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Staying Productive When the Back to School Excitement Wears Off

After the dorms closed last fall, I spent the remainder of the semester back at home with my family. In January, I moved back to Raleigh and into my sorority house. Spending my first semester at home while most of my friends stayed near campus gave me plenty of time to literally dream of coming back. 


When I finally did come back, I had built up so much excitement that I relied on to get me through the first month-ish. But now that I’m getting more used to life back in Raleigh, I’m starting to lose some of that momentum and motivation. 


I feel like this is something that happens to me almost every semester when the back to school excitement wears off. Here’s everything I’ve done before/am doing right now to try and gain some of that back! 

Get a Change of Scenery 

Even though it’s usually cheapest and most convenient to stay in your room and do your classes/work, I find that occasionally getting out of the house to work makes me feel a LOT more motivated. Going to a cute coffee shop makes me feel like I have my life together more than I do, and that makes me more productive! 

Dedicate Time to Really Grind 

It is SO easy for me to get distracted while I’m working, so I like to occasionally dedicate a time that I can sit down and really focus, especially if I have a big deadline coming up or just a lot of work piling up. I like to go to coffee shops alone/work alone to do this, because it eliminates the distraction of talking to friends! I find that if you tell yourself you’re really going to sit down and work hard, you’re more likely to actually do it. 

Detox your Space 

Whenever my space feels cluttered, my brain feels cluttered too. When I start to feel overwhelmed with school or with life in general, it always helps me to declutter/deep clean the spaces I’m in most. It makes me feel much more organized and put together and like I’m getting a fresh start. 

Make To-Do Lists

I make a To-Do list pretty much every single day. I know physical To-Do lists are more conventional, but I like to use the website todoist.com! I have the app on my phone and my computer so I can cross things off my list no matter where I am. Slowly checking off all my tasks for the day makes me feel much more in control. It makes me feel way more focused as I’m adding things to my list in the morning, plus, it’s so relieving to go to bed with an empty list at night. 


If you’re involved in lots of things at school like me, you might’ve already fallen in love with Google calendar. I never really understood the hype around it until I came to college this semester and got super involved with my sorority and extracurriculars. Mapping out everything I have to do in a schedule format is seriously the best way to stay on top of things. It’s so convenient and has saved me COUNTLESS times from forgetting about something/double booking myself. It’s also fun to make it look pretty and that makes me feel more motivated! 

Overall, it’s pretty much impossible to stay motivated and productive all the time. Balancing school, social life, work, family, relationships, sororities, extracurriculars etc. isn’t easy. So don’t be too hard on yourself! We’re all trying our best <3


Hi! My name is Eleanor Conner and I’m a freshman at NCSU. I’m from Asheville, North Carolina and I’m majoring in Design Studies with a concentration in Interior Design and a minor in Business and Entrepreneurship. I'm a member of Delta Gamma and I am on the social media team for Her Campus NCSU! I also currently serve as VP of Communications for Circle of Sisterhood at NC State. In my free time, I like to go out with friends, go shopping, workout, and drink coffee! I'm passionate about writing about design and lifestyle related topics, and I'm so excited to be working with Her Campus NCSU!
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