So, we are fast approaching essay and exam season. Eugh. I know it can feel really blah, but it is super important that we get this done. I am super lazy, and I procrastinate a lot too. I would much rather clean my room, binge watch YouTube, re-watch the entirety of Friends on Netflix or practically anything else other than finishing my dissertation, or writing another essay. If this sounds familiar, read on, and find out how you can start your journey to finding motivation at university.
First thing is first. Find out why you might be lacking motivation in the first place.
Check in with yourself! Is everything ok? How is your mental and physical wellbeing?
Seasonal effective disorder is a REAL THING! And a hard hitter! These cloudy, depressing days are still looming, and the constant dreariness can bring even the most enthusiastic person to a halt.
Whatever the case, make sure you take stock of how you are feeling, and put yourself in the right headspace. Check out my blog on self-care and organisation, and follow these vital steps to ensuring you start feeling happier and more organised.
Are you enjoying your subject?
Another reason you might be struggling to motivate yourself to write that essay is that you are not enjoying it. Studying subjects that you enjoy is a huge factor in maintaining the motivation to carry on working, so try to always make sure that you choose subjects you truly love!
Don’t push yourself!
Okay, the hard truth is that university work needs to be done. It may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but if you are looking to finish your degree it is a necessary evil. However, by organising yourself, it means that you are not locking yourself a way in your room the night before and running on the midnight oil. I know it is super tiring and a lot of effort, but planning ahead is a way better way to maintain your motivation. Trust me, I pushed myself way too hard this semester, and here I am writing a blog a couple weeks before my dissertation is due! Nightmare! Don’t be like me, and plan ahead!
Find some study buddies!
Grab some of your university friends or flatmates, head to the library and bring a ton of snacks and drinks! If you guys are finding it a little hard to concentrate, then make sure you stop every 45 minutes for a 15 minute chat. Work as hard as you can for a reasonable amount of time, and then reward yourself by getting to chat after! Use this as motivation to finally start that essay! If you have a deadline looming right now, go and write the first sentence of it. Seriously, I will wait.
Feel better? Starting is half the battle, and I find that once I write the first paragraph I feel in a better headspace and more inclined to just get it over with..!
Are your friends busy?
Stick your phone and all distractions away, and get some motivation by only allowing social media time once you finish a goal. If social media isn’t your Achilles heel, then find something you like doing a lot and make that your motivation. For me, it’s not allowing myself to watch Dynasty on Netflix, Shane Dawson on YouTube, or going on my phone until I finish what I set out to do!
This keeps your motivation, because the motivation to do what you love drives you through that boring bit where you have to write the essay. Your brain is then rewarded, and it feels so great to be able to do what you love again that you will see doing the essay wasn’t all THAT bad.
*TOP TIP* Please remember, not to deprive yourself. Although using positive reinforcement and rewards can be productive, give yourself enough time off! Otherwise, this can lead to resentment for your uni work, and you may end up losing more motivation in the long run…!
Give yourself a long-term goal
When you are struggling to find motivation, try to find something to aim for. Have you got amazing summer plans for after this semester? Are you looking forward to graduation? Or will you finally be happy once you are a year closer to finishing university to find your dream job? Use this as your motivation.
Yes it sucks now, but every time you find yourself slipping into old Netflix habits, remind yourself that there is ONLY a couple months to go. This especially is one for all of my final year students. Agh, we have come so far, and it just keeps getting harder! I know, I am deep into that procrastination mindset too. But I only have a couple weeks to go until I finish university and never have to write about political theory again! Oh my goodness!
Keep reminding yourself that in the grand scheme of things, a small amount of essays to go until semester ends is nothing.
You would be pretty disappointed in yourself if you allowed your motivation to drop at the literal last hurdle. I know it is hard, but remember that you got this! You have come this far, don’t let yourself lose sight of the end goal!
Use nice stationary! I am a sucker for cute stationary, and using nice products can make you feel like a total pro!
My pledge to stop procrastinating. (At least until my dissertation is done..)
I pledge, that I will not watch another episode of Dynasty until I have finished my Dissertation. This is being posted with a date, today. So I can hold myself accountable. I love that cheesy show so much that this is going to seriously challenge me. But, hey, only a couple thousand words left. I got this. I encourage you to do the same.
As our favourite childhood film characters said, we are all in this together. You got this! I believe in you. Keep doing the things you love, stay happy, and find that motivation. Go out there and find your motivation at university. You got this. I’m rooting for you.
Leave a comment down below with your goals, and how you are going to achieve them. Is there something you are going to do to ensure you smash that deadline?!
Lead writer for The Lazzzy Student x