Finishing the Semester Strong

How to stay motivated and avoid burnout

Are you tired of staring at a screen all day, of late night studying and of doing both over and over again? With only a short few weeks left in the semester, it is easy to lose motivation and experience burnout. This may be the most important part of the year, but after giving your 100% all year long, your energy may finally be taking the toll. 

The key to making the most out of your study time is schedule breaks. In my experience, I say to myself, “Oh I’ll do this homework on the weekend. I’ll do homework Friday night, all day Saturday, and some on Sunday too.” Does it all get done? …NO! 

The worst part, which helps contribute to burnout, is seeing the list of tasks you were unable to complete when Monday rolls around. Even if I tell myself I’m going to do homework all weekend, realistically, there is just no way I’m going to find the motivation to do it all. Scheduling breaks into your schedule will give you time to rest your brain and won’t leave you feeling guilty for taking a break. Staying both fresh and clear-minded is the key to successful studying.

Maybe you’re thinking “But I don’t have the time to take breaks!” You work all weekend, go to your sport practices and when you aren’t doing that, you’re doing homework or studying. This can lead to some serious burnout and leave you feeling exhausted just as professors decide to have papers, tests and projects all due the SAME week! 

You’re not the only one who feels this way. Even when it seems like taking breaks is not doable, they will actually boost your productivity. If you don’t have a lot of free time, at least take small 10 minute breaks during your study sessions. 

Sleep is another factor that can greatly impact your energy. I understand that it’s hard to get a good amount of sleep when your to-do list keeps growing and growing, but it will make it easier to stay motivated when you’re well-rested. Try going to bed a little earlier than you normally do and get up earlier. With more time in your morning, you can start getting things done earlier. Or try taking a 20 minute power nap. Naps are not for everyone, but they may work for you if you give them a try. 

I know these last few weeks are going to be the most difficult, but remember that we’re all in the same boat. We each have to dig deep and try to finish the semester strong.

Author: Katarina Quintana | Opinions Editor

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