The end of the semester is approaching, it's getting colder outside, and it can be easy to lose motivation. During the last weeks of the semester, especially with two holiday breaks coming up, it's difficult to stay focused on schoolwork. I know that I have caught myself thinking about all of the Thanksgiving food I'll be eating, about going home for winter break, and about watching my favorite Christmas movie while drinking hot chocolate. With these thoughts in my mind, it's hard to stay motivated. However, with the right mindset, I know that I can finish strong this semester.
1. Stay organized.
This is HUGE. When my room is a mess or when there are papers all over my desk, I can easily feel overwhelmed. As a result, I'll often put my work aside. Being organized with schoolwork is crucial for doing well.
2. Take study breaks.
With finals just a few weeks away, many students will be spending hours in the library every day. It's important to remember to take study breaks every hour while studying. I've found it beneficial to take a five-minute break away from any technology, and I actually bought a fidget cube just for this purpose. Give your brain a break!
3. Find where you focus best.
I have my spots on campus that I thrive in, but I don't study well in my room at home. Finding the ideal study spot can help create and foster a sense of productivity. When you're surrounded with an environment you feel comfortable in, it seems easier to stay motivated and get work done.
4. Engage in self-care.
Caring for yourself doesn't mean that you have to get up at 6 AM to do yoga and then drink a superfruit smoothie (unless that is what works for you). Self-care can be something as big as yoga, but also something as small as writing down three things that you are grateful for or completing a five-minute breathing exercise. If you're like me, putting on a face mask and watching my favorite movie sounds like a great relaxing way to care for myself during these stressful times.
5. Go to bed earlier.
To be completely honest, this is one of the hardest things for me to do. When there are countless tests to study for, papers to write, and projects to complete, it feels like sleep isn't what's important at the moment. However, getting enough sleep is vital to doing well on work. Take at least one night and put the schoolwork aside and go to bed earlier than you normally would.
6. Make time to spend with friends.
They're most likely stressed, just like you. Being surrounded by people who build you up and support you in your most stressful times can help take your mind off of school for a bit. Don't forget about your friends while you're engulfed in schoolwork; taking a break to spend it with people that you love is a great way to stay motivated. You'll get a break and do something that you enjoy doing together.
7. Treat yourself to your favorite coffee drink or your favorite food once in a while.
This one can get tricky…I'm definitely the person that treats themselves too often, but it does help with my motivation! I'll usually do this after studying or during a study break, and it always helps to know that I'm doing something for myself, even if that does mean I'm buying food or coffee.
8. Write down what you are looking forward to.
This is easy and takes only a minute. I find it easier to have motivation when I know that there's something I'm looking forward to. When I leave for a day of studying at the library, I think about what I'll do after. Maybe I'll watch my favorite movie or do some online shopping and buy that sweater I've been wanting.
Remember that winter break is right around the corner.
As the semester comes to an end, know that we have a break right around the corner. Even though it won't last three months, like summer, it will be a great time to enjoy yourself without the pressures of school for a few weeks. Plan something over winter break to look forward to, or think about what you're excited for during next semester. We're almost there!
The end of the semester is quickly approaching, and with the cold winter months, it's going to seem difficult to leave your bed and go to the library. With the right mindset, it's possible. These tips have helped me as a third-year college student, so I hope you're able to benefit, too. Stay motivated, and finish strong!