The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Last semester, I wrote an article about sites that help with midterm prep. It was nice to know these sites are here to help us, especially when we need a little more help to get through the semester. This semester, I am feeling burnout even worse than before. Even the long winter break was not enough to combat the tiredness I feel from the previous semester.
I am losing motivation, and I know I am not the only one. It’s still a strange time. The way we think about mental health has changed since the pandemic and lockdown. For a lot of students, we care more about it, although I sometimes feel as though it can be weaponized. However, there is a lot happening in the world, and perhaps we may not have the motivation we once did for certain things.
My focus on assignments has been getting worse lately. It is beginning hard to get anything done until the deadline is near. I think it takes a lot of effort to get yourself to sit and start something. However, it does take a bit of time to settle into the mindset.
First, I think one of the preliminary things you can do is just put unnecessary devices away and turn on any Do Not Disturb buttons. It really helps when you are not checking other notifications. When you have fewer distractions, it helps you focus on what is in front of you. Second, make sure you have the things you need close to you, so you can avoid getting up and risk distracting yourself. Next, you should set a goal for yourself for how long you are going to work before you take a break. If you give yourself the incentive of the break, you know it will happen eventually as long as you continue being productive. I usually feel like working for at least half an hour before taking a short five-minute break is helpful. Lastly, during your break, you should stand up and stretch. That way, you are not feeling tired and achy while you are working later.
For English majors or anyone who may relate, I know readings are a big part of your assignments. Sometimes, when you are fatigued or lack the energy, a dense reading is going to deter you from getting any work done. There are websites out there that will summarize your readings for you as long as you can input them into the box they provide or can upload an article. I would not recommend copying and pasting any of the summaries you get into your papers or assignments. I am sharing this to further help you understand the reading and hope that when you use it, you also go back to reread your readings to check for accuracy.
Quillbot is one of the more reliable summary sites I have seen. It is often used as a paraphrasing tool, but as I said early, I would not use it for that reason. I only suggest this link and the next one because when we are unfocused, it helps to know a general gist of what you are reading, which can further your comprehension later on. This site has a lot of options for summaries from standard to even something more creative. I have heard good reviews from people on TikTok. But overall, this allows you to customize your summary more and maybe just one of them will help you understand your readings.
SMMRY, which may look like a sketchy site, actually works pretty well. (I’m actually speaking from a friend’s perspective, not mine). You can either paste in your text, upload a file, or put in a URL. Afterward, there should be an option for the length of your summary, which you can play around with. Since I have never used it, I would assume that the shorter the summary, the less it might be accurate. When you are reading, you do need certain details to make sense of it.
Overall, I think that focusing will always be hard. For me, it has been a struggle even before the pandemic. Sometimes, you have to know yourself and your schedule. I focus best at night while others may prefer the daytime. Consider working with others because I know working in groups can motivate you if you see other people working. You have to find what works for you and adapt to it too. It might take trial and error because, in college, it takes some time to get used to having free time. But it eventually becomes a habit and focusing and getting that motivation back will not be as difficult.