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How to Stay Motivated This Semester

The seasons are changing.  Summer is long gone, and this fall season is already feeling like winter.  The sun is rising later and setting sooner. It’s impossible to get out of bed for class, naps have become more frequent, and by 4:00pm you’re ready to just call it a day… and forget about going to the gym; the walk down to Trudy is too far and cold.


Regardless of these feelings, you have exams to study for, papers to write, and a body that needs to stay active.  Here you will find your guide to staying motivated during the second half of the semester, even when it may feel impossible!


1. Write out a weekly schedule

Something that I have recently started doing is writing out a schedule every Sunday night for the upcoming week.  About four weeks into the semester, I found that I was procrastinating and wasting a lot of time on my phone, or just sitting around doing nothing.  When I started writing out a detailed schedule, I felt a lot more productive and motivated to get things done and fill my day with meaningful tasks and activities.  Your schedule can be as vague or as detailed as you want, but either way having a plan will help you stay on track.


2. Write out goals you would like to achieve

If you’re in a rut and dread each early morning you have to wake up for class, create goals and give yourself something to strive for and look forward to each day!  These can be big, long-term goals such as learning to speak a new language, or it can be something as small as learning a new braid to do on your hair. If you have something you can look forward to getting after each day, your motivation in other areas of your life will improve too!


3. Create incentives

Thanksgiving break is SO SOON and December break follows shortly after!  Give it your all in this second half of the semester so that you can truly enjoy your breaks, knowing that you did your best.  Have a task that you just can’t bring yourself to get done? Bargain with yourself. For example, for every hour that you study, treat yourself to a piece of candy or something of that kind!


4. Make a gym buddy! Make a study buddy!

If you have someone else depending on you to show up to workout or study each day, you will feel a lot more motivated to show up for it.  Being at the gym by yourself can be hard, but if you have someone by your side pushing you the time will go a lot faster and you will be more efficient.


5. Remember that the work you put in now will pay off later.

When you are applying for jobs or internships, you will be happy that you put the work in at school.  When you are at the beach this summer, you will be happy that you put the work in at the gym. Studying for hours may seem grueling and straight-up horrible at the moment, but there is reward in the end.  Working hard and doing well on a test or paper definitely feels a lot better than half-assing it and doing badly.


“Grind now, shine later.”


Courtney Day

Colgate '22

Courtney Day is the Campus Correspondent for the Colgate University chapter of Her Campus. She is an English major, minoring in both Political Science and Writing & Rhetoric, and is a member of the Women's Varsity Lacrosse team.
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