We’re at the beginning of Week 7, and I still feel like the semester is just starting. Every week I look at my syllabi and have no idea what’s going on in my classes. I’m graduating in May–less than 3 months away!–and I have less motivation than ever before. I feel very apathetic about doing the things I need to get done.
I’ve heard from a few first-year students that have admitted they’re in similar situations. The weather has been snowy and dreary, and if you mix that with a warm, comfy blanket and Netflix, you get a perfect storm that equals you not going to class. Trust me, I’ve been there! And the weather recently has been so nice that I want to spend more time outside, instead of studying in the library.
For some people, it’s more than the weather. Once the newness of classes wears off, our obligations don’t seem as important. We get in a rut and convince ourselves that not going to [fill in the blank] won’t really matter. We need to be reminded that our choices can have serious repercussions later down the road if we’re not careful. Letting yourself skip one class becomes five classes, and suddenly you’ve missed a few pop quizzes. It’s a slippery slope to go down!
If you think you might be sliding down that slippery slope, as yourself these questions:
- Have I been managing my time well?
- When I have free time, I usually ______.
- Do I tend to procrastinate instead of working ahead?
It’s easy to think that the answer is to tell myself that I should do better or I just need to try harder. Except that’s not encouraging, and definitely not what I want to hear. I think it’s okay to recognize that these feelings are valid, but it’s not okay to keep sitting in this season of complacency. I can see where I’m really pulling away from some responsibilities, and why I don’t want to experience those outcomes.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re in the same boat:
- Reward yourself only AFTER you’ve accomplished a set task. (e.g. I’ll spend 15 minutes on Instagram after I finish reading Chapter 12.)
- Change your scenery. Do you always workout at JOS? Try rock climbing at the ARC. Always study at Thompson? Try a study room in your residence hall. Sometimes exploring new settings can help re-energize you!
- Identify what’s holding you back from success. Is it the need for a nap? Or do you get stuck watching hours of Netflix? Do you always say yes to hangout with friends when you need to study?
The struggle to find motivation plagues all of us at one point or another. Think about some of my suggestions and how you see those playing out in your own life. I also encourage you to start a conversation with a roommate, friend, coworker or mentor about different motivation strategies. Maybe someone has a cool approach that you want to try!
As always, know that the FYE Peer Leaders are here to help! Reach out to one of us if you have any questions or concerns. You can also email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.