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

If I’m being fully transparent, after coming off of spring break into spring quarter, I’m entirely unmotivated. It took me the first week to get myself back into an academic mindset, and by the time week two came around, I was already falling behind. I don’t think this is anything irreversible or too damning, but it is hard to regain motivation when it feels far out of reach.

But don’t worry, a lot of us are in the same boat. We want to be in the sun, spending time with friends, or doing something more exciting than sitting in front of your computer reviewing lecture notes. Yet we still have goals we want to achieve, and just because we aren’t motivated right now, doesn’t give us a free pass to give up. Future You will thank yourself for pushing Unmotivated You through the quarter, whether it’s easy, or whether it’s with Unmotivated You kicking and screaming. 

So, here’s how I am trying to get myself back into the academic mindset. Starting your work is one of the hardest things you are going to do, which means you need to set yourself up for success. Bring everything you’ll need for a successful study session, even if it’s only for one of your classes, to your favorite productive study spot. This usually involves fully charged headphones, a snack, some water, and all your academic supplies (this is the time to let your Apple ecosystem shine!). Once you have everything, put on some study music and put the phone away for 5 minutes. It does involve force, but ignore it for just a bit and put your full attention on your school work. This may result in you immediately being productive, or you may dive for your phone the second five minutes is over. Either way, now you can say you started your work, and that’s an accomplishment in itself. 

I usually navigate these unmotivated times by acknowledging it may not just spark out of thin air. I most likely will not be inspired to dive into everything because I did one part of one assignment. This is why I am a firm believer in taking breaks. We’re most likely lacking motivation because we’re burnt out, and that’s alright! We are allowed to be tired after the months of hard work we’ve already put in, but we want to pass—even more so, we want to thrive. So, take a break every 20 minutes, reward yourself for your hard work. Just try not to get carried away and turn a 5 minute break into a 30 minute break. Make sure to reward yourself for the hard work you do get done at the end. Do something for yourself that will feel worth having spent the day doing things for other classes and people. 

For those who feel they need the structured schedule to get them back on track, plan out a few manageable focuses for the day. You don’t need to go over the top and decide you will finish everything today, don’t set yourself up to feel bad for not finishing everything. Give yourself a few goals for that day and reward yourself for your efforts.

But the best thing you can do in these times of unmotivation, if you find yourself in a groove, keep it going as long as you can sustain it. When we find ourselves in these lackluster periods of time, reaching these moments are the hardest. Once you find a pocket of motivation and dedication that has felt a little lost, work with it. The best thing you can do is work with yourself and with your brain, it is always looking out for you. Sometimes it just needs a little time to be redirected back to the main objective.

You’ll find your motivation. You’ll make it happen. In the meantime, while we figure it out, we can still enjoy the sun and springtime. These days are too beautiful to go unnoticed.

Hi! My name is Astrea Schweikl and I’m a second year Communications major here at UCD!