It’s that time of year again … school. You might as well start putting the library’s address as your own. Syllabus week starts our semester with some fun and games, but it won’t take long for the work to set in. A lot is inevitably headed your way, but you just had a month of no expectations – at least academic – and may not be ready to devote your every day to such tasks. One of the most difficult parts of starting a new semester is adjusting to this transition and getting back into grinding for your goals.
There is no sure way to help build one’s motivation – it’s different for everyone – but there are a few helpful activities to help get us back into it. Think back on the break that you just had. I know it hurts to recall something you were forced to leave. You are no longer able to sleep, relax and do nothing, or see friends as much as you were before. But, the end was inevitable; you knew it was coming. Now, try reflecting on what your past month or so has been for you: what happened and how you felt throughout it. Recognize that this break is coming to an end, and hopefully accepting where you are now will help quell the longing for break to come back. Take what this break gave you and the rest you hopefully received and apply that to your work in the upcoming season.
Another helpful task includes reflection on your goals. What were you striving for before the break? What new ideas and developments did time off bring? Alongside those thoughts, think about how you’re going to apply those moving forward.
Once you think about how you’d use what you just lived through, visualize yourself back in the grind. It may help motivate you to know that you’re bringing a fresh mindset to the same goals you’ve been working so hard for already. Picturing yourself in action may help push you to start taking on the work ahead of you.
On that same wavelength, visualize your goals themselves – in detail. Perhaps write the goals on paper to see them in front of you. Next, try imagining what your life will be like while achieving those goals. After you’ve achieved those, what do you imagine your life will be, and where do you want it? Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
You could be holding yourself back from accepting the impending difficult work. With that, allow yourself to feel the emotions that you feel; face them head-on. I recommend letting those emotions out creatively. Journal, paint or draw whatever you’re feeling. Make or listen to music that allows you to explore your emotions and come to terms with them. It’ll help lift some of the weight that’s keeping you from getting back to it.
Getting back to campus surely brings good things too, not just the daunting school work. Friends you haven’t seen in a while and your favorite places on campus are there to greet you. With that in mind, you can make schoolwork something positive in your journey to move toward where you envision your ideal self. Here’s to making this semester one of the best yet. Good luck and have fun!