9 Dec

Five ways to motivate yourself to study and/or complete an assignment

 One of the commonly used phrases that I find myself saying while in college is, “I have no motivation to study for my exam coming up.”

I bet this is a relatable feeling knowing that winter break is only two week away, and that finals are already here! I know from going through several final weeks that this is the hardest time to stay motivated. I’ve learned over the years that there are certain little things that might help you stay engaged, and here is what I’ve come up with.

Follow Wilma the Wildcat as she makes her way through studying for finals this week.

1. Make every thought serve you and move you forward


I learned in my physiology course recently that we have 60,000 conscious thoughts a day. Each thought that you make during the day can either bring you closer to achieving your goals, or further way from them. So it is important to carefully watch what you tell yourself. I tried this myself by replacing thoughts such as ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘I’m going to fail’ with ‘I got this’ and ‘I’m doing the best that I can do and I will do well on this assignment’. By thinking positive thoughts, it will reflect a positive outlook and attitude that will give you a jump in motivation when you feel like giving up.

 2. Visualize yourself taking action


Start by visualizing yourself completing an action. This should be visualized before you sit down and start to actually do it. These actions could include visualizing yourself organizing your desk with study materials, or visualizing yourself typing a paper. This simple strategy helps you to stay focused on what needs to be done, and by visualizing yourself doing it, that visual image can be turned into an action.

 3. Small actions add up


Growing up, my parents always told me that every action you perform would always have an outcome. Whether this outcome is a good or bad one, every action is a cause that has an effect. So when I came to college, I realized that every action I performed whether it be turning in an homework assignment, or putting in an extra hour of studying would make a difference, because small actions add up in the end when you are striving for that A in your class and your only a few points away.

 4. Get some comrades and spend time with them


It is always nice to have someone to study and do homework with, especially someone that you share common goals with. This could include having the same major, same class, or future goals. It’s comforting to know that you always have someone who understands what you are going through, and someone to turn to when you don’t understand something on the study guide, or just a shoulder to lean on when you feel get overwhelmed. This person can help motivate you to accomplish certain assignments, or help you memorize all those flashcards that you may need to memorize for that exam coming up. Getting together with others can help ease your stress, and make school fun! For example, I have one friend who is in most of my classes and we get together for “Study parties”. These include buying study snacks, making pots of coffee, and listening to a great study station on Pandora. Planning study parties with someone who is studying the same material as me always keeps me motivated.

 5. Remind yourself that this is worth it


It is easy to get caught up and overwhelmed in college stress. I’ve noticed that the more I stress out about school, the less motivated I am to complete the work that needs to get done. This is why it is important having one goal that you set for yourself. This should be a long-term goal that you are willing to go through thick and thin to complete. For example this goal for me is to get into dental school. As I’m sitting around telling myself that I don’t want to study, or I will be fine if I don’t complete this one homework assignment, I ask myself, “Will this get you into dental school?” and this makes me rethink my actions. If you remind yourself that the effort you put in now, will someday be rewarding then it changes your outlook and can motivate you to keep pushing.

–Jocelin Calcagno


One Response to “Study…stud…stu…st…s…sl…sle…slee…Sleep”


  1. Studying | Notes From My Moleskine - December 9, 2013

    […] Study…stud…stu…st…s…sl…sle…slee…Sleep ( […]

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