Students find ways to stay motivated as semester ends

With the semester coming to an end, it can be difficult to find motivation before break. One of the ways students can stay motivated is by making a plan on how they can use their time wisely in order to finish important assignments and exams. (File Photo Illustration by Cassandra Nguyen | The Collegian)

This time of year, some students tend to feel stressed about final projects and exams and are unable to find motivation to finish the semester strong, but there are some students who know what to do.

Daniel Vogt, senior in construction science and management, said after the first semester of his freshman year he realized just how focused he needed to be to succeed. He said he has two things that keep him motivated before there is a break.

“First, if I stay focused on school then the week will seem to go by quicker, and I will subsequently do better on any tests or assignments in that last week,” Vogt said. “Second is that I know there isn’t much time after Thanksgiving break to bring up grades that may be slipping, so the more focus I put into school before break the better off I’ll be during finals week.”

With only two weeks until finals, students are working hard to maintain or improve their grades.

Nicole Brauer, junior in family studies and human services, said she has worked hard all semester and doesn’t want all her hard work to go to waste.

“It is definitely a mental thing for me,” Brauer said. “I allow myself time for myself because I know that overworking myself will get me nowhere. I also make sure that I get at least eight hours of sleep each night. I can’t function if I don’t.”

Sometimes students aren’t motivated because they are overwhelmed, stressed or just tired and ready to go home to celebrate the holidays.

Jamie Brond, junior in mass communications, said she likes to set goals for herself and keep them posted on her desk so she can see them all semester. She also said she keeps a to-do list and crosses off tasks once they are completed.

“This time of year brings a lot of chaos to my life, which I love, but it’s hard to manage sometimes,” Brond said. “I tend to be a very stressed out person, unfortunately, but I have learned to prioritize the important things in life, remind myself of motivating phrases and just sleep a lot when things get too hectic.”

When Brond is feeling stressed, she said she calms down by watching Netflix and taking a lot of quizzes on Buzzfeed.

Brauer said she engages in physical activity in order to relieve stress.

“I get incredibly stressed and worn out,” Brauer said. “It is so hard to stay motivated, but I remind myself to go for a walk either outside if it is nice enough or at the rec center.”

Brauer said she stays motivated knowing that she gets to spend time with family and friends without having to worry about homework or projects.

Judith Lynch, director of the K-State Academic Assistance Center, said her best advice to students at this point is to look at long-term goals and the reason you are in college.

“Find out where you stand in all of your classes and what specific steps you can take between now and the end of the semester to get the grades you want in these classes,” Lynch said. “Knowing exactly what needs to be done can take away a lot of the stress, and then make a specific plan for how you will use your time during the remaining weeks of the semester.”

Lynch said there are resources on campus to help students, including tips at the K-State Counseling Services’ Kat Chat on “surviving finals,” which will take place Tuesday at 4 p.m. in 13 Leasure Hall.