Dreaded deadlines, all-nighters and persistent procrastination: these are just a few of the many occurrences that happen around this time of year. It’s like that awkward period in-between Christmas and New Year: you’ve had your fun (the presents, the turkey or, in my case, the excessive Ferrero Rochers) and something to look forward to (partying, drinking and making resolutions that are far too ambitious). However, the week that lies in between is filled with boredom, confusion and, for some, existential crises. The same can be applied between the end of the semester and your final exam: laissez-faire attitudes to work were enjoyed early on, drinks were had and procrastination didn’t matter much (for now) and, after your final exam, summer will bring that and much more. Yet, right now you’re in the rut of it all; once your final pieces of coursework are handed in, revision begins – and with most societies holding their final balls and activity sessions before the Easter holidays, your extracurriculars come to a sudden halt at time when your usual routine is much needed.
This can make one feel rather bored, useless and even experience short-term depression and bouts of anxiety. Additionally, it can make you reflect on your semester as a whole and whether some real change is needed to get back into the swing of things; here are a few (tried and tested) ways to regain your motivation in the final stretch of the semester:
Start planning for the summer ahead
One of the best motivations to get you studying is to think about all the amazing things you get to do after you painstakingly write your last answer in your final exam. Planning for your summer during this time will not only help you be more organised and spend it more effectively but may also help you revise better knowing there is something better to come; this can include fining a summer job or internship, a volunteer placement, travelling or simply just finding activities to do with your family and friends. Plenty of websites have great opportunities such as MyCareerHub and Indeed.
University can often suck the community aspect out of our lives once instilled by our families when living at home; going back to basics such as regularly cooking meals and cleaning can bring back some routine lost during this time of year. Even sitting down with your flatmates or friends once a week for a meal can bring about the change you need.
Pick an area to improve on
Being surrounded by academia often makes us feel inadequate and unfulfilled, reminding us of anything we can be doing better. During exam time this can make us feel even worse: picking something such as our fitness, eating habits or even changing the time of day we wake up can give us a sense of achievement otherwise lost during this time.
The ability to have and retain motivation is a constant battle fought by every student throughout their time at university; however what many of us fail to realise is that in order to maintain this does not require a major lifestyle change or a complete change of routine – it’s often the smallest changes that make the most significant differences.