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 Can't Simply Answer 'Who Am I' Because I'm There's So Much Of Me

Our potential is limitless, but we should work hard as if there is a limit in order to live our best lives.

Too often I get asked the question "who are you?" This mostly has to do with the fact that I have been interviewing for internships like crazy. But this question- it bothers me. Not because I don't have a strong sense of self, but more because there is so much of me. So much that I am proud of, and even not so proud of.

My name is Julia. I am (about) to be 20 years old.

I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts; a city that I love so dearly.

I am one of three children; the middle child, although my personality doesn't show it.

I am a feminist; I am passionate about helping other women succeed and flourish.

I am a student; I love school and hope to continue my education as far as I am able to.

I am so many things, some things I have yet to find out. Knowing that there is more in the unknown is okay with me.

The question of "who am I" is asked so often, it is almost as if there is a plausible answer. Almost as if our identities are a fixed, measurable thing. My identity is an ongoing process. There is no definite answer. To know yourself so well would mean that you have reached the top, reached the point where there is no room to grow. And to me, that life isn't a satisfying one. There is always room to improve, no matter how minuscule.

No matter what point of my life, I hope to be content in my growth and progress. Some people believe that there is a point where we stop growing; and I disagree with that notion. Our potential is limitless, but we should work hard as if there is a limit in order to live our best lives.

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You Should Be Sensitive To Your Need For Depth

How often do I give my lungs the air they’re fit to be filled with?

Shallow breaths.

The deeper I breathe, the more aware I become of the shallowness of my ordinary breath.

I am constantly running on too little oxygen. I have made myself into an anxiety-ridden machine, always shuffling from thing to thing, always moving from thought to thought, worry to worry, meal to meal, assignment to assignment. My cells tremble with the need for a profound inhale.

The deeper I breathe, the more aware I become of my need for the depths.

How often do I give my lungs the air they’re fit to be filled with?

It takes the deep ones, the eight-second inhales, to break apart the knot in your chest. It takes a longer moment to slog through the mess of what’s inside. It takes a step into vulnerability to stop the dehumanizing the world would like to do of you.

I am convicted of a great brokenness that the whole of humanity feels somewhere deep inside of themselves. Being alive is terrifying. There is so much we don’t understand. The confusion and fear crawls out with fangs, in the dead of night, in the chaos we’re caught in during the hectic moments— the times where existence doesn’t make any sense and why are we here and why am I doing this?

I think we have to be honest with ourselves that all of us get scared of being alive sometimes. Existence is scary. There’s so much we don’t know. I love Christ deeply, but I hope people know that even with the hope and assurance I have in faith, I get scared too. Life is not a thing to be made sense of, even with what we do know.

In these moments I pray, I breathe. Breath is such a beautiful thing. How miraculous is it that your lungs were made in a way that can calm your entire being in seconds, flat? How miraculous is it that every time you are steeping in your fear and failure, you get out eventually?

You’re here.

You are resilient. You can breathe. You can take breaths that sustain and regenerate you.

It is about going beneath the surface-level of yourself. It is truly a disservice to yourself to skate upon the periphery of who you are and what you’re going through.

Take a deeper breath today. Fall deep into your humanity today. Acknowledge that existence is scary, and let that fear and confusion take you to a place of deeper questioning and emotion and spirituality.

We, as part of creation, come from the deep. In Hebrew, from Genesis, that’s tĕhowm, the deep, the abyss, the waters. Returning to the deep, to the depths of who you are as a human, requires knowing who you are and where you come from. That seems daunting.

I take a deep breath and breathe in the knowledge that existence is far more than the eye can see.

And then I go in pursuit of answers, knowing full well they will never be completely answered in this lifetime.

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