Staying Motivated at the End of the Semester


With November almost over and the December holidays approaching fast, it’s sometimes hard to focus on school, especially when you’re faced with the larger tasks, such as studying for finals or finishing that lab report. Staying motivated is the key to doing well in school, especially at the end of the semester. If you get a bad grade this late in the semester, it’s really unlikely that you’ll be able to fix it.

Here are a few ways to stay motivated until the end of the semester

Reward yourself

School is hard work. It’s okay to take study breaks from time to time. In fact, it’s essential to give your brain a rest. Go out and get coffee with friends. Take a nap. Buy yourself that iTunes song you’ve been keeping your eye on all year. Take a (small) break on Netflix; perhaps one episode of a TV show per half hour of studying.

I like to use apps such as this one for iOS to keep track of the time I’ve spent studying. The Pomodoro technique (as used in the app linked earlier) uses a 25-minute timer for the time that you are being productive and then rewards you with small breaks after each 25-minute session.

Focus on the why

Why are you taking these classes? Are they required classes that you have to take? If so, what is the larger goal that you’re working towards? In high school, that larger goal might have been graduating and getting a diploma. In college, you might have to take these classes as prerequisites for higher level classes, or for the college curriculum. You might even focus on the bigger picture. For me, my goal is to work as a vet, which means I am going to take classes that are requirements for vet school during my undergrad years.

Comment down below what your scholastic goals are.

Just do it

A lot of the time, especially with writing essays and papers, I just have to sit down and commit to it. It’s always harder for me to start an essay than it is to actually write it. If it helps you to turn off your phone, do that. For me, I like to listen to music when I study, so I put it on silent and place it across the room. I’ve also experimented with online sites that block your access to the internet for a certain period of time. I have not found one that I really like yet, though. I have a Mac and use Chrome regularly. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Make a Countdown Calendar

I have a whiteboard calendar on the wall in my room, where I cross off each day in the evening. That was how I survived until Thanksgiving break, by crossing off the days as they went by. On my calendar, I also have a list of the homework I need to do, a shopping list, and the dates of tests. For me, there’s something really satisfying about crossing off another day on the calendar. The calendar I have is the U Brands Magnetic Dry-Erase Board Calendar, Silver Aluminum Frame and I put it up with velcro command hooks (command hooks are a lifesaver!)

Study Groups

When in groups, we tend to work harder than we would if we are on our own, because we are with other people, and get worried about what they will think if we aren’t working. This can also be a good way to keep your motivation up, because of the group mentality of sticking together and getting through the semester.

Just make sure to stick with school work for most of the time! A little chatting is okay, but try not to choose a study group where you don’t get anything done.

Those are my tips for staying motivated through the end of the semester! Let me know down in the comments how you stay motivated.



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3 thoughts on “Staying Motivated at the End of the Semester

  1. I had an idea relating to tips and advice. It seems to me that you are a genius at living with a cat in a dorm room. Maybe you could do a blog post of that? I bet you have some unique ideas at how to cope and thrive.

  2. Those are great tips! With the end of the semester coming, I find myself having less and less motivation. I just want to be on winter break already! I’m a big fan of the reward system to keep me motivated. I find that knowing what I’ll get once I finish this assignment or studying for X amount of time helps me be more productive!

Let me know what you think!