Final Month’s Motivation
So you’ve made it to the final month or so of term and you’re starting to feel like you’re battery is drained and close to empty. It’s always toughest at this point. Yes, the end is in sight but perhaps the biggest assignments are now looming far closer than you’d like.
This has been something I have been struggling with recently and I wanted to start by pointing out that it is completely normal. I always get to this point in the term and vow that when my final exam is done I will curl up into a ball and go into hibernation for at least a week. It feels like it will never end so how can you stay motivated for that final push to the finish?
I mentioned it in one of my last posts but this has become more relevant recently. There are lots of people already finishing and sharing pictures of their final submission on social media. My advice here is, if you’re work is still ongoing, don’t be bitter. This is something I have struggled with which probably makes me sound horrible but I think it’s important to keep in mind that on social media you’re only seeing the highlights reel.
It may feel like everyone else has finished but it’s probably not as many people as you’d think and just remind yourself that they have worked hard to get there for themselves. Now it’s your turn to do the same and you’ve still got the finishing celebrations to come.
Recently I’ve also confessed to a few people that one of the key ways I motivate myself to stay on track with work is by looking ahead to next year. I know this sounds a bit like motivating myself to work by looking at the next batch of work (it sounds like that because that’s what it is) but I know that I came to university to do the tricky stuff in my subject.
As a penultimate year physics student I received a welcome boost this week in that we were sent the possible project titles for our final year work to start in September. This, at least to me, was very exciting as it feels like this is what all of my university effort so far has been building up to. It’s a small thing but now I feel that I have the motivation to work just so that I can get on to the good stuff next year!
It’s difficult when you’re bogged down with exams and assignments and even more so this year with Covid uncertainty still lingering but I would also suggest trying to make plans for the summer. Again, this is about just trying to give yourself something to focus on other than work and a having a goal, something perhaps more enjoyable than revision, to fight for.
The reprieve is always more enjoyable when you know you’ve put in all the work you could have done leading up to it so now’s the time to put in that final effort. Keep in mind that you’ve already done a lot just to get this far through the year so keep it up and then, when summer comes, you can truly sit back and relax.
And a final thing, if you’re finding your attention span lacking lately and that you just can’t seem to sit down and work for long periods like you used to, that’s normal too. You’re just beginning to feel the fatigue of a year’s worth of uni work catching up. My advice here would just be to keep working but take regular breaks (something I’m not always great at doing myself).
In these breaks I often like to read or watch TV just to relax and switch off completely for a while but at other times I feel the need for a little boost and feeling productive often helps with this. In those moments I try to find something that I enjoy doing that has a satisfying product at the end of it. Often that means I’ll cook a nice meal or end up writing (as I’m doing right now) because I find it relaxing but also feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of it that spurs me on to the next task.
So there’s my random rambling on how I keep myself motivated and what might work. It’s important to keep in mind all the work you’ve already done this year and how close you are to being finished and being able to enjoy a well earned break in the next months.
I hope something in here helps and all the final exams and assignments go well!