Whether you’re a professor or a student, leveraging the rhythms of study semesters can be a trying task at times.

Often linked to exam exhaustion and crammed study sessions, rushed years leave everyone feeling out of sync and having to play catch up with a university’s academic flow.

The story behind semester rhythms

If you’re wondering what semester rhythms are and the role they play at universities, in simple terms, it’s a phrase to describe the disjointed dates of semesters.

For instance, in the US, the summer term often doesn’t begin in June or July, but instead in late May.

By following the tri-semester system (the fall, spring and summer), most US universities work from a custom-made time frame.

As such, when students or professors have finished their term, their break may differ from time frames friends and family follow.

Instead, they work alongside the ‘societal norm’ of spring, summer, autumn and winter rather than the university schedule.

Are you feeling out of sync?

Adjusting to a new schedule at university may make you feel as though you’re out of sync with reality.

Even for professors, the transition from a different job role to a structured academic environment that caters to their students’ exam periods can be a real shock to the system.

To ease that transition, there are multiple ways to reduce stress and prepare yourself for change.

From avoiding distractions to escaping campus life through a range of engaging activities, ensure that you release the stress before it all builds up.

Easing your academic anxiety will make it easier to tune into the new study structure ahead of you.

Scientific synchronisation

Alongside semester rhythms, there have been various scientific revelations attached to exhaustion at university and feeling out of sync.

According to The Insider, exhaustion during the day may be linked to a “circadian rhythm abnormality”.

After speaking to an expert in sleep disorders at Yale Medicine, they discovered that, “being tired in the daytime and energetic at night is usually caused by circadian rhythm abnormalities and that a person’s body clock runs late and they have a burst of energy in the evening.”

Therefore, the disjointed semester rhythms may be enhanced by circadian rhythm abnormalities.

If you feel like you need assistance in dealing with the transitions of university and the stressful study periods, you can enlist the help of dynamic mental health apps or talk to a college counsellor.

Everyone deals with change differently.

As long as you’re aware that even professors at universities struggle with the after-exam exhaustion and pre-exam tension, you’ll soon tune in to semester rhythms and comfortably play along.

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