Do What You LoveDo what you love, but not in the form of watching trash TV or taking personality quizzes all day. Look for ways to combine what you love to do- watching movies, going out, reading novels, drawing- with your studies. Find a documentary about your subject or choose a fellow classmate/enthusiast. Then, go get lunch and have healthy debate about the subject. You’ll be surprised how much you can teach someone about a subject you’re passionate about. Flip to the section of the newspaper that deals with your major. Read about the newest book on Plato or the sustainable energy projects emerging. Every major from classics to engineering has plenty to obsess over.
Join the ClubUsually, each major will have a club or society for students. Combine work and play by attending club meetings, socials, and talks, especially those involving teachers. Interacting with fellow students will make you more excited to wake up early for that 8 AM tutorial or drag yourself across campus to your lectures. Also, knowing the work your teachers are publishing should lead to more interesting lectures. You can look out for the specific subjects the professor studies and notice the way they emphasize it in their lectures.
Look AheadLearning the career options for your major could be your way out of a rut. You might be mentally stuck on the “small stuff” of college life - inedible food, piles of work, and decreased downtime. Sometimes you might need a reminder of why you’re here. College should open doors to exciting career options. Search for internships and jobs in exciting locales or places you could never imagine yourself living. Email a professional in your field about their daily work and ask what path they took to this place in their life.
Try Something NewMaybe the novelty of your coursework allowed you to brave textbook readings last semester, but what now? If you stick with the same techniques you’re already sick of, you won’t have any motivation to study or work. Ask friends how they study. Incorporate their methods. Try note cards, rewriting notes using different colors for a key, summarizing, underlining, and speaking the most important information out loud.
ExploreThe library is further than your bed, so perhaps you just stayed under your duvet last semester and read from your textbook. However, there’s a reason people work in Starbucks. Leave your distractions behind and sit in a coffee shop, library, bookstore, park (weather permitting), or (if you can resist the temptation to overeat or overspend) restaurant. The different atmosphere might force you to concentrate by changing the noise, people, and proximity. You’re less likely to nap in a diner than in your dorm room. For the noise, invest in a nice pair of headphones and be honest with yourself about which music you choose. You may prefer dubstep, but chances are you can’t study to Skrillex.
Reschedule YourselfLast semester, the middle of the night seemed the perfect time to write an essay or look over your notes - but maybe not this semester. Force yourself to accept a normal sleeping schedule (if you can) by avoiding the temptation to sleep in and having one horrible, sleepless day and then falling asleep at a normal hour that night. On that note, sleep. At nineteen (or any age, actually), four cups of coffee shouldn’t be the minimum for a productive day.
Re-evaluate Your CoursesRemember that you’re not tied to your major just yet. While you may have dreamed of law school since childhood, it could be time to consider what you want as an adult. Try to rekindle the relationship, but sometimes you need to see other majors. There are as many options in your university as there are fish in the sea.
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