Weekly 5: Ways to stay motivated this semester

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It’s January again, and that means it’s time for new classes, New Year’s resolutions and new motivation to do well in classes. For many students at Brigham Young University, motivation starts to take a back seat right about the time midterms start wrapping up. Despite the mid-semester stress, BYU students have found simple ways to avoid losing steam.

1. Keep goals in sight

It’s easy to get discouraged when the end of the semester seems so far away. Brandon Akau, a finance major from Mililani, Hawaii, focuses on his future goals to help him concentrate.

“I’m going to have a family one day, and good grades will help me support them in the future,” said Akau.

Pick a goal. Whether it’s a future career, a 4.0 GPA or making it to the end of the semester, keeping your eyes on the prize is sure to help you stay motivated.

2. Take time to have fun

No one likes all work and no play. It’s important to stay on top of your studies, but it’s also important to take a break and refresh your mind.

Go on a walk (but if it’s winter, make sure you bundle up). Bake cookies. Go to the dollar theater. Watch a movie on Netflix. Take a nap. Be social and hang out with friends. This will help you avoid becoming burnt out.

3. Find a good place to study

Jordan Kennard, a Spanish major from West Jordan, said finding a good place to study is the key to success.

“I think you should just study at school or some other place that you decide you can study and just keep home away from study,” Kennard said. “That way, if you’re at school or wherever else you like to study, that can be your study zone and you can really focus. When you get home, you can forget about school, you can relax and it can be stress free.”

Find that perfect spot on campus, the Provo library or even a friend’s apartment — any place where you can focus — and designate that as your “study zone.” Separating home from work will allow you to relax and help avoid the mid-semester blues.

4. Make to-do lists

Making a to-do list will help you stay organized and on top of things.

“Checking off to-do lists helps me stay motivated. I like feeling accomplished when I cross things off,” said junior Genevieve Gantt, an elementary education major.

Making a list of tasks to accomplish will help you gauge how far you have come and how far you have to go, and it will help you visualize the end goal.

5. Reward yourself 

You’ve worked hard. You’ve forgone hours of sleep to cram in another couple of study hours. You’ve crossed something off your to-do list. You deserve to reward yourself!

“If I get done with a big test I’ll have a pamper night. I’ll take a long shower and paint my nails and do a facial,” Gantt said.

Giving yourself rewards for a job well done will help you look forward to accomplishing your goal and help maintain your motivation and focus.

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