One of the most difficult times of the year for any student is the last few months of school. This is often because most students get burned out and lose motivation as the end of the year approaches and summer draws nearer.
But as many final exams and important assignments are still present in the later months of school, it is important to stay focused and motivated until the very last day!
And as someone who struggles with end of the year burnout myself, I thought I’d share some of my own tips that have helped me stay motivated throughout the year.
1. Revamp Your Study Space
A change of scenery can sometimes be enough to give you an extra burst of motivation and inspiration!
By simply changing up the layout of your office, rearranging your supplies on your desk, or just organizing your study space, you can give yourself a fresh, clean space to work. Our brains function better when they’re presented with a clean, uncluttered workspace.
Alternatively, you can also head to a library, coffee shop or park while you do your homework and while you study. Getting outside and changing up your surroundings can actually help you focus, and has been proven to help students remember information more effectively.
2. Make a Study Plan
If you’re in need of a way to focus on studying for your finals, then I’d highly suggest making a study plan! Study plans are exactly what they sound like--a detailed plan for what you need to study, and how much you need to study any given topic.
I swear the the only reason why I’ve passed any of my classes is due to my obsessive usage of study plans. Over the years, I’ve developed a system of making study plans that works really well for me, and after making a couple of your own, you’ll soon develop the same instinct.
A basic study plan contains some or all of the following information:
- A list of all of the topics that will be on the exam
- When you will study each topic
- How long you will study each topic for
- Which topics need the most revision
- Little notes in the margins to help you consolidate certain formulae, vocabulary or rules into easy-to-remember mnemonics, phrases etc.
Yes, I know it’s extremely messy, and perhaps a little hard to read and understand at first glance, but hey, I passed that test! (*cheers*)
All in all, study plans are a great way to de-stress your brain, and allows for you to map out your time, and when you will study which subjects. You’re also much more likely to take action on something that is physically written down, making writing out your study plans by hand a great idea!
3. Identify What it is That Makes You Feel Burned Out
In order to fix a problem, you need to identify the problem, right?
One of the best ways to combat end of the year burnout is to identify why you feel so tired or unmotivated, and try your best to fix it.
In my case, I find that I just get so stressed out by all of my end-of-year finals that I lose motivation altogether, and just sort of give up. To fight against this, I’m focusing on budgeting my study time in a non-overwhelming and minimal-stress way to make myself feel less anxious and stressed.
If the problem is simply lack of motivation, you can try hanging up inspirational quote posters, or even a countdown to your summer vacation. Also, you can try starting up a studyblr ! I swear, the studyblr community is full of the most kind and inspiring people ever.
If the problem is stress, try making a study plan (as I mentioned earlier) to plan out your time, or following this helpful “Feeling Overwhelmed?” flowchart by Emily Ley.
If the problem is disorganization, try rethinking your organizational systems. I have a helpful guide that covers how I organize myself as a student right over here, but here are just some general tips to help you get quickly organized:
- Go through your main binder, accordion file or folder and do a massive decluttering session. If you don’t think you need it, throw it out. #NoRegrets
- Take everything off your desk and only put what you really need back on it. Everything else can either be thrown out or put away.
- Make a masterlist of all of the assignments and studying that need to get done by the end of the year (I’d recommend Asana for this!) and prioritize each item in order of decreasing importance.
4. Reward Yourself
You’ve made it so far into the year already and have worked so hard throughout these last few months, and you definitely deserve some slack!
Don’t beat yourself up too much over the little failures or over a bit of laziness. Everyone is entitled to some occasional procrastination or slip-up’s.
Instead, try rewarding yourself for the good things! If you follow along with your study plan perfectly, reward yourself with a binge session of your favorite show. Or if you completed all of your homework in record time, treat yourself to a snack. And if you scored a good mark on an exam, maybe you can allow yourself to splurge on some new stationery. 😉
5. Change Up Your Music Playlist
I’ve managed to get myself to a point where I (somewhat? maybe? possibly?) enjoy studying by constantly updating my study playlist with songs that I really enjoy listening to.
Whatever kind of music you’re into or that helps you study can be part of your motivation to focus and work. I personally really enjoy KPop (any other ARMY’s out there?) and have a study playlist just filled to the brim with KPop songs. If you like that kind of music as well, or would like to see my own study playlist, here’s the link to it on Spotify!
But if you don’t like to listen to songs with lyrics when you’re studying (and I know that some people don’t), then I’d highly recommend listening to soundtracks instead. As a complete and utter Potterhead and Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fan, I have the full soundtracks for all three series/movies on my phone, and listen to them when I just want a more chill study session. Oh, and Disney soundtracks are pretty awesome too, haha!
I hope that helped you think of some ways that you might be able to motivate yourself for the last few weeks of school!
I wish you good luck in all of your finals and exams! We can do this! Fighting!
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