Staying Motivated to the End of Semester

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April is an especially tricky month to stay motivated. Most students have probably just made it through a massive set of projects, papers, and exams and have just had spring break.

As fellow academians, nerdy engineers, hopeful future doctors, lawyers, movers, and shakers of the world, we understand the lack of motivation leading into the last few weeks of the semester. Unfortunately, that doesn’t allow for a one-way ticket to summer break.

Here are some tips and tricks to stay motivated through the end of your semester and into a fantastic summer adventure.

  1. Schedule time for both work and play

When facing a month of final projects and big exams, it is very important to stay organized. Begin scheduling time to start research or hold group meetings for various projects, ensure that   the demands are reasonable. It is neither fair, nor really a good idea, to schedule something like six hours of work on a Sunday afternoon.

Instead, try to spread the work out; include something fun in between study sessions and leave time for other important events like school activities or friends’ birthdays.

  1. Plan ahead.

If planning time for fun wasn’t a clear enough indicator of how important scheduling is, now we can say as clearly as possible: plan ahead! Read through those final project instructions now and see what you can complete well ahead of time.

Some projects and papers might require more information or group work, but getting started on research or making decisions early about different group roles, now is the time. The more that  can get done now, the less miserable the last week before the end of the semester will be.

This doesn’t necessarily mean all work must get done now. For this week alone, there are probably several tasks that need to be completed, as well as homework that is due tomorrow!

So, think of it this way: sneaking in just a half hour to an hour each week to at least think about the long-term projects will help with a jumpstart into the final stretches well before the stress begins to build.

  1. Ask for help when needed

It is normal to feel stressed about final exams, essays, and research projects. Nevertheless, one of the best parts about being in school is that students can ask for help before getting overwhelmed. If students start on something early enough, there will be more time to ask trusted sources to edit or look over work, as well as to help guide future steps.

Staying motivated through the end of the semester also means incentivizing yourself. Perhaps this means you can only buy your favorite candy or go catch a movie if you have a certain amount of work done- whatever makes sense to you personally.

It also means prioritizing actions that will help keep oneself alert and healthy, like sleeping. As tempting as it may be to skip a few hours of sleep when things start to get overwhelming, this will only cause a person to slow down and subsequently get less work done.

Whatever steps students are taking to stay motivated, remember that there is always a support network in school through teachers and counselors who are rooting for students to achieve success. You can do difficult things! Keep pushing on and- GO BADGERS!

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