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‘Where’s my Motivation to Study?’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

Everyone has their own study habits. However, getting that motivation to start studying can be a tall hurdle to overcome. On some days, I can study all day without much of a break, and on others, I would rather stare at the ceiling than even begin thinking about my to-do list. Motivating yourself can be tricky, so here are some tips that I have tried to help you get started.

It’s well-established that you should take study breaks in an organized manner to stay energized while studying. However, a more efficient way to do this would be to mentally plan a reward for yourself during these breaks. The end goal can be milder rewards for shorter study sessions, and larger prizes can be arranged for longer study sessions. Personally, I work better when I study for more extended lengths in a single sitting. However, I always procrastinate because just thinking about starting that study session ends up draining my motivation. To stop this, I always make a mental note of what I will do after my work. Whether painting, playing Mario Kart with my roommates or cooking a family meal, having this event in my head helps me stay motivated to finish the tasks at hand.

However, this tip can always backfire, as you could always convince yourself to take your reward at any moment rather than when you finish your work. This isn’t the point. The point is to have a mental note in your head, an end goal. Usually, one’s end goal would be to finish reviewing the material up to chapter five or finish all their modules in a class. However, these end goals can be mentally exhausting. Having a positive reward at the end of the tunnel or small prizes spread out throughout can significantly impact your motivation, if used correctly.

Another method that I ended up trying was showering before you begin your work. I usually take a shower before I go to bed. However, sometimes I choose to shower before starting my work which helps me clear my thoughts, gives me time to think about what I have to do, and helps me relax to help ease my stress. Cold showers are known to help speed up your blood flow and breathing, making you more attentive and motivated to accomplish your daily goals. I have only tried showering before I studied a couple times during college, but I’ve already noticed that it gives me the time to gather my thoughts and think about what I have to do and how to do it without making me feel like I am procrastinating. I even wrote this article after taking a shower!

Finally, a third method that I have tried would be to take a break before studying. Being overwhelmed with your list of homework, extracurriculars and even your job, if you have one, can be stress- and anxiety-inducing. Sometimes I lose all motivation to do anything simply because of the sheer amount of stuff I have to do. Even if just a short one, taking a break can make all the difference before studying as it is after. There have been times where I noticed myself grinding through my assignments without absorbing any of the material I just looked at. When I catch myself doing this, I have to stop and reflect. Taking a break and doing an activity, even if it’s just a small one, can put your mind in a better state and ease your stress, even if it’s just by a little bit.

It’s all about your mentality. Go into studying with an active and motivated mind. You will be more likely to persist and accomplish your goals. Keeping a healthy mindset is the best motivator one can cultivate. Remember, these are what I found helpful, but they might not work for you, and that’s alright. There are lots of different methods to try and what’s important is to find what’s right for you!

My name is Tracy Si (she/her). I am a sophomore at Saint Louis University majoring in psychology BS and minoring in Biology. I am on the Pre-med path and am interested in social issues and new innovations in science.