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Motivation & Momentum: Ways to Re-energize and Power Through The Semester

As midterms come and go here on campus at Stephens college, students are left mentally and physically drained from the late night cramming for exams, writing papers and working on projects for their courses. The stress from it all can damage our approach to handling assignments for the remaining two months of the year, and with the changing of the seasons in Missouri, students must transition their outlooks to combat any dreaded anticipation for winter break to come.
Here are some tips to help students find that motivation and keep up the momentum after midterms to finish the semester strong!
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle. You hear these things time and time again, but seriously – apply it to your lifestyle.
  • Keep your diet in check daily by including all of the food groups in your meals, and drink plenty water to stay hydrated. Also, don’t skip meals because your body needs all the nutrients it can get to perform at its best.
  • Little exercise makes a BIG difference. Doing 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity will make an astounding difference in your health. It lowers the risks for disease and cancer and positively impacts your brain as well. Throughout our lives were are constantly creating brain cells, but exercising helps generates brain cells twice as fast! Whether it be cardio or strength training, make time in your day to get your body moving so you can keep your mind in top shape for school too.
  • Get enough sleep to rest that hardworking brain of yours. Research in past studies has shown that women’s brains work up to five times more than men during the day (GO, LADIES). Therefore, our brains need about 20 more minutes to let our brains rest and recover. Again, it’s important to remember that physical needs go hand-in-hand with your mental needs.
Meditation and Prayer. Along with meeting physical and mental needs, setting aside time to meditate or pray are two key practices that will also impact your emotional and spiritual needs.
  • It calms down our cardiovascular system as well as reduces any anxieties you are feeling.
  • On other levels, people who meditate or pray generally hold a greater sense of purpose in the tasks they take on in their day-to-day lives. Finding peace of mind helps to regather the self in stressful situations and focus on making the best decisions for ourselves.
  • These practices open the doors to communities who also value a deeper connection with the self or something greater. This gives you the opportunity to be a part of a support system, and in return provides countless benefits to your self-esteem that keep you in the best mindset.
Stick with a Planner. This is a necessity when it comes to staying organized among all the meetings, due dates and events taking place in our busy lives.
  • Don’t wait so you don’t forget. As soon as a date or assignment is set, immediately write it down and prioritize accordingly. Be proactive and prepare in advance for whatever it is that will be taking up your time as a hard-working college student.
  • Set daily and weekly goals that are aimed to boost your spirits. Between the things you must accomplish in school and extra-curricular activities, it is just as important to plan and meet small goals that will make you feel good about yourself and maybe helping others feel good too.
Here are a few examples:
  • Ace that quiz and then treat yourself to ice cream.
  • Write and send a letter to your family in the mail.
  • Give a compliment to 3 people and make them smile.
Study Time. Find a location where you can be “in the zone” and be productive when completing homework or preparing for a test.
  • Set aside an hour or two each day in that one spot and make it your own for the rest of the semester. It can be in a quiet library, at an outside table if the weather is permissible, or in a café setting –anywhere that is a place where you won’t be distracted from your studies.
  • Another factor is whether you are more motivated completing work by yourself, with a professional or among a group of studious friends. By yourself or with friends, try out each option to see where and with whom you can feel confident and motivated to perform at your best.
Be PRESENT. It’s tempting to sleep in and skip that 8am, or show up to class and update your Pinterest board for the hour, but doing these things will get you nowhere if you want to be successful in school. Being present in class is more than just being physically there.
  • Go to class and be engaged. Read the textbook, listen to everything your professor has to say, ask questions to understand the subject, learn to take copious notes, speak up in classroom discussions –only through efforts like these can you make the most of the education you’re paying for.
Have Some Fun! After keeping up with these things, staying motivated, and being the amazing student you can be, reward yourself every now and then with a little fun so you don’t burn out from the grind. Celebrate and enjoy yourself
Here are a few favorite suggestions:
  • Date night with your significant other.
  • Chick flick movie marathon with your gal pals.
  • Nature walk on one of Missouri’s unusually warm fall days.
Graphic by Kath Teoli

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