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5-Step Guide To Staying Motivated During Midterms

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Susqu chapter.

Overwhelmed with schoolwork? Yeah, me too. We are always wondering, “What’s the point anymore?” Here are recommendations to maintain that last strand of motivation before the hanging thread breaks.

Motivation is an internal state that propels individuals to engage in goal-directed behavior. First, you have to think to yourself, “What is my goal?” Whether that is getting an A on midterms or just making it to next week, all goals matter. However, it is essential to have a goal that you WANT to achieve. Once decided on what the end goal is, next is developing steps to reach it.

How to study

Before running, let’s learn how to walk.

Speaking from personal experience, having a goal without breaking it down into smaller goals first will almost always end in failure. One needs smaller objectives to build up to that big end goal.

It is much easier to climb with small steps. Instead of leaping from one accomplishment to the next, create objectives that could be accomplished in smaller increments. For example, if you are studying for a large exam in sociology, take it chapter by chapter. Check how many chapters there are, how many days/weeks until your exam, and how often you can realistically study in a day. Set a goal of studying for at least an hour a day. Or, if you know you have a free period in between classes, dedicate part of the day to opening your textbook/computer to work. Cracking the textbook open is the hardest part. Once you start, finishing doesn’t seem scary anymore.

How to stay motivated

Remember, this is a goal we WANT. Juggling homework, a social life, possibly sports, and midterms may seem impossible, but remember…

#1 Stay positive

One of the most important factors to motivation is who you surround yourself with. If your friends are constantly partying and don’t care about grades, then that may start to reflect your own schoolwork. A positive mindset will reflect positive grades.

#2 Remember what you’re working towards

Especially in college, remembering WHY we are here is essential. That sociology midterm may seem like the end of the world, but this midterm is another objective toward the end goal (graduating and getting a job.)

#3 Prioritize and organize

Use a planner. Every due date, assignment, appointment, and exam can be so hard to keep track of. Writing down when things should be done will help to decide which tasks should be started first. Even if purchasing a planner isn’t something that sounds ideal, there is an online calendar that saved my high school career, ClickUp.

#4 Celebrate the little victories

Constantly check back to see how much progress you’ve made. Reward yourself with a small treat whenever you complete one of your objectives. Spent your dedicated hour actually studying today? Go out with your friends and get ice cream.

#5 Remember to recharge

America has a sort of “grind mindset.” We live to work, whereas other people work to live. Don’t forget to take time for YOURSELF. If you feel too overwhelmed, take a step back and utilize a distraction. Go work out, take a nap, shower, go for a walk, watch a movie, etc. Even spending a night with your friends could help you focus better the next day.

Kelly Creighton is the events director of Her Campus at Susquehanna University. She organizes and coordinates numerous fundraising and volunteer events throughout the chapter. She covers women and their accomplishments in the business industry. Kelly is a first year with a double major in International Business and Spanish. She had numerous leadership positions in her pre-collegiate education. Such as the varsity captain of the tennis and trivia team, president of her school's multicultural club, and 4x FBLA state qualifier. In my free time, Kelly likes to play tennis, cook healthy dishes, and go to the gym. She also has an interest in linguistics. Hence, Kelly can speak both English, Spanish, and is proficient in Italian. Overall, she is an avid Duolingo user.