College is a completely different environment from high school. There are fewer restrictions and greater personal and academic freedoms. For most students just transitioning from high school, this is a dream come true. As they move past the initial headrush and excitement that comes with being freshmen, the reality starts to settle in (read this fastweb.com article for tips on how to adapt quickly as an incoming freshman).
If you don’t use this newfound freedom wisely or get too engrossed chasing academic merit at the expense of your well-being, you’ll end up burning out. Likewise, if you don’t get some consistency in your daily routines and habits or lack clarity as to what success means to you individually, you’ll end up losing your psyche.
Here are 5 tips to keep yourself motivated as a student, especially in the middle of a busy semester.
Take Charge of Your Days by Developing a Routine
Setting goals and aligning yourself to those goals by developing a daily routine is the most important way in which to keep yourself motivated. The key to sticking to your goals is to have a vision behind those goals and to always keep the bigger picture in mind about your purpose in college.
If your vision is to, say, improve your academic performance in certain subjects from the last semester’s results, you will create a diary or timetable for more study time on those subjects. Likewise, if you are aiming to build your health and physique but still maintain your grades, you’ll need to craft a balanced schedule to achieve both comfortably.
Your routine shouldn’t be hectic, and you should be able to get the most out of everything you engage in. Easing yourself into this kind of discipline will be demanding at first, and it may be a bitter pill to swallow if you’re not used to it. Eventually, however, you will grow into it and enjoy it.
Find a Hobby or a Distraction
A routine is not any good if you cannot break the monotony and boredom of doing the same thing each day. There has to be some ‘fail-safe’ mechanism to reset your energy levels back to their default.
A hobby that isn’t necessarily influenced by your schedule is the best way to do this. It could be a talent that you explore on the side, a new skill that you are learning outside of your normal curriculum, a game such as chess or swimming, or even some volunteer work at the local youth center. Change is as good as a rest, and a hobby gives your mind and body that much needed change.
Stay Proactive With Your Curriculum
Proactiveness is defined severally in this respect. One way is to expand your learning boundaries beyond simply what is taught in class. Go onto YouTube or other study blogs and garner more information about the topic or subject you are studying.
Alternatively, there are great books that can get you interested in your college major. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy lectures, homework, and assignments, and you won’t view them as a burden.
Proactiveness also means being practical, and it’s only practical to relax your mind when you are tired. Naturally, you might have an assignment that is due on a tough deadline, especially in the middle of a busy semester. A reliable essay writing company could help you work on those tough assignments freeing up some time on your schedule to relax your mind.
Always Plan for Each Task
Planning tasks ahead, from how you’ll tackle a unique assignment, to the kind of training you’ll do at the gym, provides one with a sense of being in control of not just one task but all others. There are numerous productivity apps, such as Evernote and Trello, designed to help students get the best out of time.
Planning any task requires one to have clarity, which is, in a sense, SWOT analysis of your day. Dividing each task into smaller subtasks allows you to focus on milestones, and these should be celebrated if accomplished.
For example, if there was a crucial term paper to be submitted in a month, planning tasks such as research, writing, editing, and revising would provide full clarity on the amount and scope of work to be done. The reverse would be an unplanned assignment that’s all over the place, automatically translating into lower grades.
Celebrate Your Milestones
The natural culmination of breaking down tasks is the achievement of milestones. Once you have successfully done this, it is time to let your hair down and pat yourself on the back. Go for a night out in town with friends, take that road trip you’ve been longing for or go for a dance festival.
While you may not achieve 100 percent in your typical semester, with these five tips, it is possible to operate at great efficiency, stay motivated, and achieve most if not all of your goals.