by Allison Shaw
For some students, the spring semester can feel like trudging through muck, and despite being similar in length to the fall semester, can feel much longer. Whether graduation is right around the corner, or winter break just wasn’t quite long enough, or you’re an underclassman finally starting to enter into some higher-level courses, keeping up with your studies in the second half of the year is no easy task. Luckily, there are a few methods one can use in order to try and stay on top of their studies, even when you really, really, really just don’t feel like it. Here are a few which have been found to be the most helpful.
Taking frequent breaks. Academic burnout is no joke, and is the number one tanker of motivation within students. Usually a result of overwork, one of the easiest ways to avoid it is to pace yourself in your studies, rather than try to do too much all at once. If the idea of taking breaks from work is something that might be tricky for you, try using the Pomodoro 25/5 method. This method involves setting a timer of 25 minutes of work, followed by 5 minutes of break time, and then repeat. This method works wonderfully for students who are prone to distraction. There are even some YouTube channels which will post timers for you, complete with videos of little cats working to ambient noise (Pomodoro Cat) or calming piano music (Study Pomodoro).
Study in groups. If you’re allowed to for the class, forming a study group which meets at regular intervals or set dates to work together is a great way to keep yourself, as well as your classmates, motivated. Working together with friends not only makes the work go by faster, but can make it seem more enjoyable. As long as you remain within the academic integrity guidelines, working with others can help make the task seem less daunting or more interesting. Or, you don’t even have to be working on the same thing. Body doubling, a technique most commonly used in ADHD focused study methods, involves two or more persons sitting alongside one another as they complete tasks. These tasks can be completely different, but the act of having someone nearby is said to help with focus and motivation. Body doubling is not limited to those with ADHD, and can be helpful for anyone who has a hard time with motivation.
Trying to keep motivation up can be a dangerous game. Though keeping up is important, if motivation does happen to slip, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just stand back up, dust yourself off, and keep trying your best. We’ve got this!