Columns / Discourse / March 7, 2018

Tips for when you are not feeling motivated

Once we hit this term’s fourth week of the term, I was ready for it to be over. Walking onto campus after the break, I was constantly told about the effect winter term has on a Knox student, but did not believe it would really affect me. Yet, with only one class that I truly enjoyed and two other classes that I am only taking because they are required for me to graduate, my motivation was declining quickly.

As we work through week ten, I realize that my motivation never refilled. This term has been tough. You would think that since I am paying for my education, it would be easier to stay motivated and excited about learning, but when the tests, homework and projects are nonstop, it is hard to grasp the education being thrown at me.

There were so many times during this term when I did not want to do anything at all. Work started to pile up behind me every night. I wasn’t able to give my full capability to the work I was accomplishing because of the anxiety that filled my mind. I approached the mountain of assignments and only saw the benefit in completing them, not understanding them.

If you are like me, it is hard to get out of this perception of education. I wait until the end of something to start fresh (like a new term or a new year). Yet, in college, it isn’t beneficial to wait. We have to do. So here are some ideas to help get out of that funk.

  1. Remember why you are doing this. We all came to college with a goal. Whether it be the importance of obtaining a degree or the step before graduate school, we all really want to learn something about the field we are studying. I especially have to remember the importance of learning rather than the grade I am receiving. College should be about working to better your mind and not your memorization skills.
  2. Remember the things that make you happy. When the sun finally came out last week, I could feel my mood improve immediately. The sun on my skin helped this wall of sadness start to break down. When I am not feeling motivated, I find it helpful to take a walk or listen to music that reminds me of happiness. Maybe even a person close to you that can make you laugh. Call a friend or a family member to help lift stress for a couple minutes and then continue with the work you are doing.
  3. Finally, try to remember how good it feels to be completely finished with your work, but don’t let that make you rush. Let each completed assignment be a reminder of how well you are doing. Write down each assignment you need to complete in a planner or on a sheet of paper, and when totally finished with it, cross it off. Let the simple victories help you complete all of your work and then look back on all of the crossed off assignments and give yourself a pat on the back.

Winter Term is ending and Spring Term is about to begin after a well deserved break. Let the beginning of a new term be the beginning of a more motivated term. Motivation is a mindset and we all could use a reminder of how to reach that mindset in a healthy manner.

 

Sadie Cheney

Tags:  motivation studying success

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