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How to Get Motivated for the Spring Semester

It’s the new semester and I don’t know about you, but I am finding it really difficult to get out of bed in the morning…

Coming back from Christmas is so hard and contrary to Elsa, the cold does bother me. Despite the desire to stay in my warm cozy bed I have to get up and go to class, work, meetings, and everything else I have committed myself to do. Seasonal depression is real y’all! And it’s hitting hard. So I’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help you get out of bed and into class feeling motivated (okay maybe just the getting out of bed part). We can get through this semester together!

Get some sleep

This is obvious, but a full night’s sleep can have you feeling amazing the next day. Your Netflix binging can wait till the weekend, once you’ve finished your work. Try and have a consistent schedule. I try to be in bed by 11:00 pm and I normally wake up at 7:00 am on weekdays. Weekends I don’t let myself sleep past 9:00 am unless it’s a sleep cheat day. Having a consistent routine will help you sleep better and it will help you feel more energized and ready to take on the day.

Find music that inspires you

Finding a killer playlist during winter is crucial for me. I am constantly listening to music and what I am listening to dictates my mood. Winter seems like the perfect time to listen to those sad slow sleepy songs, but what I recommend is actually listening to the opposite. I have a playlist of oldies music that instantly boosts my mood like I’ve drank a full cup of coffee without the flex dollars. Save the Bon Iver for another day folks because we need sunshine and rainbows to get us movin’ and groovin’. 

Stay healthy

Eat your fruits and veggies! Take your multi-vitamins! Drink tons of water! Don’t let yourself get sick. Getting sick in winter at the beginning of the spring semester is just the beginning of spiraling out of control. First, you get behind on assignments, then you almost catch up and then round 2 hits you even harder than the first one and the cycle continues until your sickness is replaced with seasonal allergies. While going for junk food is easy and takes less time, you will thank yourself for eating a salad and drinking water than for eating frozen chicken nuggets and mountain dew. 

Write down your goals and intentions

I find that I can hold myself more accountable when my goals are written down. If you’re a spreadsheet kind of person (like me), then find a way to document your progress via Google sheets. If you hate the idea of that then maybe write your goals and intentions for the year somewhere where you can see them daily. We shouldn’t wander around life blindly with no intentions for the future. Figure out your goals so that you can begin to meet them.

Find things worth getting up for

This may be the easiest tip out of the list. I have trouble getting out of a warm bed, so it takes something monumental to get me excited to leave my warm sheets. Finding small exciting things to get me moving has worked wonders. I recently got a cat, so getting up to play with him or feed him is what I do most mornings. Planning a cute outfit or doing a new makeup look might get you excited. Seeing your friends in class or the idea of food might help. Or it simply maybe the idea that the sooner you get out of bed, the sooner you get to get back in. 

Deep clean your room

Listen up. It’s flu season, aka clean everything I touch so I don’t get sick season. I always feel better when my room is clean. So put on a movie or some good music and DEEP clean your whole room. All of it. Please. Wash those sheets and blankets and coats. Scrub your bathroom and all doorknobs. Don’t forget about your phone and car and keys. Keeping Clorox wipes and Germ-x on hand at all times is essential. 

Find sources of inspiration

This is where your phone comes into play. Finding inspiration for any aspect of your life can be motivation enough to get through the semester. Personally, I spend waaay too much time on Pinterest and Instagram looking at ideas for my future classroom #justelementaryeducationmajorthings. This tip goes hand in hand with creating goals and intentions for yourself. If your goal is to have some killer abs by the end of the semester than find someone who met that goal in a similar way to how you plan to meet it. If your goal is to become more confident in yourself than find some inspirational quotes or role models to inspire you. Fuel the goals!

Prepare your body for the day

This is another reason I get out of bed. I love stretching. First, because I have the body of an 82-year-old with arthritis and second because I am a dancer. I love to stretch in the mornings when I first wake up so that my body is ready for whatever I need to do later that day. I also enjoy doing yoga in the mornings or a light workout. In the wintertime especially we need to be careful about the activities we are doing because we are more likely to hurt ourselves. Cold weather causes our muscles to contract which causes pain which is the result of our muscles losing heat and therefore working harder. This explains why you may just randomly be in pain all winter. Stretching these muscles out each morning will guarantee a more comfortable day.


I love to write, obviously, so journalling is the main way I get in touch with my emotions. If I am in a place where I am frustrated, anxious, or upset I write what I am feeling down. Getting your emotions down on paper can help you to see a solution. So throughout the semester as you encounter difficult times, write your feelings down so that you can learn and grow from your experiences instead of burying them in the past. 

Indulge in worthwhile things

Having a cheat day is nice, but don’t ruin your progress by setting yourself off track. Find one way to indulge each week or find a small indulgence each day. For me, Friday evening is my time off. Every Friday I make popcorn and watch a movie, which I never have time to do throughout the week. Finding small ways to reward yourself throughout the week is nice as well. A face mask at night may relax you and a cookie after lunch may make you happy. Resist your urges to go to Cookout at 3 in the morning. It’s not worth it. Okay, it’s worth it maybe once a semester but that’s all.

Plan your day

My planner is my brain. If I lose it then I am lost. My class and work schedule, my to-do list, my assignments, and any other random thoughts I have throughout the day live in my planner. Having a place to organize my brain helps me to manage my time and to plan for the most important things. By planning out your day you can find time to study, hang out with friends, or go to the gym. A planner isn’t for everyone, but I highly recommend it. 

Do your homework

Duh. Just do it. Find somewhere that you can study without distractions. Leave your phone in your room or in your bag. Instagram can survive without you for an hour or two. Try studying at different times of the day in different places to see what works best for you. 

gif by @GQ

We can do this! It’s the year of you! Let’s be productive and accomplish our goals!

I believe in you! :)

Hannah Kamman

Murray State '22

Hannah Kamman is an elementary education major at Murray State University. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, spending time outside and cuddling with her cat. She is a dance teacher and a tree hugger.
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