Tag Archives: passion

#StudiousSeptember: Satisfying Study Sessions

19 Sep

Now that the semester is underway and the homework is rolling in, it’s time to study! While we usually meet this challenge without much enthusiasm, it is possible to make it an event to look forward to.

Spoil Thyself!

Have a well-deserved treat when you put your study time in! Small rewards like this will give you a little boost in your day.

Having a little caffeine can help your brain along. Try curling up in a café to do your assigned readings in caffeinated comfort. Even taking yourself out for a long lunch can make a thankless homework task into the highlight of your day.

Make Peace, Not Grief

Find a spot that evokes a sense of peace so you can study longer without struggling to sit still. The summer is almost over and the lawns are cool and green. There are tons of hidden benches and shady trees to give you a seat with sitting in, they’re the perfect places to have a meditative study session.

Having a regular study space set up at home can really help. Once you’ve established a spot that puts you in study mode, your brain will automatically know what you’re up to when you sit down. Since the hardest part is getting started, this will make things much easier in the long run.

If you find yourself getting distracted, try putting your headphones on and listening to some music. This is almost like putting the blinders on a horse so that he focuses on the road ahead.

That being said, limit your access to text messages, Netflix, and social media while you work. Maybe make a post letting your friends know that you’re getting ready to bear down for an hour or two. They’ll totally understand.

Organize to Limit Suffering

Have you ever looked at all of your papers, folders, books and handouts in a pile and felt like your head was going to explode? Getting overwhelmed is a good thing to avoid and a simple problem to solve.

If you know what’s on your syllabus, you can break things into steps and prioritize. Is it more important to study for a quiz that’s worth 15% or and exam that’s worth 40%? Making lists, writing your syllabus dates and deadlines on a calendar, or using the library’s assignment scheduler can help you. Not only will you know what to do with your study session, but you’ll be able to look ahead. Check out Think Tank’s “Semester on a Page” for a cool organizational tool.

Once you have your to-do list made, it’s time to knock it out. If you’re taking your studies out for a night on the town, be sure to pack your chargers, writing utensils, scratch paper and all of your materials for the classes you’re working on. The last thing you want to do is to get settled in only to find that you’ve brought the wrong book.

If you know you’ll be struggling with the material from a class as you study it, go where the help is! Getting stuck or stumped can be an important part of the learning process, but you want to connect to the resources around you before you get frustrated. Study near your professor’s office during their office hours, bring your work to Think Tank, or make a study group to give yourself a support network.

By spoiling yourself, seeking out your study oasis and breaking big tasks into small steps, you’ll set yourself up for success this semester.

Keep calm and study happily!



How Finding Nemo and Nike Got It Right

28 Mar

Finding Nemo and Nike got it right. They just nailed it is you ask me.

“Just keep swimming” and “just do it”

Bottom line to both… Motivation. It is an easy thing to talk about and an even easier thing to think about, but actually finding it can be hard. We are all faced with decisions in life, many of which seem intimidating or difficult. The way we decide to tackle these decisions and move forward is often driven by motivation.

As you navigate your way through the space and time of college, you will be faced (as I am sure you have already been) with challenges that require a whole lot of moxie and just as much motivation.

I am graduating in May. Not May, next year May. May in a month and a half May. I know that I will be going to law school in the near future, but had to make the tough decision to take some time off of school in order to get everything in order. Making that decision was hard, but knowing what was in front of me after the decision was even harder: job searching while maintaining my grades at a level that would still help me when I applied to law school. I knew that the only thing that would help me land a job and stay focused would be motivation… and I mean a whole lot of it.

I began my job search process (at least the serious part) in January 2014. I was overwhelmed. My resume needed an overhaul… understatement of the century and I needed to get my head into the job search game. I have spent the better part of the last three months editing my resume, re editing the essay, ironing my suit, shirts and pants until the lines were so straight my grandmother would be proud and most of all, I spent those months finding ways to stay motivated.

I traveled all over Arizona to interview, Skyped, called and Facetimed in order to not miss out on any opportunity each time wondering if I could make this the job of my dreams (at least temporarily). It was hard to stay motivated. Some days I just wanted to sleep for another one, half hour or ten minutes, but I made myself get up in the promise that if I put in the hard work now, I would be able to sleep sounder and sleep in once my post graduation plans were set.  So, I got up, repeated the cycle of searching, writing cover letters, submitting my resume and answering questions.

I knew that the U of A was having a job fair in early March and that was where I turned my motivation and focus too. I read up on all the companies, all the mission statements and committed myself (and my memory) to information that I could use in the 5-10 minutes that I would have at the event. My motivation to take the one change I would have to make a good first impression.

Did it work? Was my motivation and drive what it needed to be to land a coveted interview? I will be the first to tell you that it worked and I was offered a few interviews and subsequently multiple job offers. I am no longer unemployed post graduation! Yay!

Motivation is not something that you inherit or get by osmosis. It is something inside of you that you train and work with that shapes your dreams and propels you even when you feel like you can’t keep going. There are a lot of people who will quote famous lines about motivation, but I think Nike and the movie Finding Nemo got it right: Just keep swimming and just do it.