Midterm Study Tips: Stay Motivated This Assignment Season
A Queen's University Belfast student shares her best advice on staying motivated to study as the term goes on.
This article was written by Kathryn Allen, a Queen’s University Belfast student.
Whether it’s your first year at university or you’re well used to the work your degree requires, it’s the time of year to pack up and head to the McClay Library to get some work done. But most students have trouble with motivation when studying. So, here’s what I do to try and keep motivation high:
Struggling to stay focused?
If you have difficulty staying focused, you should try:
Turning off your phone
I know it sounds simple! But it can make such a difference when you remove the temptation to scroll through social media. Even if you think you don’t need to, research shows even the presence of a phone in the same room as us can reduce our attention and productivity.
A change in locations
At Queen’s University Belfast, we’re spoiled for choice of nice places on campus to study, and one of the easiest ways to jump start your work is to move from one location to another. A change of environment — especially when linked to a change in task — is great for refreshing your brain and gets you up and moving for a little break. Or if a change of building is out of the question, get up and take a quick walk around the library, just to clear your head between tasks.
If you struggle with motivation while studying, then you should have a go at:
Romanticizing your study session
Attitude is half the battle, and while the TikTok trend of romanticizing your life might seem a little silly, in the right context it does help! If it’s a slow day, take some time to walk around campus and see the changing leaves, grab a coffee as a treat, and listen to a great playlist for studying.
Planning out your day
I sometimes find having all day to study makes me less productive! It helps to deliberately plan something nice in the day for a little break, as this gives my study session an end time or splits it up, helping me to make more realistic goals for the time I do have to study.
Struggling to get up in the morning?
If getting up in the morning is your biggest issue, then you should try these tips:
Make your bed
I don’t know about you, but now that it’s getting colder, my warm bed in the morning gets harder to leave, especially if I don’t have somewhere I need to go. The only thing I’ve found that gets me up for good is making my bed when I get out of it. That way, your bed is off limits, and you’ve already done something productive to start the day!
Work with a friend
Not only do you have company, but you have someone who can keep you accountable to stay on task. Especially if you find you’re slow to get started in the morning, setting a time to study with a friend is a great motivator to get going.
Feeling burnt out?
It’s common for students to feel burnt out halfway through a semester. If you find yourself feeling this, then take care of yourself by:
Asking for help
Get advice from an older student on your course, especially if you’re struggling to get a hang of an assignment, or not sure which resources are best to use.
We’ve all been there and are happy to help anyone out with tried and tested methods. The Queen’s Student Centre at One Elmwood also offers study support though the Learning Development Service, which can help you to look at how you’re studying and offer advice and tips!
Caring for yourself
A hungry you is not a productive you. An exhausted you is not a productive you. A burnt-out you is not a productive you. To be able to study well, it’s important to know yourself well and take care of yourself, even in the simplest ways of knowing when it’s time to take a break and watch an episode of TV, or packing snacks to the library. You’d be surprised how much it can make a difference when you take simple steps for well-being.
Whether it’s music or a group study that’s the answer to your study dilemmas, I hope you find your own perfect tricks for a productive day!
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