Staying Motivated Mid-Semester

Staying Motivated Mid-Semester

Avoiding the dreaded burnout.

I know you're probably laying in bed chowing down the cheese-its and loading your new show on Netflix that you finally decided on. You have two exams in the next week, a research paper and a group project that you haven't started. Yet, here you are. Along with the majority of burnt out college students. But come on guys, we can do better than this. Don't give up hope, the Semester can still be salvaged, here's how to do so.

1. Plan Activities to Look Forward to As a Reward

Squad night out if you get all your work done on Wednesday? Girls day for brunch and manicures? Curling up in bed reading your favorite book? Plan any little thing that you can look forward to doing after you have completed your work, and you'll be that much more motivated to get all your work done.

2. Take an Entire Day to Get Yourself Organized

Organize everything. Even if being that OCD neat freak isn't your typical forte. Organize your receipts, your utensil drawer, the back of your closet. Organize your emails. Get rid of everything you can. This might sound crazy, but I promise, you will feel lighter.

3. Relax And Don't Feel Guilty For it

Plan a night each week completely for yourself. Do a mud mask, exfoliate your skin, paint your nails, light a candle and read a book. Pamper yourself, you deserve it. Having some time to recollect your thoughts will help you to continue to focus.

4. Schedule Out Your Assignments For the Rest of The Semester

Planning this ahead may seem overwhelming, but having a clear plan of what you should be working on and when, will cause you a lot less stress to come.

5. Set New Goals And Reassess

Even though it isn't the beginning of the semester you can still get back on track with any goals you may be lagging on. See where you are with the goals you made in September, and see if these are goals you still want to continue, or if you want to, go ahead and make some new goals. Making new goals will get you excited to finish the semester strong.

6. Evaluate Where You are in Your Classes-you can still salvage falling grades

Continuously check your grades. We all avoid looking at them from time to time (just like our bank accounts). But this is the last chance you have to see where you stand and do something about it. If you are behind you can still go see your professor and really focus on the rest of the assignments for the semester. But you can only do this if you know how you're doing in your class.

8. Make Sure You Still Go To Class

I know. It's hard. Nothing bad will immediately happen if you don't go. You can totally sleep in. You can totally have three more glasses of wine and be hungover instead of going to that 8 a.m. But don't. I know you want to, but please don't. You are wasting so much money just by missing one class. Everyone is getting up and doing it, and it is your responsibility to do so too. By going to class you'll feel less behind and therefore less overwhelmed by the semester. I promise you can do it.

9. Reconnect with people You Haven't Been Able to See

There are so many truly amazing people we meet in college, and unfortunately life gets in the way and we fall out of touch with these people. Please, please make the time to see them. You will feel so incredibly full by reconnecting with old relationships and will thus feel re-inspired for the semester.

11. Seek Help and Support if Needed

It is OKAY to need help. It is OKAY to be stressed out or have problems. We can not do everything alone, and that is OKAY. Getting help will enable you to fulfill all aspects of your life more successfully.

12. Know Your Perfect Study Space and Use it

Focusing is hard. Okay, maybe putting your phone away and turning off the group chat is near impossible. But there are certain places where we feel we are in work mode. Wether it be the library, or that cafe in the center of town. Use these spots often, as you will associate them with getting work done.

13. Plan Exact Study Times Like Appointments and Stick to it

Would you choose to study when you could binge watch the new season of American Horror Story of Netflix? Or eat the entire sleeve of Oreos in the kitchen? Probably not. By planning exact study times of what you will study, when and where, you are able to stick to this promise with yourself.

14. Stop Sleeping in

You know you aren't doing anything productive after midnight. So go to bed and get up early. You might not be a morning person, but by getting up early you can focus on the work that you need to get done. You will have a significant amount of more time in the day as compared to those that are sleeping in.

15. Spend Time Around Positive Influences

As good as it is to have friends who are entertaining and fun, it is also so important to surround ourselves with those that motivate us and keep us going. That friend that makes you excited to go out on Thursday should also make you feel proud about what you have achieved and urge you to keep going.

Cover Image Credit: WordSwag

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.


It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.

These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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An Open Letter to Soda

You're both good and bad, but you never fail to satisfy me.


Dear soda,

How do I even begin to describe my connection to you? I have shared countless moments with you that we're both my best and my worst. Above all, you fill me up better than water, milk and juice ever do. And even though you're as equally unhealthy as alcohol is (no offense), you're always the safer, if not the most refreshing choice. But even so, you give me more calories than I want in one meal, although burning off that kind of energy is second nature to me.

Before I lavish you with compliments and thank you for cooling me down on hot summer days, it's time to get the unpalatable truth about you and nutrition, soda. You're a primary reason why I'm not in the best shape of my life. Every time I try to have that extra little bit of muscle, you end up setting me back. It's so easy for me to crave for you, because of how delicious you are, and the sugar high you give me is absolutely amazing compared to what I get eating candy and all those other sweets.

I know it's really puzzling for a writer like me to be writing an open letter to a beverage, but you're actually a pretty big part of my life. Why? Because you don't just quench my thirst on hot days, or affect my upset stomach for better or worse, you give me just a smidgen more energy than coffee and tea do. The caffeine in you isn't good for me in the long run, but I need it on a regular basis so I don't zone out during my classes. Honestly, without you, I don't feel as uninhibited as I like to be.

What I love the most about you is that you come in numerous flavors, and even though it's scientifically proven to be ineffective and also tastes worse than gruel, you come in diet form. In every restaurant and cafeteria, you get your own fountain, and students like myself prefer to go there instead of the coffee machines. The hiss of fizz when I open you up makes my mouth water, chills go up my spine and I never resist that first taste of your sugary carbon. Out of all the flavors you offer, I love root beer, cream soda, grape, orange, ginger ale and Dr. Pepper the most. The possibilities with you are so endless.

Soda, the best thing you've ever done for is satisfy me when I didn't feel satisfied.

From one of your many friends,

Konner Donté Watson

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