The Mid-term blues

I always hate this time of year.  During finals, it’s different.  Students come together to have this sense of solidarity as they struggle through the final moments of the semester.  But during mid-terms, students just seem to disappear.  I mean like I have hardly seen anyone in close to a week, even though I keep in touch with them via email to make sure they are still hanging in there.

This is always a challenge for the ministry.  We seem to be just getting going and then all of a sudden, the momentum shifts and we are reminded of how overloaded these students really are.  And that’s when I myself get mid-term blues as I call them.  The reality that the congregation I work with will always be overwhelmed with the full time job of being a student often robs the momentum we begin the year with.  And because of the amount of work, the precious four or five years I typically get with these students becomes less and less time every year.

In order that I might be in touch with these students, I often spend this time of year making phone calls, text messages, thank you notes along with personal coffee visits with students.  It’s time to check in, but all those check-ins don’t quite create the community as I hope to see.  And when there are lots of students who are stressed and worried about their grades and tests, there’s nothing better than a community focused activity.

So, as a campus minister, how do you deal with this time of the year.  What kinds of things are you doing to keep in touch with your students.  What are the things you do to keep you from getting the mid-term blues yourself and what are the ways you keep building the community during mid-terms?  I would love to hear ideas and thoughts on this constant issue in the field.

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