Skip to main content

If you’re reading this, it means you made it through another semester at USC and survived finals season. Congratulations! You should be proud of yourself because you made it through another semester at USC and got through finals season. You might be relieved, relaxed, and probably exhausted after taking your last exam. 


You might be headed home or on a nice vacation. You’ll probably spend a few days recovering and getting some well-deserved sleep and rest to make up for the long hours at the library and working hard. 


However, a phenomenon that almost every college student experiences after exam season is post-exam boredom. For a few days, everything still feels somewhat normal while you’re recovering from the semester and enjoying your favorite foods at home. But after that, you may start to feel bored and lethargic as you transition from having a strict academic schedule and routine from your life on campus and coming home for the holidays where you don’t have that structure or a very different routine sometimes feels strange and like you do not feel the same sense of urgency that comes with the stress and adrenaline of preparing for an exam or working on a final project. After being used to that continuously for weeks building throughout exam season, once you are home, you may feel bored or that you have nothing to do or work on. 


This is perfectly normal and should be viewed as a prime opportunity to get back into some of those hobbies and activities you typically have to put off temporarily during the school year to focus on some of your coursework. Maybe you enjoy cooking elaborate meals, spending the day playing a musical instrument, catching up on episodes of your favorite show, or simply playing a sport. Regardless of what it is, see this as a time to get back into those hobbies or take on new things you’ve wanted to learn that you haven’t been able to explore while being a busy student. 


I have a variety of ways to get out of the post-exam season boredom funk and to help, I’ve made a little routine you can follow and modify as needed: 


  1. Spend the first couple of days of your break resting and letting yourself sleep as much as needed. Your body just went through a lot during exam season and chances are, you probably didn’t get as much sleep as you probably wanted to. So take these days to recharge and recover as needed.
  2. After you feel recovered, now it’s time to think about things you enjoy or things you would like to do throughout the day that you haven’t been able to do during the semester or any people you have missed out on communicating with. I like to use my planner since to me it feels like a constant in all my routines. 
  3. Next, I like to write down tasks I want to accomplish for the day but make sure they have nothing to do with school. You can still be productive and take a break from school and this can be a time to discover/re-discover who you are without academic stresses and pressures. Getting in some movement daily helps too, whether it’s a nice walk outside or a dance party at home! Just try to repeat these things daily to get into a routine. 
  4. Take it one day at a time, and treat each day as an adventure. Remember that it is normal to feel tired and unmotivated right after the semester has ended when the break starts. Just let your feelings pass and remember to be kind to yourself! 


I hope this helps in getting you started in having a healthy and positive break, and remember to fight on!

Salma Mohamed

MAJOR: Civil Engineering (Building Science) YEAR: Class of 2025 HOMETOWN: Austin,Texas PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: I am currently involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) as a Student Transfer Representative. SHPE is an organization that empowers engineering students that identify as Hispanic to develop networking skills and leadership. Outside of SHPE, I am a part time intern for SoCal Gas in the Pipeline Engineering Design team.