Maintaining Focus

As we are all on the final stretch of this unusual fall semester, final exams and papers are very overwhelming. Coming back from a nice, needed thanksgiving break gave some of us time to catch up on the work we have for our classes or take time for ourselves. As there are less than two weeks until we are all done, we need to maintain focus and finish strong in all of our classes. 

Online school is not for everyone, and it's harder for some. Students had to settle for an online college experience that they were not expecting to pay for because of the unprecedented pandemic, and that took a toll on many people’s mental health. The second half of the spring semester was very hard for me. I lost a lot of my motivation to do schoolwork and to participate in my classes.

I was going through some personal struggles at the time which didn’t help, but I took the spring semester as a learning experience. I learned that just because AU is online now it doesn’t mean that my classes are less worthy or that I am a less worthy student. I knew that in order for me to not make those same mistakes, I had to change my mindset about school and myself.

Some things I did that helped me overcome these circumstances are what I like to call MOFA: Movement, organization, future, and affirmations.

Movement: Being a couch potato most of the summer was not the person I wanted to be for the fall semester, and I knew that I needed to change that lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you work out for 5 minutes or an hour, just move your body! Put on some dance workouts or beginner friendly ones, whatever you are in the mood for.

Think of it as a much deserved “me time.” You will feel such a sense of accomplishment, your mood will improve, and your body will thank you. Remember that when doing any type of exercise, it shouldn't be a punishment in order to get the “perfect body”, because all bodies are beautiful. The main point of working out should be for you to feel good about yourself, and if you end up seeing good results, remember that you did this for yourself.

Organization: I can’t stress the importance of keeping track of everything you have to do in the week ahead of time. Cramping up assignments will reflect in your grades, but if you are on top of your game by writing down the assignments you have to do for the week, and setting study slots for you to dedicate as much as you need in order to complete assignments or retain information, you will be better prepared.

I was not too organized when I started in freshman year, but as time went on and I learned from my mistakes, I knew that leaving everything for the last minute and pulling all-nighters was not worth it! Organization is also great outside of school. Schedule time for yourself to workout, cook, and even do nothing! With proper planning and time management, everything is doable.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels Future: Think again about why you choose to go to college and why you selected your major. What did you envision yourself doing in the future when you made these decisions? We can’t expect our future to pan out how we always wanted if we don’t put in the work for it. Try new activities, internships, and classes that will help you better understand what you envision yourself doing. All the money invested into a college education will be worth it, and once you land that dream job, you will truly acknowledge that hard work pays off.

Affirmations: The amount of alone-time we spend can lead to some negative thoughts that can lead to discouragement. Looking in the mirror and saying positive statements to yourself can lead to believing that you are worthy of everything you wish for. Positivity is key in these hard times, and saying your affirmations daily or whenever you need a boost in your self-esteem can lead to great results.

Self-affirmations can help with all the stress that comes with being a student and all of the responsibilities that lie on our plate. “I am smart, I am beautiful, I am worthy of success” are some of the affirmations that have lifted my mood this semester. If you do not know what to say, search online for examples that could help you and are most coherent to what you want to say to yourself. 

Fall 2020 is almost at its end now, and that’s crazy. Time flies, and the sooner you expect it, you will have your diploma in hand, ready to start a brand new chapter of your life. Finding motivation can be hard, especially after hearing that we will have another online semester. But take it from someone who has struggled too: mistakes happen, and the most important thing about them is that we learn not to do them again. Remember who you are doing this for, and don’t give up. We are about to cross the finish line. 

Photo Credit: Her Campus Media Library