For most college students, motivation soars at the start of each new semester. But as assignments, tests, and obligations pile on, motivation wanes and threatens to fizzle out entirely.
To stay motivated in college, it’s important to continuously connect your obligations to your values and to the bigger picture. You must also establish systems to help you maintain steady drive through the beginning, middle, and end of each college semester. Here is one way to do that:
Every semester, you’re likely enrolled in courses that spark your interest — and courses that don’t. Motivation may happen naturally for classes that align with your personal and professional interests, but what about the rest? Boost your motivation across the board with a few reflective questions that aim to connect your courses to your values.
Problems with motivation, including procrastination, often occur when we’re unclear about the task(s) in front of us. You’ll find it easier to stay motivated and reduce overwhelm if you have a clear picture of what’s required of you and if you set up a plan to hit all your goals in each course.
Lean on others — including your school — to help keep you accountable through the semester and actively engaged in learning, even when your motivation dips.
Throughout the semester, take some time to check in with yourself at the end of each week. Ask yourself: What’s working? What do I want to keep doing? What do I want to change? Keeping track of your progress in this way will help you stay motivated and get the most out of your semester.
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Anne Duncan experienced high, persistent anxieties and social difficulties during her 12 years as a teacher. Discouraged, she left teaching and spent three years searching for a different occupation, eventually turning to administrative work. She connected with Crossroads, a disability employment group in Sacramento, and volunteered in several clerical roles before accepting a position with...
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