I bet all of you have started the Winter semester motivated and on the front foot. Typically, the first month of classes is when students actually keep up with readings, assignments, lectures and whatnot. Towards the tail end of the semester though, when the assignments and exams start to really pile up, all the motivation is gone. All you want to do is to get across that finish line somehow. So, I thought I’d compile a list of tips to help you stay motivated through the semester:
- Manage your time
- Take time to relax
- Keep your eyes on the goal
This is the most important tip. You’d be surprised how many issues can be minimized by just one step – proper time management. Don’t slack. I know it gets harder as the semester progresses, but you have to manage your time and get stuff done. Don’t get lazy and put off those readings till tomorrow; tomorrow never comes.
Do you really need to watch that YouTube video right now? Do you really need to go through 9gag? It’s prioritizing not just that fun stuff, but also going out and work. You are choosing something over the other at all times. Choose your priorities carefully, and keep in mind the opportunity cost (see what I did there?). Point is, the less you tire yourself out, the better for you.
Most students have a schedule crazier than Barack Obama’s, with classes, club events, work, networking, and schoolwork crammed into a single day. After all that, you’ve got Facebook, YouTube, and your favourite TV series to keep you up until late into the night. Doing this on a regular basis will definitely result in a major burnout. Take time to relax. Listen to some music, go out for a walk, read a book (not a course book, obviously). Take some time off.
Despite your schedule, make time to go out with some friends at least every other week. Studies show that just focusing on work and school and not having any frequent informal interaction outside of these leads to anxiety and potentially, a burnout. Aaaand, you don’t want that. So make time to go out; I’m sure you can find a couple of hours at least once a week. (That time for the YouTube videos? Use it here.)
There is a reason you are here. Every time you start feeling lazy or start procrastinating, remind yourself about what you want to achieve. Lazy people don’t get anywhere; you have to work hard to be successful. No one said it was going to be easy.
So that’s pretty much it! I hope we all can benefit from these tips, and have a wonderful semester!
This article was originally posted on the Schulich undergrad blog. See it here.