Staying Motivated Mid-Semester

Staying Motivated Mid-Semester

Avoiding the dreaded burnout.
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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 Drank Lemon Water For A Week And Here's What Happened

It has already changed my life.

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There are so many health crazes out there now, it's hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't; or more importantly what is healthy and what is making your body worse. I read about simply drinking lemon water and I figured that didn't sound gross or bad for me so I figured I would give it a try. I've been drinking it consistently for a week and a half and I already notice some results.

I've never been a fan of lemon in my water, I always refuse it at restaurants. You definitely have to find your sweet spot in lemon to water ratio, in what tastes good to you. I personally cut the lemon into quarters and use on quarter per day. I put the lemon quarter in the bottle and then continuously fill with water throughout the day. I still get the yummy lemon flavor all day because I do not squeeze the lemon. It took about a bottle or two to get used to the lemon flavor, and now I just crave it.

Lemon water is supposed to speed up your metabolism. Obviously, a week is not long enough to tell if this is fact or fiction but I have noticed a change in appetite. I feel like I do not get hungry as often as I did before. I saw this effect within 24-48 hours of starting the experiment. This seems opposite to a fast metabolism but we'll see.

I definitely feel more hydrated with lemon water. I drink a lot of water anyways, about 80 oz a day but for some reason with the lemon, it makes me feel better. I don't feel as sluggish, I'm not getting hot as easily, and my skin feels amazing. I am slightly skeptical though because the lemon almost makes my tongue dry requiring me to drink more water, so I have upped my intake by about 20oz. I'm unsure if the hydration is due to the extra water, the lemon, or both!

My face is clearing up and feels so much softer too, in only a week! I have not gotten a new pimple since I have started my lemon water kick, may be coincidence but I'm not going to argue with it.

I also feel skinnier as I feel like I'm not holding as much water weight. I only exercise lightly, for the most part, walking around a mile or two a day so we can eliminate exercise factor to the slender feeling.

I have a messy stomach. Everything upsets it, and even though lemons are very acidic, they have not affected me in a negative way at all. It almost seems like the lemon water is helping me digest the difficult foods that my stomach doesn't like. I'm nowhere near a doctor so don't trust my word but it seems to be working for me.

From the effects I've felt so far, it also seems like lemon water may be a great hangover cure! I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can't say a negative thing about drinking lemon water so far expect you have to buy the lemons! If you try this for yourself though just make sure you are using an enamel saving mouthwash or toothpaste since lemons aren't so great for your teeth.

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Learning How To Cope With Rejection

"We are stars wrapped in skin, the light you are seeking has always been within." - Rumi

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"Life sneaks up on us every once in a while and gives us something we didn't even know we wanted, and lights within us a love we didn't even know existed." - Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

I've never really been someone who needs other people to motivate me. Whether it was schoolwork, going to the gym, or trying new things, if I ever want to get something done, the motivation has to come from me. If I don't complete a task, I may try to pass the blame but deep down I know it's on me. However, knowing this about myself can sometimes be frustrating because often my eyes and dreams are bigger than I am willing to work for.

I can't count the number of times I have dreamt about a music career with stadium tours and platinum records or going to a top-tier university and getting the opportunity to create a successful start-up company. Sometimes the dreams will seem simple like planning every moment of my dream wedding or visualizing the day I have my first child. While all of those dreams would be amazing, I know they will not all come true. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

I realize now that I can create my dream life out of what I do have, not out of what I wish I had. As Rumi said "the light is within" and I just need to find it. I know that good things don't just get handed to you, you have to work for them. But my brain works a little differently. When something doesn't go my way, it if anything makes me work even harder.

In December of 2016, I found out I got rejected Early Decision from my dream school. Sad, mad, and generally disappointed, I avoided this topic of conversation with everyone. It felt like a summer of essay-writing, test-taking, and four years of hard work had been thrown out the window. But it motivated me. It made me want to achieve something to prove them wrong.

Of course in the way that I deal with most emotions, I wrote a song about it and, with the help of my sister, posted it on my YouTube channel. It was a productive way of dealing with the rejection. Now that I am almost halfway through my second year at Emory, I truly believe it was for the best because it lit a light within me that I don't think could have come from anywhere else.

The university that I thought was my dream school told me they didn't want me. I built a thick skin (or thicker skin) with their rejection and gained a lot of strength because I had to. I'm sure I'm not the only person they have taught this lesson to and I'm sure I won't be the last. My heartbreak gave me more strength than I could have imagined and still motivates me to achieve greater things, things I thought were only a part of dreams.

"I am going to make you so proud" -Note to self.

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