Mid-sem break: expectations vs reality

April 26, 2016
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Let’s be real: the mid-sem break is a bit of struggle. It’s one week where you’re supposed to somehow fit in four weeks’ worth of relaxation, de-stressing, catching up on sleep and starting assignments and essays. Oh, and there’s also the general ‘trying to get your shit together’ thing.

And hey, we’re all going to lie in bed and recite our mantras of “I’m going to study, I’m going to catch up, I’m going to socialise”, and it’s all going to seem really, really possible. But then Monday comes around and your alarm goes off and you open your eyes and… mmmmm no.

But please remember that it’s 100 per cent OK if your expectations don’t align with the reality of your mid-sem break, because after all, it is just one week.

(First-years, this is when you discover whether you’re ‘P’ for ‘productivity’ or ‘P’ for ‘procrastination’.)

Expectation: “I’m going to do a little bit of study every day.”

Reality: “Oh hey, they added Fresh Prince of Bel Air on Netflix.”

But wait, there’s also season two of Daredevil! You don’t exactly remember what happened in season one, so maybe you’ll just watch a bit of it and then head straight to season two. Huh, House of Cards looks interesting, but you haven’t watched Fresh Prince for ages. Maybe you’ll just watch a bit of each one.

Expectation: “I need to maintain a good sleep cycle.”

Reality: “Just one more episode.”

You start work at nine, which means you need to wake up at eight. If you watch just one more episode, you’ll get to sleep at around two, which means you’ll get like six hours of sleep – that’s totally enough time. You’ll just sleep earlier tomorrow and then wake up and study… yep.

Expectation: “Time to ace that essay!”

Reality: “Is Clipart still a thing on Word?”

This is truly the time when your inner productivity or procrastination comes out. If you’re a master of the latter, it might turn out a little like this…

“It is still a thing! Ah, throwback to when I used it to jazz up my portfolios in primary school. Oh my God, remember borders? Can I still insert borders in Word?* Where are my old portfolios? I think they’re somewhere in my wardrobe. I’ll just have a quick look and come right back… oh hey, look, it’s my old toys!”

*’90s themed cherries, slices of cake, love hearts and star borders still exist.

Expectation: “Time to go clubbing!”

Reality: “Hey, sorry, I just… I really CBF tonight.”

“You’re such a horrible friend,” you tell yourself as you crawl into bed, reach for your laptop, plug in your charger and prepare for a wild night of… since when was there a new Game of Thrones trailer?!

Expectation: “Gonna eat healthy for a week.”


It’s not your fault you’re embracing your inner Augustus Gloop – Tim Tams were half price, what were you supposed to do?

Expectation: “Alright, I’d seriously better start!”

Reality: “AYYY, it’s time for a break!”

Coz picking the essay question, writing out the title and figuring out the style of reference you’ll use takes a lot of effort. Let’s walk to the kitchen and suss out the fridge again. Maybe some chocolate eggs will magically appear. 

Steffanie Tan

Steffanie is studying a Bachelor of Journalism at Monash University.

Image: Keirsten Marie, Flickr Creative Commons license