Summer is sadly over and that means we’re beginning a new semester with brand new opportunities. Whether you’re running into this semester fresh-faced and excited, or tumbling in with messy hair and a missing flip-flop, you’re probably experiencing what I like to call the ‘I’m Not Worn Out Yet’ spark of motivation to do well and achieve your dreams. This motivation is new and exciting, and much needed as we transition from summer nights to self-implemented bedtimes. But let’s be honest, this motivation tends to fade after about week five.
School is important. What you do here is important. So here are some tips on what you can do now that will help you maintain this motivation, or at least help you still achieve those hopes and dreams:
1) Create your routine now
Not tomorrow. Not next week. Right now, you’re probably experiencing a special kind of motivation that will help you get out of bed early and actually do the readings for class. Start this routine, and keep it very steady, for the next few weeks to come. It takes about three weeks to create a habit, so make sure the next three weeks are full of good habits instead of lousy ones.
2) Get a planner
Oh, and actually use it. Writing things down increases your retention, and this will help you create that productive routine we just talked about. You can find really inexpensive ones at Target or Office Max, or even print one out for free online! Organization is the first step to success my friends.
3) Organize efficiently
By now, you probably have some idea about what styles of organization work best for you. Whether you’re a separate binder for each class kind of girl or a single notebook that always in your backpack kind of girl, get all of this set up and ready to go now. Like I said before, you have the motivation now, so use it to get long term stuff done.
4) Go to all of your classes
Maybe this seems self explanatory, but honestly it needs to be said. This all comes back to creating good habits. Once you miss one class, you’re more likely to miss another. Take it from me: don’t find out the consequences of missing class until you absolutely have to. If you start to fall behind in the beginning, you’re less likely to stay connected and engaged in the class later on when your motivation is harder to come by. Save these absences for when you really need them. Also, you’re paying for these classes, and you’re really only cheating yourself if you don’t go.
5) Make an appearance at office hours
This is something I tell new students consistently. If you want to keep your motivation, you’re going to need to make yourself accountable. Meet face to face with your professors, because you’re less likely to slack off if they know who you are. If you can’t make it to office hours, or you’re concerned about being a bother to your professor, at least introduce yourself after class. Let them learn your face and your name; this will benefit you in the long haul.
6) Be kind to yourself
You’re doing the best you can. This semester is not a race, and it is not a competition. Don’t use up all of your reserves in the first half, because often the second half is the most difficult. Take time for yourself, make this a good habit. Don’t let yourself burn out too quickly!
You’ve got this. I promise you do. Now go forth and be motivated!