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9 Ways to Stay Motivated through Finals!

While the end of the semester may be near, that doesn’t make finals any easier to get through. You want to make finals week the best it can be, for your grades and your sanity, but it can be tough to stay motivated when all you want to do is procrastinate (checking out Her Campus of course!), make plans with friends from home for winter break, and check out what kind of free food is around your study area (Conn loves to keep us happy with food!).

Doing the following may keep that fire going:

1. Use visual reminders of long-term goals! Print out pictures for your dorm room or change your desktop background on your laptop. By seeing your long-term goals constantly, you’ll be reminded why you need to work hard to earn them. 

Maybe you want to get into grad school.

Use pictures of people you admire or of those who want you to succeed. Your role models had to work hard to get where they are, and so must you too!

Or pictures of where you’re going to be during break (the only way you’ll get there is if you get through finals!). Once you finish your finals, a great reward awaits!

2. Give yourself a reward after completing a paper, or even a page of a paper, or just after a certain slot of time you’ve spent buried in books. Having something to look forward to while doing work often encourages us to work harder and faster to earn the reward.

It could be food (just don’t let it be a choice you’ll regret later…try to avoid the typical sugary snack you want to reach for), a nap to refresh yourself, watching a TV episode (but just one!), or exercising to let some of the fume out! 

3. Make up a cheer for yourself and chant it whenever you’re feeling down or starting to get distracted. When you choose to study alone, being your own cheerleader helps keep you motivated and it will keep you aware of when you’re starting to get distracted. 

4. Watch motivational speakers. There is nothing like seeing other people persevere to encourage you to do as well. Eric Thomas is our personal favorite. 

5. Call a friend or parent and ask them to give you a pep talk. Sometimes we need someone else to give us a push, and  it is always motivational to be reminded that someone cares about us. 

6. Study with friends wisely to keep each other going. But be productive in your study groups! 

7. Write inspirational quotes on places that you most frequent while studying. Make your notebook or a whiteboard your new center for inspiration! 

8. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish and tape it to your desk. Constant reminders of your goals will give you the willpower to push forward!

9. Put all unnecessary technology away until you finish your work. You really don’t need to play Angry Birds or see the latest tweets before you finish that paper, do you? Try the Self-Control App for Apple computers to “blacklist” distracting sites!


Whenever you feel like giving up, remind yourself of who you want to be and that you’re the only person that can make that happen! We also have more helpful tips for being productive and keeping calm during finals week! Good luck with finals! 

Hi! I'm Arely and currently a sophomore attending Connecticut College. I've grown up in NJ for most of my life but I've lived in Mexico for two years, I did an exchange program to Finland during one summer, and I've done a little bit of backpacking. I'm not sure what area of study I want to pursue or what do as far as a career, but I am excited to see what the future unfolds.
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