Staying Motivated As the Semester Ends

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

As the semester comes to an end, most college students are back home again finishing their classes. I went home after Thanksgiving because my university closed, but finding motivation to continue my classes has been difficult for some reason. I went through this in March, so why is it so difficult to do it now? There are multiple factors that can attribute to lack of motivation during this time: the holidays are right around the corner, it’s getting colder, and we’re still in an ongoing pandemic. So, here are several ways that I have helped gain more motivation to finish the semester off strong!

  1. Get Out of Bed, Change Out of Your Sleepwear, and Put on Shoes

This might seem obvious and silly, but these do have an effect, although subconsciously. When you stay in bed all day, it is so easy to accidentally tune out of class and look at your phone. You slowly sink down in bed from sitting up. Staying in bed is one of the worst things that I can do. The longer that I lay in bed, the less productive my day will be.

The same goes for changing out of sleepwear and putting on shoes. Wearing real clothes and shoes has a subconscious effect as your brain associates sleepwear and socks with relaxing at home, while ‘work time’ is associated with shoes and professional clothes. Obviously, there is no need to put on a suit, but changing out of whatever you slept in triggers your mindset into one that is more productive.

2. Schedule Your Day, but Make Sure Not to Over-schedule

Planning is important. When I get used to a certain routine, and that routine changes, I find it so easy to fill my day with less productive activities. However, taking time to plan and working out what I want to get done during the day helps me to stay on track and actually finish what I want to. However, when I try to do too much during the day and don’t plan time for myself to workout or eat, I burn myself out and don’t have the feeling of being accomplished. It also counteracts all the motivation that I had built for myself.

3. Make sure that you are in the right environment with the right people

Who you are around can affect how you are doing. When I came home, one of the big problems that I had was that all of my friends from home had finished classes before Fall break, but my classes were going to continue until mid-December. A few of my friends wanted to make plans to have lunch or go to the beach, but I still had finals to prepare for and projects I needed to finish. I had to make sure to explain to them that once the break was over, I needed to prioritize getting all my work done. Anyway, I would be free until mid January once I was done.

Furthermore, making sure that I set boundaries with those closest to me was also helpful. Last semester when everything went online, my family would constantly interrupt my classes and group meetings, which was a huge distraction. This time, I knew I would be at “peak busy time” of the semester while I was at home, so I made sure to explain that to them over the break. Of course they were understanding and now I don’t have distractions to keep me from staying motivated and staying on track with my work and classes.

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Laurel Coomes

Laurel Coomes

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