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“It’s the Final Countdown”: Motivation as the Semester Comes to An End

By Mattie Fitzpatrick | November 20, 2023

Photo Credit: Martin Vorel / Wikimedia Commons

College is hard. Really hard. Dealing with school work, actual work, family turmoil, clubs and personal relationships is enough but when it comes to the end of the semester it’s hard not to feel like a candle burning from both ends. I know I certainly do. Keeping motivation up until the end of the semester is difficult. With assignments increasing and time running out, it’s so hard to keep up the pace of finishing all of your assignments. The question is poised, how do we keep up motivation at the end of the semester.

I go to sleep every night feeling like I’ve run a marathon. Sometimes I’m out of breath from eating a fig bar. These things can be avoided for you by prioritizing yourself and not being lovably stupid like me.

Recharging and prioritizing yourself is so important for keeping up motivation. When doing homework, focus solely on homework. It’ll make it go quicker and keep you more engaged in your work leaving more time for you to pursue other things. Make sure to listen to your body. If you need to eat, eat. None of this work is going to get done well unless you feel adequate. It’s hard to prioritize yourself especially when there is so much to do and so little time but it’s important in the long run.

In addition to recharging, the only way to stay ahead of life is by scheduling everything. Scheduling is so important during the end of the semester. Knowing how many assignments are due when and how much time is a big way to minimize stress. There is nothing worse than having a midnight deadline creep up on you the night you find out the assignment is due.

Using Google Keep and Google Calendar are incredibly helpful. I also find that writing down all my assignments on a piece of paper and keeping it by my desk keeps my stress levels down. Unless of course I lose the paper, which I’ve done five times this week. Barely holding on here.

I have a hard time focusing sometimes and I know listening to music can really help. In the past, I’ve listened to the Brave soundtrack, the Tangled soundtrack, the Fantastic Mr. Fox soundtrack and more. Right now I’m really into a couple of songs from Adventure Time which I never watched so this is all new to me. Being alone and doing work doesn’t have to be lonely. Gilmore Girls taught me that.

Speaking of aspiring to be Rory Gilmore, studying with friends and classmates can be incredibly helpful not only for motivation but to have fun while studying. Studying with classmates from the same classes is like bonding in shared anguish. It validates your concerns while making new friends!

If you are having difficulty with assignments, seek out help! Going to office hours is a great way to build a relationship with your professors and get help and clarification on assignments. Taking advantage of University at Albany’s tutoring services is great as well. It’s free and they are truly there to help you. All peer tutors have been trained in a class so they are both knowledgeable and experienced.

The only thing that gets me through this semester after going through a ton of stuff is that I don’t want the money that is being paid for my degree to go to waste. This is a solution that doesn’t work for everyone but for me, I need to be fueled by hate and a desperate desire for the money being spent on my education and the effort I have put into getting this far in college. In short, college is expensive and I refuse to let this opportunity go to waste. I also refuse to disappoint my grandma and her unwavering faith in me. If I could write an entire article about her I would but you’re just going to have to trust me that she is fantastic.

You got this, bestie. You’re going to own the end of this semester, I can already tell.


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