Column: How to Get Over the Winter Slump Hump

Column: How to Get Over the Winter Slump Hump

There’s a period from January to March that feels never-ending. I like to call it the “Winter Slump.”

Christmas and New Year’s have long passed, the weather is piping hot one day and freezing cold the next, and motivation is hard to come by. For many students, college decisions are being released, school work and assessments are piling back on, and the next break feels years away. 

You’re likely thinking that I’m taking the words right out of your mouth. You’re probably asking yourself, Is there any possible way to get out of this slump?

Well, as a senior right in the throes of the dreaded “Senioritis,” I’m here to give you some advice on how to successfully make it through these next couple of months with a smile on your face.

Managing Time

Time management is a hard skill to master. Sometimes our busy schedules are just too much to handle, or we fall victim to procrastination. 

But this can be solved through trial and error. I’ve tried lots of different planning tactics – online planners, sticky notes, my smartphone calendar – but the one I found the most effective was a physical planner. 

“I have a very detailed planner that is not just monthly… I actually have a daily plan,” Mrs. Kozak said when asked about how she personally manages time. 

One glance at Mrs. Kozak’s planner shows you her hourly schedule, including work tasks, personal tasks, and downtime. She uses a separate monthly calendar, where she makes sure to jot down events that she has to look forward to in the near future. She encouraged me to write down reminders for upcoming events in my own life: I am opening Matilda in a week, and graduation is right around the corner. These reminders excite and motivate me to keep pushing.

But planners aren’t foolproof – even with my time perfectly organized and things to look forward to, I am still affected daily by outside stressors and seemingly unachievable deadlines. Mrs. Kozak suggested that I have someone to hold me accountable, such as a friend in each of my classes who will ensure I turn in assignments on time. This has proved beneficial, and I would recommend it to all. I went on to ask for her thoughts about preserving mental health while keeping up with deadlines. 

“You have to give yourself grace… sometimes your ‘best work’ is your best work for that moment because of circumstances… that’s life.”

‘You’ve Gotten Through 100% Of Your Hard Days’

Good time management, although extremely beneficial, does not completely cure a winter slump. Half of our chances to successfully and happily make it through a day depend on the state of our mental health. 

Mental health is an extremely tricky thing to understand and keep under control. I feel like I live in a constant state of uncontrollable anxiety that only heightens in times of chaos. I have tried solutions like meditation, rest, or listening to music, and despite their occasional effectiveness, none of these tactics have rid me of my stress entirely. 

But I did not let this discourage me. I have discovered a solution that people from any background in any situation can use to soothe their stresses.


“Prayer is the air that I breathe,” said Mrs. Kozak. “It’s remembering that you may be in a rough day or a rough season but… there’s going to be an end to those things.”

When I cannot carry my struggles any longer, I say to myself, “Give it to God” and visit the Chapel. There is no better feeling than kneeling before Jesus on the Cross, lifting my hands to Him, and telling Him each of my stresses. This serenity allows me to see that God is always walking alongside each of us, and asks only that we show Him our hearts so that He may heal them. 

Mrs. Kozak informed me of an educator luncheon that took place at the start of the new year, where someone brought up a quote from Father Boyle: “You’ve gotten through 100% of your hard days”. 

So, on the days when you aren’t sure your brain will be able to make it to 3 p.m., remember that you have previously and can still muster up the strength to brave through a day with God’s generous help.

Break Away From Your Norm

One way to give yourself a desperately-needed energy burst is by trying something new. This could be a silly and fun alarm sound to wake you up in the morning, or going to a new restaurant for lunch. Here are some more suggestions:

  • Find a new hobby: Read a book, try baking, learn to crochet, organize a rec basketball team with friends, adopt a new workout routine, take guitar lessons, make a short film, plant and tend a garden… I could go on and on. Explore your interests!
  • Listen to new music: Make a brand new playlist to put on repeat! If you’re into country, try R&B! If you listen to indie-pop, find some oldies! It’s so exciting to discover a different song, album, or artist to fixate on for the next few months – we all know the feeling. Check out Madison Ebersole’s “100 Songs to Get You Through 2024” article!
  • Take a day trip: A North Carolina road trip is easier than it sounds! Now that the weather is warming up, places like the zoo, the beach, and amusement parks are looking more and more appealing. Pack up for a quick excursion, everyone! Juniors – visit some college campuses!
  • Find a service opportunity: Franciscan Youth International and Lancer Club are constantly organizing new service opportunities for Gibbons students. Play with kids at Beginning and Beyond, spend time with the elderly at Brookdale Senior Living, or serve food to the homeless with Shepherd’s Table. Nothing is more spiritually rewarding than helping your community. 
  • Start a bucket list: Want to Travel to Greece? Go skydiving or bungee jumping? See the Aurora Borealis? Set a Guinness World Record? Learn another language? Hike to the top of a mountain? Run a marathon? Write it down, and make a point to do it!
  • Go to sports events: Winter sports are coming to a close and spring sports are just beginning. Support the Green Army by cheering for your favorite Gibbons teams! See more in Mikaela Povsic’s article “Looking Ahead: A Winter Report on Spring Sports”.
  • Join a new club: There are countless clubs at Gibbons – one for every interest (and if there isn’t, you can start one)! There’s Mountain Biking Club, The Repeater, History Club, and even Dungeons and Dragons Club! Check out bulletin boards and the Gibbons website for more information.
  • Bolster your faith life: Faith is found in every nook and cranny at Gibbons. Make it a habit to attend Daily Mass, Encounter Bible study, or Adoration. Start up a chat with your Theology teacher or Father Luke. 
  • Expand your friendship circle: Yes seniors, even you! Turn to the person behind you in class and spark up a conversation. Ask that person you always wave to in the hall to get lunch with you. The year isn’t over yet, and with more good people surrounding you, you’re guaranteed happiness!
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About the Contributor
Noe Dwight
Noe Dwight, Managing Editor
Hi, my name is Noe Dwight! I am a Senior writing and reporting for the Gibbons Globe. Here at CGHS, I am most involved in Drama Leadership Team, Gibbons Leadership Institute, and Peer-to-Peer Mentorship. Most days, you can find me singing and dancing in the theater or writing and reading in the library!