Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: Being in a rut doesn’t mean you’re a bad student

<p>IU junior Abbi Eldridge completes school work Nov. 8, 2021, in Herman B. Wells Library.</p>

IU junior Abbi Eldridge completes school work Nov. 8, 2021, in Herman B. Wells Library.

Being in a rut is OK, but letting it take over your life isn’t.

Halfway through the semester, students may start to feel bored with their schedules.

Coming back to campus this semester and having classes in person has been amazing, but there have definitely been weeks where I felt like even responding to a discussion post drained all of my energy. It is so easy to just not go to class and procrastinate all of your homework until the very last minute. However, doing this does not make you a bad student — it just means you’re in a rut.

A rut can last for more than just a few days, and it probably is not something that can just go away on its own.

Sometimes falling into a rut can happen all at once, like it did for me. I was doing great, and then, I woke up one day with no motivation to go to any of my classes or to do any of my assignments. I’m still kind of in my rut, but I’m trying to be better about being productive with my time and not saving things for the very last minute.

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IU sophomore Ethan Wanninger said his rut lasted for about a month. He said he felt like his energy was slowly draining over time.

“Although I had the occasional break where I felt normal, I haven’t completely pulled myself out of it yet,” Wanninger said. “But I know the answer to getting out of it is to change my routine.”

Trying to get yourself out of a rut takes time. Be patient with yourself while you figure out a way to fix it. Something as simple as changing your daily schedule can help get you out of a rut. Keep yourself on your toes — you can do homework at a new place on campus or attend class over Zoom in a different location. 

“My rut came from doing the same things each day of each week for too long,” Wanninger said.  “I’m breaking this process by cooking new foods, going to the gym with new people and walking to different places around campus in between classes.” 

You can’t always control what you have no energy to do. When you fall into a rut, it can not only affect your personal life but your academic life as well.

“School is partly the reason I was in the rut because all of my classes do about the same thing each week with very little variation,”  Wanninger said. “My school work was affected some because I had less and less motivation to do my work.”

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According to Healthline, things like practicing self care, taking breaks and reminding yourself you don’t have to be perfect can help you get out of a rut. 

Sometimes, this lack of motivation is more than just a rut. During this time of year, some students are affected by seasonal depression. IU’s Counseling and Psychological Services has services to help students, such as traditional one-on-one or group counseling, mindfulness workshops and the WellTrack mental health app.

Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.

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