University can be a tough time in our lives. It is often a challenging period which is marked by studying, a job, and trying to maintain a social life all at once. Therefore, it can be very tempting when the going gets tough to drop out and seek another way forward in life. As university is no longer the only way for people to succeed and do well, a lot of individuals can drop out, and if they are of the right character and have a skill, can often build a life for themselves without the aid of a degree. However, there is a lot of merit to staying in university, and we’re going to look at how you can stay motivated.
Be kind to yourself
In the face of adversity and challenge, it is easy for us to look at ourselves with a more critical eye and be very harsh about our shortcomings. ‘I couldn’t do it’, or ‘it was my fault’ are often common thoughts, and can only serve to push you further and further down the path to dropping out and quitting. It is important to try and be kind to yourself wherever possible. You are after all at university to learn and progress. Therefore it is only logical that you will not be the best at everything. While recognising your shortcomings is a good way to grow as a person, you should also be realistic about your abilities. There will be enough pressure at university without you beating yourself up about what you have trouble with, and it is often said that you can be your own worst enemy.
Keep your friends close
You’re all in the same boat together. This means that other people are also trying to keep up with the work, trying to keep it all together, and trying to stay motivated. We know it can seem like everyone else is having a super rosy time and have everything together, but trust us, they don’t. By being open and honest about your struggles – whether you’re missing home or finding the work tough – you can help others in your friendship group to trust each other. It’s scary being vulnerable, but remembering you’re not alone is huge, and being brave enough to shout is important too.
You can all lean on each other when times get tough. Whether it is taking a break from studying together, or doing your assignments together and having a friendly atmosphere, friends are a precious resource when it comes to staying motivated during university. Tell them how you feel, tell them why you think that you aren’t doing well; share all of your worries with them. You’ll feel better for having told someone, and they’ll be able to support you. Chances are they feel the same way.
Getting distracted during times when motivation is low is a terrible idea. Not only will you waste time surfing the internet or doing nothing, but you’ll still be unmotivated and possibly even have less time when it comes to assignments or coursework. The best way to try and bring back your motivation is to get rid of all the distractions that you may find yourself encountering, and instead focus on what you need to do. To do lists help some people (even if you include things you’ve already done to give yourself a head start!), and others will micro-schedule using their calendar. Take a break from your computer every 20 mins, just gaze into space for 20 seconds. Have a walk outside if you’re really struggling, this will help clear your head. We like aromatherapy diffusers with pure essential oils to help unfog the mind too.
Think about where you want to go
When you decide to do a degree, it is usually an indication that you know what you want to do with your life. You are working in a specialist field and aiming to become a professional at whatever it is that you want to do, be it a doctor, a teacher or an engineer. Try and visualise yourself at the end of your course. You’ve just graduated, you’re holding your degree in your hands, and everyone is so proud of you. This may help to serve as motivation to keep going.
Overall, these are just a few of the ways that you can try and stay motivated at a university. It is a challenging time for students, as we have to juggle work, a personal life, and often some form of employment. However, staying motivated is critical to ensuring success, and there are lots of different ways that you can achieve this. One of the most important things that you can do is be honest with yourself and look at things realistically. You’re a student at university, and by no means, a professional in your field just yet, so beating yourself up for not being perfect in everything you do is silly. Relying on friends is also something which is very important, as it can sometimes be the first instinct of people to push their friends away and try and face challenges and difficult times alone. However, this is not a wise course of action, as you should instead lean on them to seek to get through the difficult times and stay motivated during your time at university.