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Second Semester Motivational Tips

How on earth can we keep ourselves motivated when the end seems so close and yet so far?

Mckenzie Nevins

December 12, 2014

Second Semester Motivational Tips
I suppose that all good things must come to an end, and the holidays are some of those things. We wish the opposite, but January will eventually come (it always has in the past!). So what do we do when it does? How on earth can we keep ourselves motivated when the end seems so close and yet so far? Here are a few ways that I’ve come up with:

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1. Don’t become boring!
I know that sounds strange, but I think it can pretty quickly happen to all of us. Second semester comes, and we realize that if we can only get through these next five months, we’ll be home free until August rolls around again. It’s easy to then get this urge to buckle down and do schoolwork all the time in order to get it over with. You know…you start looking at the syllabus to see if you can get all of your English papers for the rest of the semester written by the end of February? I think the thought process is that this will make summer start even sooner (and get the work over faster!), but I’ve personally learned that this isn’t really the best strategy. For one thing, it will start to get confusing when you’re doing work for things which your professor hasn’t even gone over in class, yet. Even if you’ve got the textbook to read, tests become difficult because you’re so mixed up over what was covered most recently. Also, doing things this way makes it super easy to miss out on a lot of amazing experiences second semester. However counter-intuitive it seems, getting out and doing things (taking breaks from school) will make you more productive. You’ll burn yourself out too easily otherwise. For example: I’m a theatre minor. Being in whatever production my school does in the spring will take up a good amount of my time, but I’m going to do it anyway, because it will give me a much-needed break from homework. You need to refresh your brain every once in awhile to keep it going.

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The opposite is also true, however. Don’t just give up on everything because it’s second semester. Finish well!
2. Take it little bits at a time

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Don’t look at the whole semester all at once. Take it a little at a time. For instance, if you can just get to the end of January, then you’ve only got about four months left. If you can then get to the end of February – only three. Set goals for yourself, and reward yourself every time you achieve one. For example, your goal could be to have at least a B in computer science by the end of February. When it happens, you could go get ice cream or see a movie or something – anything you wouldn’t normally do. By celebrating little things, you’re slowly building up to the big thing – completing second semester – but without overwhelming yourself.
3. Take care of yourself
It’s a known fact that lack of sunlight fuels depression and other unwanted things like that. This is often why we feel crummier in the winter. One way to combat this is to make sure that you’re taking care of your body. This will also work to motivate you throughout all of second semester! Make sure that you’re getting enough rest (I know it’s hard, but do the best you can!). It’s also important to get exercise and make sure you’re maintaining a healthy diet. If you live somewhere a little less chilly, you could try walking to all of your meals and classes as opposed to driving. Riding a bike is also a good option. If you’re combating polar temperatures, however, it might be wiser to look for something inside. Check out your school’s fitness facilities and classes. You never know what you might find! Healthy eating doesn't mean never having sugar. What it does mean is that desert becomes what it was always meant to be – a treat. None of us need it for every meal. Start looking for options with fewer preservatives and such in the cafeteria or grocery store. Especially stay away from pre-packaged meals as much as possible! The less that you indulge your sweet tooth, the more it begins to disappear. Not all healthy foods have to be things you detest – blueberries have almost as many health benefits as broccoli! Remember to always keep drinking water – it’s usually a good idea to just carry a bottle around with you in your backpack. That way you have it when you need it. Don’t look at the next five months and groan! Think of how much you could learn between now and then! And, anyway, it will be over before you know it. Why waste this time in your life?

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