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How To: Get Out of Your Studying Slump

By: Kaitlin Pilarski, 2nd Year Life Sciences Student

I don’t know about you, but it felt like I blinked and reading week was over. We are now back to the routine of classes, midterms, and assignments. But what do you do if you feel like you are still behind? Or maybe if you received a grade that was not what you were expecting? If no one has told you this already, you are not alone, I am right there beside you. Here’s the thing: pity parties don’t get anyone very far, I promise you (I’ve tried).

So what can you do to keep moving forward and rediscover your motivation? Let’s find out…


  1. Make a growth mindset your new best friend. When you take on a growth mindset, you are learning how to turn what can seem like a dead end into endless opportunities. A growth mindset is not simply a positive attitude where you reward yourself for doing your best; instead, it is a method of analyzing what is working best for you, to allow yourself to reach your full potential. Having a positive outlook is one thing, but acting on it brings a whole new challenge. Here are a few ways to practise a growth mindset:



  1. Remember why you started. It’s easy to get so caught up in your to-do lists that you lose sight of the bigger picture. For me, I often find myself working on a lab report I am not interested in, and I have to remind myself that the lab report is just a stepping stone on the path to my degree that will allow me in the future to study topics that I am more interested in. For you, maybe you are having difficulties with an assignment or even a class as a whole, but if you take the time to remind yourself of your end goal, it can make a world of a difference. Rediscovering your initial interest can allow you to find the motivation you need to continue to put your best effort into anything and everything you do.
  2. Remind yourself that it’s not your failures that define you. It is so important to learn how to embrace failures. I am not telling you to not study or to not put any effort into something as a way to embrace failures. I am challenging you to try new things and explore opportunities both within and outside your program. We live in a society where failures and rejections are frowned upon, so naturally, we do our best to avoid them. But what if you took the time to try a new study strategy, or to ask a TA for help, or even try out a new extracurricular activity? Sometimes, the excitement or challenge of something new can reignite your drive to succeed. If you’re not making mistakes, how are you learning?

I am, therefore, challenging you to incorporate growth mindset phrases into your vocabulary, to find a way to remind yourself why you started, and finally, to put yourself out there and try something new no matter the outcome.

You deserve the best version of you, so give it everything you’ve got and SASS will be there for you if you ever need help. You’ve got this, we believe in you!

Want to read more about manufacturing your own motivation? Click here.


Photo courtesy of Florian under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.