If you’re like me, you’re counting down the days until the motivational nightmare of spring semester is over. It’s hot, it’s cold, there’s too much snow on the ground when it should be spring and the struggle to keep up with classes is real.
There are a number of things that contribute to a lack of motivation in the spring semester. A big one is the weather. In a state where wintery conditions persist upwards of seven months out of the year, the few days of nice weather and balmy temperatures over 50 degrees can be a big distraction. I’d much rather play frisbee or lay around looking all cool in a hammock than study for an upcoming exam or work through homework problems.
Other aspects of everyday life can get in the way of being motivated as well. Trying to maintain a vibrant social life with friends and on campus activities in tandem with academics is a challenge. During the spring semester, especially as we near the end of the semester, all these events start popping up. 5k races, fundraisers on campus, trivia nights, concerts and art workshops around town start happening as soon as spring break ends. Obviously I’d take an evening filled with fun over sitting in the library crying over my textbooks. And sometimes you just flat out don’t feel like doing any school work.
Life is about balance, though, and the time you spend in college is no exception. For me personally, my supply of motivation has reached critically low levels. I have to find increasingly more creative ways to motivate myself to complete work. A lot of it is saying to myself if I can get one thing done I get a reward. If I complete all my online homework then I can go out for drinks with my friends tonight. There are a lot of different motivation strategies out there and you just have to find one that works for you.
I can tell you right now, the whole “I’ll just take a five minute social media break” is an awful strategy to motivate yourself to complete an assignment. It could be a short term strategy to boost motivation but probably not sustainable in the long run. Rewarding yourself with treats is also not a viable long run strategy for most people unless morphing into the Pillsbury Doughboy is the price you’re willing to pay.
I’m not going to tell you the 10 best ways to study or be motivated is because you can google that. What I will say though is that it’s different for everyone. I’m motivated by being able to finish work to go do a few of the things I’d like. I also have an intense and overwhelming fear of failure that fuels my academic success. I don’t want to have wasted all this money to fail out of college.
Don’t beat yourself up if you try something and it doesn’t work. Pushing yourself to do something you’d rather not is a difficult task. Without something to drive you, though, you could end up with poor grades, going out and doing fun things but neglecting you academics or experiencing some other imbalance in your life. So try and hold on to what motivation you have or find a new untapped source of it to get through the rest of the hell that is these next few weeks.