6 Motivation Tips for College
As we all know (or have heard), college is a seriously hands-on-deck, time consuming experience, no matter what you study. That’s not to say that it’s all stress-inducing, all the time, but it requires a different kind of time management and focus than what you’re used to in high school. The difficulty of it all can sometimes be a little overwhelming/disheartening, which is why it is always important to find different ways to stay motivated and on-task. Here are some of the ways I keep myself going when I’m so close to quitting:
1. Picture the end-game: this is a classic. Whenever I’ve studied so much that I’m close to tears, I remember my goals. Short-term first, then long-term. I think, “Okay, no, you can’t give up because you told yourself at the beginning of this semester that you wanted all A’s. You have to keep going for those A’s.” and afterwards I follow it up with, “And why is it that you want those A’s? Because you want to get into a kickass med school!”
2. Think about others/build expectations: sometimes, just thinking about yourself isn’t enough. I have my slacker periods when I think “So what if I don’t do well in this test? I’ve done well enough in others”, or “I’ll do better in the next one”. I try to remember that I’m trying to build a relationship with the professor during this class; it gives me an extra ‘oomph’. I may exaggerate that relationship sometimes, but it helps to think that the professor is used to work of high caliber from you, and that he/she expects you to do well. This one works well for me because I don’t like disappointing people, and I take meeting expectations as a personal challenge.
3. Be competitive…with yourself: don’t, I repeat, don’t compare yourself to others. You get nothing out of it. If there’s something you learn from the studyblr community, it’s that everybody learns and executes in a different way. Personally I’ve found that competition in classrooms does not motivate me, because it’ll just end up making me feel bad whether I do better or worse than others. But competing against myself? Much better. I try to push myself to do a little better than I did last time, or start revising a little earlier for the next test. When I compare my new results with older ones, it’s a learning experience even if I don’t do better. It helps me understand myself and my needs a little more.
4. Take a break: when people tell you that you can’t stop or you won’t get everything done? THAT IS A LIE. A breather is necessary as heck!!! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, you won’t learn as well or be as productive than if you’re dedicated to your work. Sometimes I’m okay with just a few minutes of closing my eyes and listening to a favorite piece of music, other times I need something a little longer like a 20-minute episode of The Office. I try not to let it extend much more than that though, because from personal experience, the longer you put off starting up again, the harder it gets.
- Pro tip: I’ve been talking to first year medical students recently
to get advice for next August (for those of you who don’t know, I’ll be
beginning my medical studies then), and one of them told me, “Listen. Everyone
has their relaxation thing. I love hanging out and being with people, and
sometimes I’m so fixated on the fact that I can’t go out and have fun with my
friends because I’m stuck studying that I throw 3 hours away just staring at my
book. I’ve learned that it’s better to just get that thing you want to do out
of the way, and then go back and study. You’ll be happier and feel a lot better
than you did before.” (WITH DISCRETION, OBVIOUSLY)
5. Stationery: ah, yes, like most of you, I am obsessed. Sometimes all it takes is just finding the perfect pen and paper for what I have in mind to keep myself going.
6. Get involved in the studyblr community: at first, just observing to get ideas about things you want to try is enough to give you an extra boost of motivation, but when you feel like you’re starting to slack off again, try getting involved. Try posting some of your own revision notes or stationery pics! Honestly this community is one of the most warm and welcoming ones out there, and it is super inspiring to get notes and messages from people all over the world who encourage you to run that extra mile, do that extra work to reach your goals.
I hope this serves as useful, and good luck studying to each and everyone of you. Aim high and keep going!