Tips to Boost Your Motivation to Study
The fall semester is almost over—and you all know what that means: cumulative exams that are worth a scary percentage of your final grade. It feels like midterms were just around the corner and now you have to re-study everything all over again. Understandably, you might not be feeling the most motivated to crack open that textbook. What can you do about this?
The Carrot: Post-Exam Freedom
One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to think about the freedom you will enjoy after your exams. This is the carrot method of motivating yourself. All that stands between you and a social life is a few measly exams—you can do this! Whenever you just don’t feel like studying, think about how freeing it will be to be able to binge-watch House of Cards guilt-free.
The Stick: Failing Your Courses
No one enjoys the taste of failure, and for a student, failing a course can significantly affect your GPA, which can in turn affect your prospects for scholarships, for graduate programs, for your career aspirations. There are even some programs that require you to repeat the entire year if you fail just one course. So if the carrot is not working, keep yourself motivated by thinking of the negative consequences of not studying.
What can you do in your day-to-day to help maintain study motivation?
Here are some specific and easy tips you can follow to help you maintain your study motivation:
1. Study a little bit every day. Not only will this prevent panic-filled—and ineffective—cramming, you have broken down a daunting task into smaller tasks, making them more manageable and therefore more appealing to do.
2. Keep yourself well-rested, well-fed, and well-hydrated. If the thought of studying inspires you to groan, that may be because you are tired and/or hungry. Get some rest, get some grub and then sit down with your books and notes. A refreshed mind will take in information more effectively.
3. Change your computer, tablet, and cell phone wallpaper to a motivational quote or picture. As a student, it’s likely that not a day goes by without you using at least one of these items, so you will have frequent reminders to keep you motivated to study.
4. There’s an app for that! Seriously, there are motivational apps available. Some of them work by having you set a goal, for example, “I want to study for 1 hour every day” and every day, the app will ask you if you have accomplished this goal. This keeps you on track and accountable. Others work by sending you a different motivational message every day.
Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t 100% motivated and raring to study every day. You will have off days, but hopefully you will take away concrete tips from this article that will help you minimize those off days.