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April sucks; it always has and it always will. Getting over that final hump of the semester has been a struggle ever since Kindergarten. Knowing that sunshine and freedom are only a few short weeks away makes the idea of getting work done laughable. How can I possibly write six papers and take three exams when all I want to think about is being anywhere but here? It’s practically torture! Unfortunately, the work is a necessary evil that everyone must fight through. Below I will give a few tips and tricks that might help give you that slight burst of motivation you need to get through the Hell on the horizon.

  1. Incentivize your work

So you don’t want to write that paper that is due next week? Try bargaining with yourself! If you finish your paper a day earlier than when it is due, allow yourself to spend an hour watching Netflix as a reward. If you finish it earlier than that, perhaps promise yourself you’ll finally go see that new movie that you’ve been dying to see. Whatever you choose, make sure it is motivating enough that you will actually finish the work you have set out to do. Also, by keeping the rewards somewhat small, you can spread out your wants across all your tasks which will further incentivize you to keep going and not get behind!

  1. Look up information about your future goals to help keep you on track

There is nothing that stresses me out more than thinking about my post grad plans. Lucky for me, stress tends to work in my favor in terms of getting things done. One thing that tends to work for me 9 times out of 10 is looking up my possible future endeavors and seeing what is required of me to reach these goals. By doing that, I feel a stronger urgency to do well in my classes. To do well in my classes, I have to do my homework. See what I’m getting at here? It’s aggressive and sometimes disheartening, but it’s incredibly effective. 

  1. Take meaningful breaks

What do you do when you take breaks from homework? Do you participate in energizing activities or do you find yourself feeling more sluggish once you finally come back to your work. One thing I have been working on quite a bit this semester is taking fewer naps. While sometimes, if the timing is right, they can actually be very helpful. However, most often I feel worse than I did prior to going to sleep. Now, I try to choose exercise, going to get food, or calling my family and friends from home as a way to stay active while still taking a mental break from the work I have to do. Find out what energizes you and use it as a way to help you come back refreshed and ready to work! 

  1. Have a study group and actually study

What a concept right? When my friends and I study together, we usually spend the majority of the time just catching up with one another. That said, on the rare occasion, we do manage to set a productivity alarm for a half hour to an hour where we work silently with the anticipation of being able to talk again once the alarm sounds. When other people are being productive, it forces me to keep up with their level of productivity.

  1. Have an accountability partner

This is probably my most effective trick for surviving your workload. It’s one thing to make a to-do list, it’s another to share this list with someone else and have them hold you accountable for getting things done. Similarly to how people use trainers to keep them accountable for working out, you can have a friend, family member, or roommate keep you accountable for what you need to finish before the end of the school year.


No matter what you do to stay motivated during these last couple of weeks, I hope you get everything done with as little stress as possible!

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Jessica Ping

Notre Dame '19

Hey everyone! My name is Jessica Ping, I'm a senior here at Notre Dame, and I live in the palace of campus, aka Flaherty Hall! Generally you can find me on Instagram, watching Netflix, or singing with the Liturgical Choir. I would consider myself a professional napper. I'm just your typical college student who is still trying to figure out what the heck is going on.