Keeping Motivated in College
When coming to college I never realized how much time I would have on my hands as opposed to high school. High school was a continuous eight hour day, followed by either a two and a half hour practice or a shift at work. I was busy from 8 in the morning until 11 and 12 at night and it wasn't because I was lazy, it was because I just at a lot to do.
College is so different. For one, I don't play a sport so I don't have to worry about practice every day. Another thing that helps is that my shifts at work are very flexible with my class schedule and I can do homework on some shifts which is nice. Another factor about college that contributes to my time is that I only have two to three classes a day.
With work and heavier classes, I don't have nearly as much time as a sophomore but as a freshman I felt like I had all the time in the world. I got so lazy and lost a little bit of my motivation. This year, I have found some great tips to keep the motivation going through the week without finding a mid-week burnout in the process.
It's so important especially as college students, applying to majors and grad programs, to stay on top of work. Missing a day of class is like missing an entire week of class. It's so hard to get back on track if you lose your motivation midweek. Here are my best tips for keeping your motivation alive during the week.
Set Early Classes -- I understand people hate 8am classes but seriously, they are the best thing you can do as a college student. They force you to get up early, get moving, and active your brain in the morning. By starting at 8am, you are setting your internet clock for productivity. I have found that if I start my day at 11am, it reduces my productivity. Also, by starting the day earlier, you can finish the day earlier too.
Set a Bedtime for Yourself -- College is full of late nights of homework, studying, and paper writing. I try to set a bedtime for myself sort of as a time where I should be finished with my work and winding down for the evening. Usually this is around 11pm if I have a lot of work, and around 9:30 if I don't have too much work. I do this so I can stay on track of my work during the day. It also helps keep that internal clock I talked about earlier on schedule. With plenty of sleep, come motivation and productivity.
Leave Your House/Dorm for "All Day" -- I think what was my motivation downfall last year was going back to my dorm in between classes. I would go to class, go home, go to class, go get lunch, go back home, and then class in the late afternoon. I would go home, lay around, maybe take a nap or clean up a little bit. I would waste so much time. Now since I love off campus, I spend that time I went home last year, in the library studying or getting homework done. Even if you live on campus, I would pack your backpack for the entire day. Bring your computer charger, headphones, water bottle, and books for class all so you can spend that extra time in the library instead of in your dorm. I promise you, if you do this, you will get in bed earlier and maybe even get a jump on your future assignments.
Plan Daily -- Be keeping an agenda, you can see everything that you have to accomplish in a day. This automatically will increase your sense of motivation just seeing how much (or how little) work you have to do. It also makes you feel more confident in the work you need to get done. Seeing it organized and on paper is a great way to calm your nerves about the workload as well.
Living in a Clean Environment -- When classes finish, I return home because I know I would have to catch the night bus home which isn't entirely the most reliable thing. Sometimes when I come home, I still have work to do, or pieces of a paper to draft. I can't feel prepared to get work done if I'm in a disheveled environment. An instant motivation boost is accomplishing work in a clean and organized environment. Whenever I know I have a lot of work to do at home, I'll clean my desk off, make my bed, and tidy up my floor.
Set Goals -- The last and most important way to stay motivated is to set goals. We all have things we want to accomplish and it's important to be reminded of those things. Whether it's writing your goals on a sticky note, setting it as your laptop background, or writing it in your agenda each week, make sure to remind yourself of your end goal and your current progress. By seeing your progress, and constantly being reminded of your dream or goal keeps your motivation on track.