Advice

How to get motivated this term

Photo credit: Source: study via ruby tuesday (flickr)

Anthony Stonestreet

A new year, a new term, a new you. Except it isn’t. You and I both know, deep down, we haven’t changed an iota since we shovelled down that first mince pie last November. Nevertheless, here we are, halfway through February, promising ourselves that this year isn’t going to get the better of us. So, how are you planning on doing it? What is it going to take for you to go to every lecture and seminar? It might just be that you’re not feeling your best, and that’s okay, all is not lost.

Like all things, it’s good to know where and when problems started so you can more easily rectify them. The same applies to motivation. Say that last year you caught a cold and as a result you were tired for the following week(s), somehow missing that crucial piece of advice for the exam in that last lecture. Now, understandably, you didn’t choose to catch that cold. But you could have perhaps made a few changes to your routine so that you weren’t constantly thinking of sleep. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should immediately start stockpiling industrial amounts of Berocca for the next time you get a case of the sniffles, just consider the things that may have been keeping you back, and might be stopping you from feeling pumped up for the rest of the year.

It could be that 2017 ended with you feeling slightly jaded and as a result, you’re generally unmoved by the possibilities and sights that lay ahead. That’s understandable, Cathays isn’t exactly Cannes. So, although you can’t exactly up sticks and travel the world, you can still make a few changes to your lifestyle which might make you feel slightly better about yourself (and/or the world). For example, as much as I enjoy deriding joggers, I do understand why they always seem to be so happy when telling me about their unrequited love for kale. Walking does make me feel more relaxed, less stressed and overall slightly less neurotic. Getting up early on a Sunday morning and walking to Pontcanna bridge and back again (I never said I adored walking either) does clear the mind ready for the week ahead. Even walking around town is good, as there is always something going on. In any case, virtually anything is better than staying in bed until 3pm regretting every life decision that got you there.

It might be that the workload is getting to you or seems unnervingly daunting. Now, I’m not going to start pontificating “useful work tips”, but just remember the first paragraph, figure out what’s keeping you back, or that has kept you back before and think of ways to counter it. Your life might be stressful for other reasons too. You could be a fresher in a long distance relationship, living with disruptive housemates or even be a third year humanities student who has no idea what to do after next summer. As someone who has been in similar situations, I can guarantee that a conversation with either a counselor or an employment officer (or even both) can do a world of good when it comes to getting a weight off your shoulders.

No-one likes feeling stressed, and, for me, that’s the main reason why the end of the year sometimes seems so far out of reach.

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