I am currently in Jan-Term at school, but I know a lot of school are heading back to campus for the start of spring semester within the next week or so. I wanted to take some time to share my thoughts on how to re-vamp your motivation and academic enthusiasm after a tough semester. I know I had a really difficult fall semester, and I am sure I am not alone. Whether you’re a first year student, sophomore, junior, senior, or otherwise, resetting after feeling burnt out and defeated can be really difficult. I also try to figure out ways to re-motivate myself, though it gets harder and harder after each semester.
Sometimes making little changes can go a long way, and keep you invested and pumped about school, and sometimes taking a step back can alleviate enough pressure that you are more motivated to keep working.
Tip #1: Get a New Planner.
Sometimes when a semester is really brutal, it’s hard to even be reminded of all the things you had to do, all the stressful days, all the sleepless nights, etc. Sometimes getting a new planner can prove to be the clean slate you’re craving. Fresh pages can be the equivalent of a fresh start!
Tip #2: Don’t Plan Every Detail.
I’m a planner… a serious planner. I have to know everything I’m doing for the next four months constantly or I get stressed. Sometimes, though, planning can totally kill my drive because I get stressed realizing all the stuff I have to do between points A and B. To recharge, I usually try not to plan every little thing until absolutely necessary.
Tip #3: A Strong Morning Routine.
When I’m feeling really behind, I often realize that I’m waking up only an hour or less before I need to be somewhere. This really isn’t enough time to drink coffee, wake up, get ready, and collect myself before class or work. My advice for starting a semester with a bang (and keeping yourself strong) is to develop a strong morning routine that really makes you be productive from the minute you wake up. This keeps energy up, and will make you more coherent for classes.
Tip #4: List Your Disappointments from Last Semester and Your Goals for Next Semester.
Didn’t get the A you wanted in English 155? Didn’t get to write as many articles for the school newspaper? List that stuff out, evaluate why you were unable to achieve your original goals, and think about how this can be changed. Then make a list of the things you wish to accomplish in the next semester with your limitations in mind. We can’t do it all, but we can do our best.
Tip #5: Let Go of Last Semester’s Defeat.
This may be difficult to do. Trust me, I’m someone who has trouble letting anything go, but make sure you let the last semester’s defeat go. Realize that you did your best, you tried your hardest, and that you have a chance to come back strong! All the petty drama that got to you, all the tough professors, all the late nights, all the feelings of inadequacy…just let it go. Be done with it. Don’t give it the power to influence the next semester.
I know these may seem daunting, and may seem more stressful than relaxing, but I truly feel they will help you overcome a rough semester. We all have our semester that almost kills us, and that makes us seriously doubt everything and everyone in our lives. Part of college is growing up and being challenged, but don’t let your tough semester rule the rest of your career. Come back and dominate!
How do you recharge after a rough semester?