Welcome back to another edition of my SASS blog! It’s been a few weeks since we last caught up. We’ve had our first snowfall of the year, Halloween costumes have turned into holiday sweaters, and the holiday season is almost here. At Queen’s, however, holidays are not quite upon us: we still have to finish final assignments and exams. Now, before exams start, is the perfect opportunity to recharge and mentally prepare.
Lately, I’ve been very busy completing a few final assignments and labs. I made it much more stressful than it needed to be because in the winter the snooze button becomes my best friend. There’s just something about the chilly air that makes me want to snuggle up in bed for an extra hour or two. At this point of the year, I’m also slowly beginning to count down the days before we head off for the break.
Keeping myself motivated is something that I—and just about all of us—need to address. Here are a few things that help me get back on track when I’m down:
- Take a look at the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the semester. They could give you that extra motivation to finish the semester strong. If you didn’t think about them earlier, set yourself a couple of goals now: what do you want to achieve in the next few weeks? What will make you happy? Doing well in a particular assignment? Getting through exams while staying healthy? Making time to talk to your family while studying?
- Reward yourself! Whether that’s watching an extra episode of your favourite show or getting your favourite food, make sure to appreciate the work that you are putting in. It’s too easy to get sucked into constantly studying at this time of year.
- Create a daily plan! Few things are as satisfying and motivating as crossing off an item on a to-do list. Pro-tip: if any of the activities will take less than five minutes, do them first and get that ball rolling!
- Reflect on your successes this semester. You are so close to completing the semester, so don’t let the last 2-3 weeks affect the hard work you have put in thus far! I’m sure you’ve all had at least one great moment—an awesome comment you made in class, a nice piece of feedback from a prof or TA, an interesting article or book you read—this semester. Treasure those feelings now!
One of the main reasons I lose motivation is due to feeling burned out. With midterms, assignments, and labs, the past month was hectic to say the least. Taking time for yourself is so powerful in terms of improving your motivation and focus for the last stretch of the semester. Honestly just taking a walk at the pier or spending a few hours chatting with friends can do the trick. I personally enjoy going to the gym, getting dinner with friends, and relaxing by watching a movie. At the end of the day, even our phones stop working once they run out of energy—so how can we expect ourselves to keep going without ever taking a break and recharging?
With the semester winding down, the finish line is in our sights. So let’s finish off strong!
Good luck! – Santosh